Papier Mache Turkey

Wobble, wobble, gobble, gobble...make this adorable wobbly papier mache turkey for Thanksgiving.
Papier Mache Turkey craft

Materials

  • Oval balloons
  • Newspapers or paper for recycling
  • Construction paper
  • Gift wrap paper
  • Toilet paper tube
  • Cardboard
  • Brown poster paint or acrylic paint
  • White glue
  • Papier mache paste
  • Sand
  • Scissors
  • Masking tape
  • Pencil
  • Wiggle eyes

Safety Tips

  • Watch out for this sign Ask for an adult's help. It means adult help is needed for the particular step.

Steps

Step 1 Papier Mache Turkey 1. Use a large oval balloon to make a papier mache of a turkey's body and a smaller balloon to make the head. The papier mache will take 2 to 3 days to dry completely.
Step 2 Papier Mache Turkey 2. Position one end of a toilet paper tube on the large papier mache's narrow end (where the balloon's knot is located). Trace around the circumference of the toilet paper tube.
Step 3 Papier Mache Turkey Ask for an adult's help3. Cut around the marked circumference and remove the bits of balloon from inside the papier mache.
Step 4 Papier Mache Turkey 4. Insert the toilet paper tube inside the opening. The length of the paper tube protruding from the hole defines the length of your turkey's neck.
Step 5 Papier Mache Turkey 5. Pour one cup of sand through the paper tube.
Step 6 Papier Mache Turkey 6. The sand will allow the papier mache to balance and stand on its own. Add more sand if necessary.
Step 7 Papier Mache Turkey 7. Angle the paper tube slightly upwards before positioning the papier mache head. Use masking tape to hold the head in place. The additional weight of the head will tip your turkey slightly forward. You may put more sand if necessary by removing the paper tube neck from the main body. Once well-balanced, tape the joint between the neck and body.

*You don't need to remove the bits of balloon inside the papier mache head.
Step 8 Papier Mache Turkey 8. Draw and cut out a pair of oval shapes from cardboard to make the wings. Tape the wings along the sides of the body.
Step 9 Papier Mache Turkey 9. Make a beak out of any color of construction paper:
(1.) Form a small semi-circle into a paper cone.
(2.) Slightly flatten the paper cone and curve out the tip.
(3.) Use masking tape to attach the cone beak onto the turkey's head.
Step 10 Papier Mache Turkey 10. Make a single layer of papier mache over the areas with masking tape - around the beak, at the base of each wing, at the joint between the neck and head, and the joint between the neck and body. The papier mache will dry in less than an hour.
Step 11 Papier Mache Turkey 11. You can prime your papier mache turkey with white acrylic or poster paint. Priming totally covers the newspaper print and makes the final color on your sculpture appear brighter and more uniform.
Step 12 Papier Mache Turkey 12. Once the primer dries, paint your papier mache turkey with brown poster paint or acrylic paint.
Step 13 Papier Mache Turkey 13. Glue a pair of wiggle eyes and a long red teardrop-shaped snood out of construction paper or felt. The snood is the skin flap that hangs over the turkey's beak.
Step 14 Papier Mache Turkey 14. Draw a line along the middle section of the beak.
Step 15 Papier Mache Turkey 15. Cut out 8-10 long oval shapes from construction paper, gift wrap paper or textured paper. The oval shapes should be long enough to be the turkey's tail feathers. Choose shades of red, yellow, brown, orange, and green.

If you need a pattern for the feathers, you can print out our feather template.
Step 16 Papier Mache Turkey 16. Glue the feathers in a fan-like arrangement.
Step 17 Papier Mache Turkey 17. Use white glue or tacky glue to attach the tail behind the body.

Your papier mache turkey can cutely wobble from side to side but can balance itself pretty well.

More Ideas

Papier Mache Penguin and Other Animals You can make more long-necked birds such as a goose, duck or chicken following the steps above.

For more papier mache animals, you can also visit our Papier Mache Bunny craft.

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