Thanksgiving Crafts: DIY Hanging Turkey Hands #GluenGlitter Kids craft

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and I”m very excited to get started on the Thanksgiving crafts! I love doing Thanksgiving crafts because it is a great activity you can do with your kids. It lets them enjoy one on one time with you, explore their own style, get in touch with their creativity, and over all; it is just fun. Not to mention making Thanksgiving crafts are about the only way we get Thanksgiving decorations anymore. Everyone seems to always skip Thanksgiving and go straight to Christmas. But I love Thanksgiving and we couldn’t pass up the chance to decorate for Thanksgiving with our own Hanging Turkey Hands kids craft.

Gathering Supplies for Thanksgiving Crafts

First things first, we need to go shopping for supplies. You can get a complete list and description of each item you will need from our Google+ Thanksgiving Crafts album. To begin you will need:

  • Elmer’s Foam board
  • Elmer’s Craft fast drying glue
  • Elmer’s Craft bond, multi-purpose spray adhesive glue
  • an X-acto knife
  • various kid craft decorating supplies such as Pom poms, feathers, etc.
  • Wiggly Eyes
  • braided cording
  • Elmer’s Painters
  • Mini window suction cups (optional)

Thanksgiving Crafts Hanging Turkey Hands #GluenGlitter Kids Craft #Cbais

DIY Thanksgiving crafts Sign

Once you have all the supplies, you can then begin crafting the Happy Thanksgiving sign. Now here is the tricky part. We are working with Elmer’s Foam board. It is not as simple as taking a pair of sharp scissors and cutting off a section. No, what happens when you do that is it starts to shred. Trust me. I know.

Using a regular knife won’t do the trick either. Neither will a fabric rotary cutter. I’m telling you, I tried them all. (Much to my shame; that I’m even telling you this.) But I don’t want you to not know and end up with the same shredded and worthless scraps of Elmer’s foam board that I ended up with.

Thanksgiving Crafts: Hanging Turkey Hands #GluenGlitter Kids craft

The trick is to use an x-acto knife, on top of a cutting mat. And use a ruler for straight edges. You want to cut a section of the Elmer’s foam board that is wide enough that you can then hang one hand for each member of the family beneath it. So obviously; the larger the family, the wider the sign needs to be.

Once you have your sign portioned out; you can then begin decorating it. You can be as elaborate as you would like, or go very simple. I used the Elmer’s Painters to draw “Happy Thanksgiving”. I also used them to trace a few leaves that had fallen in our backyard. Then I glued on some leaves and a feather. Really; this is where your own individual creativity will come into place. The point is to make it your own; with your family’s style.

Thanksgiving Crafts: Hanging Turkey Hands #GluenGlitter Kids craft

How to create hanging hands for our #GluenGlitter Thanksgiving crafts

Thanksgiving Crafts: Hanging Turkey Hands #GluenGlitter Kids craft

Now with the remaining foam board, you will be tracing each child’s hands and then cutting them out. Trace and cut out extra hands in case they make a mistake while decorating; or in case they simply want to decorate more than just one. But be sure that for the sign, you are using all of the same hands (all Left hand or all Right hand) so that they flow smoothly under the sign.

Thanksgiving Crafts: Hanging Turkey Hands #GluenGlitter Kids craft

Thanksgiving Crafts: Hanging Turkey Hands #GluenGlitter Kids craft

Again you will need to use an x-acto knife for cutting out the hands. Anything else simply shreds the foam board. The easiest way is to trace all hands and do all the cutting at once. But our kids were trickling in from school, as each one got out of school at a different time this day; so I did their hands as they came home.

Thanksgiving Crafts: DIY Hanging Turkey Hands #GluenGlitter Kids craft

Once you have the hands cut out; it is again time to let your imagination run wild and create something that is uniquely you! Have each child decorate their very own hand cut out. Again, this is to let them be creative, try new things and just see what they can come up with. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

Thanksgiving Crafts: DIY Hanging Turkey Hands #GluenGlitter Kids craft

We tried using both glues for the decoration process. It turns out; when it comes to getting the feathers and pom poms to stick to the hand turkey, the Elmer’s spray adhesive works much better than the liquid craft glue. It has a stickier base; therefore it will hold the decorations in place a lot faster. Although the “stickiness” of the spray glue stays sticky for hours after it has initially dried. A day later I tested it and the sticky parts on the hands that didn’t get covered with feathers or pom poms is now no longer sticky. So it does eventually dry to a smooth finish. And the glue is holding the decorations in place very well.

