This leaf turkey craft is SO CUTE and easy to make! Use real fall leaves and our free, printable template to make this leaf turkey. It’s a great Thanksgiving craft for kids of all ages, fun for at home or in the classroom.
This autumn art project is the perfect reason to explore outdoors and gather the best and most colourful leaves. It’s also a really enjoyable way to incorporate nature into your fall activities!
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How to Make a Leaf Turkey
Check Out The Video Tutorial:
Step 1: Find what you need
- Gather your supplies and materials.Along with the simple craft supplies, you'll also have to gather a selection of freshly fallen leaves.
Step 2: Cut out the turkey template parts
- Print out our free leaf turkey template (find the link below, or in the materials list above) and cut out all the pieces.
- Trace the turkey body onto brown cardstock.
- Cut out the turkey body.
- Trace the wattle onto red cardstock and cut it out.
- Trace the beak onto orange cardstock and cut it out.
- Trace 2 feet onto the orange cardstock as well and cut them out.
Step 3: Add the leaves to a cardstock base
- Grab a white piece of cardstock for the base of your leaf turkey. Add a generous amount of white glue in a rainbow arch shape.
- Press your largest leaves into the glue. Add them at a bit of an angle, following the arch of glue. It's okay if they overhang the paper a bit.
- For the second layer of leaves, add glue to the center back of the leaf you want to add.
- Place the leaf so that it's overlapping about half of the first leaf.
- Repeat, filling the row and overlapping the leaves as necessary.
- Continue, adding a third and fourth row using different sizes and colours of leaves.
Step 13: Attach the turkey
- Add a generous amount of glue to the back of the turkey body.
- Set the turkey in place in the center bottom of the leaves, leaving enough room to add the turkey's feet below.
- Glue the wattle onto the turkey's head, and then add the beak so that it's overlapping the wattle a bit.
- Add a dot of glue to the top front of the turkey's leg.
- Attach the feet on either side, at the bottom of the body.
- Glue on 2 googly eyes above the beak.
- Allow the glue to dry.Your leaf turkey craft is complete!
- We recommend rinsing off the leaves before using them for crafting. This will remove any dirt and bugs.
- Use your largest leaves for the bottom layer of the turkey’s feathers. Try to use an assortment of sizes and colours for the rest of the feathers.
Download a free leaf turkey template:
Click on the link below to download our free, printable leaf turkey template! The PDF file will open in a new window. Then simply print the template on 8.5 x 11 (letter size) printer paper.
How many leaves do you need per leaf turkey craft?
We recommend gathering about 15 – 20 leaves per turkey. The exact amount of leaves needed will depend on the size of the leaves and how many layers of “feathers” you make.
How far in advance can I gather the leaves for this leaf turkey craft?
We recommend gathering the leaves the same day you make the craft. The leaves are easier to work with when they’re fresh, and the longer they’re inside, the more they’ll dry and curl up.
If you have to collect the leaves the day before, store them in a plastic bag in the fridge. If the leaves are really wet, add a couple pieces of paper towel into the bag to collect the excess moisture.
Do I have to use the turkey template?
Our free, printable leaf turkey template definitely makes this leaf turkey craft easy to make, but you don’t have to use it if you don’t want to.
You can draw and cut your own turkey body, beak, wattle, and feet to whatever size and shape you’d like.
Or you can print off the template and colour in the body with crayons or markers, instead of tracing the pieces onto other paper.
What paper is best for making this leaf turkey craft?
We definitely recommend using a thicker paper, like cardstock, to make your leaf turkey. Regular paper isn’t ideal, because of the amount of glue needed, but it’ll work if it’s all you have on hand.
Gather up a free crafting material from nature and use simple dollar store materials to make the rest of this leaf turkey craft. It’s such a quick and simple Thanksgiving craft, and a great way to celebrate the fall leaves changing colour!
Here’s even more leaf craft ideas:
Our book Low-Mess Crafts for Kids is loaded with 72 fun and simple craft ideas for kids! The projects are fun, easy and most importantly low-mess, so the clean up is simple!