1. Greeting cards
Thanksgiving is the time of year for sending cards. Making your own from junk mail and postal packaging is a fun project. Cut out pictures from holiday catalogs, gather sample cards that come in the mail, or otherwise collect interesting images from the free mail you receive. Then cut out greeting card-sized sheets of thin cardboard, thick envelopes, or other packaging. Use a paintbrush and decoupage medium, or white glue slightly watered down, and paste the images to the cardboard you cut out.
2. Thanksgiving Crafts and Decorations
Look to nature for the ultimate green decorating project. Here are some ideas for some green thanksgiving crafts and decorations.
* Make a wreath by gluing pine cones, acorns, and berries to a circular frame. Use a hot glue gun. The frame can be a recyclable item in your home, such as a bent coat hanger, or a circular piece of cardboard cut from an old shipping box. You can also weave and twist flexible evergreen boughs into a wreath. (Wear gloves for this project.)
* Cut holiday catalogs into strips and make a paper chain by gluing the strips into interlocking loops for thanksgiving crafts.
* Dried gourds can be made into turkeys with paste-on eyes, yarn, scrap paper, and so forth.
* Paste autumn leaves to a sheet of thin cardboard or thick paper (scrap or recycled). Then cover with clear contact paper to make a water-resistant place mat.
* Take an old sheet and let your kids stamp or paint leaf shapes onto it with fabric paint or markers. You can use rubber stamps or make your own potato stamps. You can also take real leaves, cover them with paint, and use them as stamps. Another fun decoration for your tablecloth is your family’s hand prints. We all learned in grade school how easily hand prints can be made into turkeys!
3. The centerpiece
Once again, looking to nature is a totally free, eco-friendly option for the center of your Thanksgiving table. You can also let your kids create sculptures and scenes. If you like, put it on a tabletop Lazy Susan or turntable in the middle of your table, so your centerpiece can be seen in the round.
* Make a blessing tree. Each family member can write things they are thankful for on leaf shapes cut from scrap paper. Then hang the paper leaves from a bare, multi-branched twig and mount it into a sand-filled flower pot.
* Use paper towel and toilet paper tubes to make Pilgrim figures. Yarn, scrap construction paper, buttons, and other items can be used to decorate the tubes. Surround them with mini gourds or pumpkins.
* Simply heap gourds, pumpkins, pine cones, apples, acorns, leaves, and straw in an attractive thanksgiving crafts arrangement.
4. Thanksgiving Crafts Paper Bag Turkey
- Brown paper lunch bag
- Acrylic paint or crayons: brown, red, orange, green, yellow
- Rubber band
- Plastic spoon
- Scraps of felt: orange, brown, green and maroon (or red)
- 2 medium wiggle eyes
- White craft glue
Assembly Directions:*Lay paper bag flat on the work surface.
*Use crayons or paint (crayons are less messy and will be much easier for younger children) to add stripes of colors to the opening of the bag, about 5-6” long.
*Open the bag and be sure to add stripes to the sides as well.
*Cut the strips with scissors.
*Paint or color the other side of the strips. This is a little messier, so be sure kid are wearing smocks and your work surface is protected. When painting the other side of a strip, the paper may curl up on you. Just hold it flat for a few seconds and this will correct it (see image). Allow the strips to dry completely.
*Fill the bag halfway with crumpled newspaper.
*Gather the bag together with your hands, just under the strips, and secure with a rubber band.
*Pinch the bag, just under the rubber band, to bend the strips upward so that when the bag lies on its side, the strips will be pointing upward. Use your hands to manipulate the strips to point up; these are your turkey’s feathers.
*Cut the following from felt: Triangle – beak – orange; Heart – gobbler – maroon/red; 2 triangles – feet – brown; Bowtie – green
*Paint the plastic spoon with tan or brown paint and let dry.
*Glue the gobbler, beak and eyes onto the spoon face.
*Place the bag on the work surface on its side with the feathers pointing up. Make a small hole at the end of the bag where the neck and head should be.
*Push the handle of the plastic spoon into the hole and add some glue to the opening.
*Cut toes from the flat end of the two brown triangles and dot some glue on the triangle points. Place bag body on top of the feet so glue will catch. Let dry.
*Glue the bow-tie where the spoon meets the bag.
For some added fun, draw a sign on a piece of construction paper that says “Happy Thanksgiving” and glue to the front (chest) of the bag.
If you would like to keep the mess minimal, use markers or crayons instead of paint.
Save scraps of felt from other projects to use with projects such as this.
Hopefully Eco-Friendly Thanksgiving Crafts and Thanksgiving Projects for the Whole Family has given you some great ideas for this years holidays!