Paper Plate Pop Up Turkey

By Noreen Doll.

This paper plate pop up turkey is so easy even a toddler could make it with a little help. Of course, their coloring won’t be perfect.

It only requires one paper plate and a way to color it. You can use crayons, markers, paint, even colored stickers or torn pieces of colored tissue paper.

It could be a fun craft for kids on Thanksgiving while waiting for the feast to begin.

A paper plate pop up turkey can be set on the serving table or used as part of the centerpiece.

What You Need

Paper Plate

Crayons, Markers, or Paint

Wiggly Eyes, or Punched White and Black Circles

Tiny Bit of Red & Yellow Card Stock or Craft Foam




What You Do

1. With the paper plate right side up, fold the bottom edge toward the top edge less than half way – as shown.

2. Find the center of the shorter half and draw a turkey head and body shape, ending at the fold of the plate.

3. Mark the center of the plate on the fold.

4. Find the center of the plate at the top, and mark off sections for the feathers.

On one plate I used, each feather was about 3 ridges wide. On the second plate the feathers were 4 ridges wide.

I thought 3 ridges made the feathers too narrow, and too many of them. I liked the 4 ridge feathers (the marker colored feathers) better.

5. Cut out the turkey body as shown with the solid black line. Do NOT cut across the fold.

6. To color the paper plate turkey body, bend it toward the feathers. You will actually be coloring the bottom side of the plate.

Lay a piece of scrap paper between the turkey body and the feathers while the turkey body is colored – to prevent the body color from getting on the feathers.

Or fold the rest of the turkey away from the body while it is colored. If the wrong side of the turkey is accidentally colored, no harm done. Just color the other side and it will be fine.

7. Color the feathers.

8. A face can be drawn on with markers, or cut out and glued on.

You may want to set the paper plate turkey up before you add the face, to be sure you put the face on the correct side of the turkey’s head.

The crayoned turkey used Sharpies to make its face.

The paper plate pop up turkey colored with markers had craft foam cut outs glued on its face.

9. To stand the turkey, fold the uncolored pieces of plate on either side of the turkey, under and toward the back.

You may need to make a sharper crease on the fold to get the turkey to stand.

I like the way the paper plate pop up turkey has its body stand out from the feathers.


I thought markers were too bright/dark, and I preferred crayons, but it’s an individual thing.

I liked the bugged out look of the turkey’s eyes when I used craft foam.

Some kids will want to decide for themselves how wide to make the feathers and want to draw their placement themselves.

Noreen Doll

Crafty Journal


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  1. This is great! So simple but so cute. And it is incredibly easy for young ones of all ages to make. Thanks for this tutorial… pinning!
    I’d be delighted if you stopped by and said hey at “my place”! Have a great weekend.

  2. What a fun craft to have a little one do for Thanksgiving! I have some paper plates in my disposable dish drawer that are going to become turkeys now! Thanks for linking up with me!

  3. What a fun and simple project for thanksgiving!

  4. So cute, my daughter and niece will have a great time making them on Thanksgiving. Thank you for sharing at my Our Favorite Things Link Party.

  5. I love this idea for my grandchildren. They will love this.

    We may have met by chance…but we become friends by choice.

  6. Perfect craft for the kids!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  7. so super cute will be linking to my blog at

  8. Such a great kids craft. I will have to try this one. I will share this on my kids craft blog FB page.
    It is a new blog based on my other one. The CSI Project.

  9. This is so cute! I’m pinning it so we have something new to try next year.

  10. This is such a perfect craft for younger kids.

    I’d love it if you’d stop by and share it at our linky party:

    Hope you stop by and link up!


  11. Glad you stopped by and shared these! Love ’em 😀

  12. So cute; what a great simple craft with little ones! You are a featured favorite this week on Saturday Show & Tell on Cheerios and Lattes! We love having you, and can’t wait to see you this weekend!
    Mackenzie :)

  13. So cute — the little ones will love doing this! I’m partial to the four ridges too but I like the marker! Thanks so much for sharing on Busy Monday!

  14. This is a great idea. I love any craft using paper plates. I’ll have to try this with my littles.

  15. This is soo stinking cute.. can’t wait to try this with my littlest guy! I’m sure he’s going to love it!
    Thanks for sharing with the Pink Hippo Party!
    Amie @ Pinkapotamus

  16. Hi Noreen,
    This is such a great kid craft. I will do this with the two year old staying with us. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Have a great Thanksgiving.

