How to Make a Paper Plate Thanksgiving Turkey

November 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Preschool Crafts

Picture of different colors of construction paper.
Image via Wikipedia

Turkeys are a well-known symbol of Thanksgiving. They’re a favorite subject of crafters who want to make Thanksgiving centerpieces and other decorations. And for kids, turkey projects provide a great opportunity to discuss the tradition of Thanksgiving.

This paper plate turkey is a craft that kids of all ages can do. Here’s how to make it.

What You Need

* Paper plate
* Brown crayon, colored pencil, marker or paint
* Construction paper in brown, red, orange and yellow
* White craft glue or glue stick
* Scissors
* Pencil
* Googly eyes

Instructions

1. Use the brown crayon, colored pencil, marker or paint to color bottom side of the plate brown. If using paint, let dry.

2. Draw an elongated oval or peanut shape on a piece of brown construction paper to make the turkey’s head and neck. Cut out and glue onto the center of the plate, with the top hanging over the edge.

3. Cut a triangle out of the yellow or orange construction paper for the beak, and a teardrop shape out of the red construction paper for the waddle. Cut legs and feet out of orange or yellow construction paper. Glue into place.

4. Glue on the googly eyes. Let dry.

5. Draw a feather shape on a piece of red, yellow or orange construction paper. Cut it out, and trace it onto construction paper in each of those three colors several times. Cut out all of the feathers you traced.

6. Turn the plate over and glue the feathers around the top and sides of the plate, placing the bottoms of them about an inch from the edge. Let dry.

Tips

* If you prefer, you could use craft feathers instead of cutting them out of construction paper. If you do, keep in mind that they will stick better with craft glue than they will with a glue stick.

* If you don’t have any googly eyes, cut some eyes out of white construction paper or card stock and draw black dots in the centers.

* No paper plates handy? Just cut a large circle out of brown construction paper for the body.

* You can convert this craft to make a peacock for a non-seasonal project. Just make the head and body blue instead of brown, omit the waddle, and use brightly colored feathers. For the spots on the feathers, kids can dip their thumbs in finger paint and stick them in random places.

* Stick a magnet on the back of your completed turkey and hang it on the refrigerator, tack it to the front door, or use string to hang it from the ceiling.

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Create a Thanksgiving Journal

November 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Articles

sunday scrapbook
Image by skinnylaminx via Flickr

When most of us think of Thanksgiving, we think of a big dinner with the family. Some of us cook that all day, create beautiful centerpieces for the table and deck our homes out in fall colors. Others bring a drink or a dish and join someone else in the family for dinner. Either way, we enjoy one another’s company and take advantage of the long weekend.

Family and food are certainly important parts of the Thanksgiving holiday. But there is more to Thanksgiving than that. The first Thanksgiving was all about giving thanks for the bountiful harvest, as well as for the other good things that we often take for granted. But that part is often forgotten in the hustle and bustle of putting together an event for the family.

If you want to put the “thanks” back in Thanksgiving, a little creativity can help. Starting a Thanksgiving journal is a great way to get everyone thinking about the many things they have to be grateful for. Such an occasion calls for an extra special hand-decorated journal. You can make one in a snap with a few scrapbooking supplies, and the kids can even help, making it a family effort. Here’s how to make your own Thanksgiving journal.

What You Need

* Composition journal
* Scrapbooking paper
* Glue stick
* Scissors
* Embellishments (ribbons, stickers, die cuts, etc.)

Instructions

1. Use the glue stick to apply a uniform coat of glue on the front cover of the journal. Do not put any glue on the spine, but make sure to get it all the way to each edge of the cover itself.

2. Place a piece of scrapbooking paper on top of the journal, up against the spine. Press down firmly and smooth so that there are no bubbles.

3. Open the cover of the journal, and cut the scrapbooking paper even with it.

4. Do the same thing with the back cover of the journal. You could use the same paper as you used on the front, or a co-ordinating solid color.

5. Add ribbon, stickers, die cuts or any other embellishments you like to the front cover of the journal. Let glue set well before using.

Now that you have a beautiful Thanksgiving journal, it’s time to put it to good use. When your guests arrive, or after dinner, ask each one of them to write down some things that they’re thankful for. You could also encourage them to share memories of past Thanksgivings if you like. Make sure they put their name at the top or bottom of the page. This will give you a keepsake to treasure for years to come.

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How to Make a Paper Pioneer’s Bonnet for Thanksgiving

November 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Preschool Crafts

Paper Pilgrim Hat with Buckle
Image by bon_here via Flickr

Here’s a fun Thanksgiving day craft that the whole family can do!

When it comes to Thanksgiving, one of the highlights for children is making crafts. There are lots of great projects that they can create to commemorate the arrival of the pilgrims. Many particularly enjoy making things they can wear, so this pioneer’s bonnet is sure to be a hit. And for teachers who are having a Thanksgiving play or a pilgrim dress-up day, it can be particularly useful. Here is how to make it.

What You Need

* Size 12 or 16 paper bag
* Pencil
* Scissors
* Ruler
* 8 ½ by 11” sheet of construction paper
* Clear tape
* 5 feet of ribbon

Instructions

1. Open the paper bag and lay it on one of the narrow sides. On the top narrow side, cut down the center from the top to approximately 4 inches from the bottom. Then cut from that point to the fold on both sides, creating two flaps.

