Creative Thanksgiving Arts and Crafts for Kids and the Whole Family

by DTC Thrasio

For many families, Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones. After reuniting and catching up after a long year, there is often a lot of down time while you wait for your scrumptious meal to finish cooking. To fill the time before the grand feast, we’ve compiled some fun Thanksgiving arts and crafts projects perfect for kiddos, grandparents, and everyone in between.


Finger Painting Hand Turkeys

Why not get your hands messy before you gobble down your Thanksgiving dinner? While you wait, here’s a great opportunity to break out the paint so everyone can craft their very own turkey. 

How do you make turkey hands for kids? 

Setting Up

To get started, we highly recommend lining your workspace with newspaper to prevent getting paint on your furniture. After prepping your space, it’s time to pick your paint. For finger painting, try this acrylic paint set that comes loaded with 12 vibrant colors in extra large tubes and paint brushes for additional detailing.

Step by Step Guide

Step 1: Dip your thumb in brown paint to make the turkey’s body.

Step 2: Create the feathers by dipping your fingers into the red, orange, and yellow paints.

Alternatively, you can opt to paint the whole hand at once and press it gently on your paper to form a quick handprint turkey. 

Step 3: Add eyes, details to the feathers, and of course the little line for the beak! 

Be as creative as you want. Want to give your turkey pants? Go for it! Does he want to wear a little pilgrim hat? Add it in! 


Face and Body Painting

Who said that face painting is only for carnivals and fairs? Get everyone in the holiday spirit with face and body painting. When painting on the skin, it is imperative that you use specialized paint that comes off easily and won’t irritate the skin. Here are some face paints that should do the trick!

What kind of paint is safe for body painting?

To add some extra fun to your body painting, we recommend using Neon Nights UV body paint. These body-safe paints are not only stunningly vibrant, but also glow-in-the-dark when used under UV or blacklight. To apply the body paint, we suggest using the Crafts4All paint brush set that comes in a variety of sizes and bristles. 

When all faces are covered with fall-tastic creations, gently wash the paint off both the brushes and skin with mild soap and warm water. Avoid painting near the eyes.


Family Thanksgiving T-Shirts

What better way to celebrate both Turkey Day and your family than to craft Turkey Day-themed T-shirts? We’ve compiled some steps below to help you get started on your project.

How do you decorate a shirt with fabric paint?

Find the Right Paint

When crafting on fabrics such as cotton and polyester, it is important to use special, permanent fabric paint to ensure that colors won’t run when washed. Crafts4All permanent fabric markers are an awesome choice thanks to their child-safe, water-based formula. Additionally, these markers come with 2 sides - one for precision, and the other for filling large spaces. If you are looking for something a little more heavy duty (not water-based), try these non-toxic permanent 3D fabric paints!

Creative Thanksgiving T-shirt Ideas

  • Turkeys and pumpkins
  • Pilgrims on the Mayflower or at Plymouth Rock
  • Bright autumn leaves and pinecones
  • Thankful statements 
  • Inside jokes and funny family nicknames 
  • Your family name with the current year to commemorate the day

    Washing Your Tee

    Once finished with your masterpiece, simply wash alone on a cold, delicate tumble setting to prevent the color from bleeding or running onto other clothes.


    Paper Bag Turkey Puppets

    For guests young and old, paper bag turkey puppets are a great way to inspire creativity and encourage the Thanksgiving Day spirit. Below are some fun puppet-making ideas to get started. 

    How do you make a paper bag turkey puppet?

    Step 1. Watercolor

    Watercoloring is not only a beautiful way to blend all of your favorite colors, but is a super easy method for beginners. This watercolor paint set is a great option thanks to its vibrant colors that show on any surface and won’t dull once used on your paper bag.  

    Step 2. Feathers and Googly Eyes

    Bring your turkey puppet to life with colorful feathers and silly googly eyes that kids will love. 

    Step 3. Thankful Statements

    Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what you’re grateful for. Encourage your company to write a thankful statement on their puppets to share with the group. 

    Afterwards, either put on a show for the kids, or let them take charge and share their own version of how Thanksgiving came to be. 


    DIY Pilgrim Hats

    Trying to look like the Plymouth Rock pilgrims this Thanksgiving? Take a trip back to 1620 by making fun pilgrim hats in a few simple steps. 

    How do you make a pilgrim hat?

    Art Supplies You Will Need 

    Step by Step Guide

    Step 1: Download a pilgrim hat template for tracing onto your construction paper.

    Step 2: Cut your hat from the black paper and the buckle from the yellow. Next, cut two to three strips of the brown paper to form the headband. 

    Step 3: Glue one brown strip to the front of the hat above the brim. 

    Step 4: Staple the remaining two brown strips together to form a band that’s large enough to wrap around the head. Then, staple the headband to the hat and glue on the buckle.  

    Step 5: Measure the band around the head to determine the right size. Then, staple the two ends together. 

    Step 6: Opt to design some of your favorite fall-themed decorations with a versatile acrylic paint pen set filled with fabulous fall colors.

    Step 7: Show off your chic, 1600s fashion sense. 


    DIY Cinnamon Scented Pinecones

    Looking to enliven your home with the sweet smell of autumn? Spice up your ambiance  with cinnamon scented pinecones that are easy enough for everyone to make together. Below are the step-by-step instructions to help you get started. 

    How do I make my pine cones smell like cinnamon?

    Step 1. Collect Pinecones

    These are easily found wherever there are pine trees nearby! Check around your home or at the park to find some extra-big ones. 

    Step 2. Coat Pinecones with Glue

    Using a disposable brush, thoroughly coat your pinecone with a thin layer of glue. Be sure to work quickly so the glue doesn’t dry.

    Step 3. Sprinkle with Cinnamon 

    Douse your glue-painted pinecone with cinnamon. Get in all the nooks and crannies, while shaking off any excess spice.  

    Step 4. Let Them Dry

    Once finished drying, your sweet-smelling pinecones are complete and ready to fill your house with the smells of fall. Store any remaining pinecones in an airtight container to save for later. 

    Final Thoughts

    Thanksgiving is not only a time for yummy eats, but also a time to enjoy friends, family, and everything else you’re grateful for. Taking part in creative crafts can help you enhance your special time together and truly make your holiday one for the books! 

    Contributing Writer: Jamie Hurt