  17. This is so cute! It would make a great decoration for the table at Thanksgiving dinner.

  18. Just a note to let you know we’ve featured this project at Fun Family Crafts! You can see it here:

    Thanks for a wonderful project!

  19. What a cute project for the kids. You could change it up to make a peacock too. My Granddaughters will love this.

  20. Such a fun craft that even my little guy can do. Thanks for linking up the Raising Imperfection link up.

  21. Cute! I’m always looking for new art ideas for my toddler/preschool boys, so I’ll add this one to my “file!”

    Stopping by from the Life Created link party!

  22. LOVE IT!! If you haven’t already I would love for you to link up to my weekly linky party.

  23. Oh yes! I was looking for a fun craft project for my preschool class to do at Thanksgiving. This will be GREAT! Thanks so much for sharing it on Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop

  24. What a fun and easy thanksgiving turkey craft! I will be doing this for the kids at our family dinner this month. Thanks for sharing at Mom’s Library!

  25. Cute! I can definitely see this as a centerpiece on the table this year! Pinned it!

  26. Great craft especially for all the kids that will be visiting this month. Nice and easy and not too messy. Lol.

  27. What a cute idea. Love that even toddlers could do this. Thanks for linking up to the Ducks ‘N A Row blog hop. I’m co-hosting this month. Can’t wait to see what you link up next week.

  28. Cute as anything, Noreen!! Thanks for sharing. Linda

  29. This is a cute idea and a fun craft! Thanks for sharing at TTF!

  30. This is so neat. I love so much that it stands on its own. Very awesome!

  31. What a sweet craft and you’re right, that this would be perfect for the kids while waiting for the meal. Thanks for sharing at Inspire Us Thursday on Organized 31.

  32. I thought this was a really cute idea! I pinned it to my “children” Pinterest board.

  33. Great craft, especially for little ones! Thanks for sharing at the Foodies and Crafties soiree!

  34. Cute idea and great neckless…Thank you for sharing at One More Time Events…Hugs Tammy

  35. I adore this! My twins (7) and my baby (4) would love making these!

    Thanks for linking up to The Mommy Club Party. Check out your feature her over on my site!

  36. I’m Pinning this! My creative grandchildren will enjoy this activity!

  37. I’m going to have to try this with my kids–it’s so cute and easy! Pinning it!

  38. Such a cute crate and I can’t wait to try it with my grandson!

  39. This is such a cute idea! Hello from Wake Up Wednesday!

  40. Simple and adorable. Perfect for little hands! And moms who aren’t very crafty, like me! 😉 Thanks for sharing at Fridays Unfolded!

  41. Wow, these are absolutely brilliant! Thanks so much for sharing – we’ll definitely be giving these a try.

  42. Great activity. The kids loved it! Thanks for sharing!

  43. Fun project! Pinned. Lou Lou Girls

  44. These are so cute and easy. Even though I don’t have little ones, I would love to make some. Your post was the most viewed at the last In and Out of the Kitchen Link Party!
    See you tonight!

  45. Thanks! I’m glad others are interested in my Pop Up Turkey.

  46. Love this – I’m going to use it on a top 10 list of mine at the end of this week! Thanks!!

  47. This is a great idea and cute too! I’ll have to try this with my kids. Thanks so much for sharing with us at Snickerdoodle! :)

  48. Can’t wait to make these with my granddaughter, Thanks.

  49. Love these turkeys! What a great craft to do with the kids!

  50. Jann Olson says:

    My grands have done this before and it is such a fun project! Thanks for sharing it with SYC.

  51. Great craft! Thanks!

  52. Debbie @ Bible Fun For Kids says:

    This is so cute and easy for the kids to do! Thanks for sharing t! They will love it!

  53. Cute idea! I will have to make these with my kids! Thanks for sharing at #HomeMattersParty

  54. Going to try this with the granddaughter!! Thanks for sharing on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday! Hope to see you again this week! Pinned!

  55. This is so creative! We love doing paper plate crafts! Thanks for sharingat #made4kids!

  56. My toddler would love making this! Thanks so much for sharing at Share The Wealth Sunday!

  57. What a cute turkey craft! These would be perfect to decorate the Thanksgiving dinner table with this year. Thanks for sharing at the #Made4Kids Link Party!

  58. This is such a good idea and it could be adapted to make other birds too…I might make a peacock (and I won’t let my 3 yo near it!).

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