2. Open the flaps outward and turn the bag over, with the flap side down. Flatten it slightly at the open end.

3. On the uncut narrow side, measure 12 inches from the bottom of the bag and make a mark. Draw an arch starting at that point and going around to the other edge of one side of the bag. Cut on the line, going through both sides of the bag at once.

4. Open the bonnet. Tuck in the corners of the bottom of the bag to give it a more rounded appearance.

5. Fold the piece of construction paper in half lengthwise. Tape the paper inside the top of the bonnet, with the folded edge parallel with the back and about 2 inches from it.

6. Cut a slit in the fold of each side flap of the bonnet, about 4 inches from the front. Place the ribbon over the top of the bonnet, thread it through the slits, and fold the flaps up a bit. Put the bonnet on the child’s head and tie underneath the chin.

Tips

* If you can find them, white paper bags make an especially pretty bonnet. But they also look lovely in brown.

* It doesn’t matter what color of construction paper you use, but light colors are less likely to show through the finished bonnet – especially if the bag you’re using is thin or white. If you don’t have any construction paper, card stock also works well.

* Curling the ends of the ribbon after it’s tied adds a nice touch. To do this, open a pair of scissors, place the flat part of the blade against the underside close to the tied part, and run the blade along the length quickly, going all the way to the end.

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Frugal Ways to Decorate Your Thanksgiving Table

November 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Articles

Thanksgiving Table Setting
Image by chattingjason via Flickr

Look in any home and garden publication a month or two before Thanksgiving, and you’ll see all sorts of elaborate table arrangements. Professional decorators go all out to create a veritable masterpiece. And if you check the prices on the items they use, you’ll often find that they spend several hundred (and often several thousand) dollars to get the table to look so nice.

How can the average person compete with that? Usually, we can’t. But we can make our Thanksgiving tables look great without paying an arm and a leg. Inexpensive items from the local discount store and things found in nature can be combined to create an elegant yet inexpensive Thanksgiving table. Here are some pointers.

Linens

Tablecloths and napkins can be prohibitively expensive. But if you’re only using them on special occasions, you can get away with cheaper options. Dollar stores often carry lovely tablecloths at a fraction of the price you would pay at a high-end department store. They might not last as long as more expensive ones, but if cared for properly they will stay in good shape for several years.

You can find inexpensive cloth napkins at some dollar stores as well. Or you could check outlet stores for discontinued or slightly blemished napkins. You can often find deals on tablecloths there, too. If you’re good at sewing, you could even make your own co-ordinating tablecloth and napkins.

Centerpieces

A pretty centerpiece adds a nice touch to any table. For Thanksgiving, you can make one at very little cost with things found in nature. Mini pumpkins, squash and other fall veggies can be arranged with some nuts to make a yummy centerpiece. If you want, you could find an inexpensive cornucopia at your local craft store and put these items in it.

Fall flowers also make wonderful centerpieces. If you grow your own, simply pick some in various colors and arrange them in a vase. You’ll have a beautiful, fragrant centerpiece at no cost whatsoever.

Of course, there probably won’t be a whole lot of room on the table for a centerpiece by the time you put all of the food on it. If space is a concern, taper candles are a simple yet elegant alternative. You can find candleholders at discount stores at very reasonable prices. You could place some leaves or gourds around them if you want to do something a bit more elaborate without taking up too much room.

A beautiful Thanksgiving table isn’t necessary for enjoying all of that delicious food. But it certainly adds a nice touch to the holiday and lets your guests know that you value their company. With a little imagination, you can decorate the table and still have plenty of money to spend on dinner.

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How to Save Money on Last Minute Thanksgiving Flights

November 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Articles

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Image via Wikipedia

Thanksgiving is a holiday that’s best spent with family. For some of us, our extended families are just a stone’s throw away. For others, they’re across the state or across the country. If we want to see them during our short time off of work, we have to fly.

Flying during the holiday season can be an expensive proposition. And if you don’t plan your trip until the last minute, it can be difficult to even get a seat. But if you know a few tricks, there are spectacular deals to be had.

One thing that many travelers don’t think of is changing their dates of departure. This can make a huge difference in your fares. The day before Thanksgiving tends to be the most popular day for departure, so leaving two days ahead of time could possibly save you money. And if you’re willing to catch a flight on Thanksgiving Day, you could save big bucks since there won’t be many people flying. Fly back on the following Monday or Tuesday, and you could also save money on your return trip.

Another way you could save is by flying to a different airport. You’ll have to travel further by car to get to your destination, but if you can save enough money on your flight, it will be well worth the trouble. Just plan to land a little earlier than you would have at the closest airport, and you’ll still get to spend plenty of time with the family.

If you’re planning your trip just a week or two in advance, you could find a great deal through an online booking engine such as Lastminute.com. They help airlines book seats that would otherwise be empty, so they usually come at a significant discount. The biggest drawback is that you can’t be certain that you will be able to get a flight to where you want to go, but if you’re flexible there’s usually some way that you can make it to your destination.

The cost of the ticket itself can vary significantly, but it’s also important to consider fees. There are usually more fees charged when you buy through a third party than when you purchase your ticket directly from the airline. So make sure to read the fine print before completing a transaction online or through a travel agent. You’ll also have to pay an additional fee if you check a second bag in most cases, and that fee can be rather hefty.

Air travel during the holidays has a reputation for being expensive. But there are some ways you can save money. Keep these pointers in mind, and you could get a flight at a fraction of its normal cost!

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