Thanksgiving Crafts: DIY Hanging Turkey Hands #GluenGlitter Kids craft

Use the Elmer’s single painters and draw a beak, add the wiggly eyes, and then apply the glue onto the fingers and turn the kids lose to decorate.

Thanksgiving Crafts: DIY Hanging Turkey Hands #GluenGlitter Kids craft

This craft is simple enough that even our 3 year old toddler can join in the fun. And let me tell you; she had a blast decorating her own turkey hand! And I loved seeing her little ideas as she decorated.

Thanksgiving Crafts: DIY Hanging Turkey Hands #GluenGlitter Kids craft

And yet, it is still engaging enough that even my 8 year old had fun. Kids of almost any age would have fun making their own turkey hands; as it lets them express themselves and use their imagination and creativity.

Thanksgiving Crafts: Hanging Turkey Hands #GluenGlitter Kids craft

Thanksgiving Crafts: Hanging Turkey Hands #GluenGlitter Kids craft

If you have warmer weather; it is a lot better to do some of the work outside. There is a lot less mess when you spray the glue outside. And it doesn’t take much for the kids to then put on the decorations for the feathers; and then you can finish the remainder of the process inside.

Thanksgiving Crafts: Hanging Turkey Hands #GluenGlitter Kids craft

Thanksgiving Crafts: Hanging Turkey Hands #GluenGlitter Kids craft

You will be amazed at just how different each and every turkey will turn out. Since each kid has their own personality and style; it is natural the turkeys will all be different. T, my 7 year old had quite different turkeys than J. (my 8 year old) had. Two different personalities created two very different turkeys. It is a lot of fun to see the differences.

After we did the initial glue and feathers and pom poms decorations; then I simply showed my kids what other craft items we had available. I said they could add more pompoms to the body of the turkey, or they could use the Elmer’s single painters, or they could just leave it blank. The choice was left up to each kid.

Thanksgiving Crafts: DIY Hanging Turkey Hands #GluenGlitter Kids craft

Thanksgiving Crafts: DIY Hanging Turkey Hands #GluenGlitter Kids craft

Looking back on it, if I were to do anything different, I think I would have added some glitter and glow in the dark paint to the project. I think that would have added another depth of creativity to the creation of the turkeys. But I will remember for next time.

Now once the turkeys are all finished; you want to make sure that each child’s name is on the hand that will be hanging from the Thanksgiving sign, so you will have that keepsake of the shape and size of their hand at this present age. And don’t forget; Mom and Dad both need to make a hand to hang as well!

Thanksgiving Crafts: DIY Hanging Turkey Hands #GluenGlitter Kids craft

Thanksgiving Crafts: DIY Hanging Turkey Hands #GluenGlitter Kids craft

Hanging our Thanksgiving Crafts creations

Now that we have all the hand turkeys created and the sign finished, it is time to attach the braiding cord so they can hang. Sure there may be lots of easier ways to do this; but I’m a simple type of person. If there is a way to do it with the materials I already have on hand, that is always the way I opt to go. So using what we already have, I tried a few different methods. What I found to be the easiest is to measure out how much of the cord you want. For the window hand turkeys, you only need enough to make a nice loop above the longest finger. Then fold the cord over and place both ends on the back of the hand turkey.

Thanksgiving Crafts: DIY Hanging Turkey Hands #GluenGlitter Kids craft

For the turkeys that will be hanging from the family sign; you will only need one end of the cord on to be attached to the back of the hand turkey.

Then cut a small piece of the left over foam board. Apply a generous amount of the quick dry liquid Elmer’s craft glue to the back. I tried this with both glues; and this is where the craft glue worked much better than the spray adhesive.

Thanksgiving Crafts: DIY Hanging Turkey Hands #GluenGlitter Kids craft

Then simply place the small foam board section with glue on top of the cord on the back of the hand. Hold down into place for a minute or two, to ensure a firm bond. Then leave to dry.

Thanksgiving Crafts: DIY Hanging Turkey Hands #GluenGlitter Kids craft

For the Thanksgiving crafts hanging Turkey hands sign, you can choose to hang your turkeys in a couple different ways. If your sign is wide enough, then you can measure out the same length of string for each hand, attach it to the back of the hand and then attach the opposite end of the cord to the back of the sign. Evenly space each hand apart from each other. This will ensure that all the hands are the same distance from each other as well as the same distance hanging from the sign.

Thanksgiving Crafts: DIY Hanging Turkey Hands #GluenGlitter Kids craft

Or you can be a little more creative and have the hands in differing lengths. This is especially handy if your sign happens to be a little shorter like ours was. So I simply had the smallest hand closest to the sign and had each hand subsequently get longer and longer. You will notice we are missing a special “DAD” turkey. He is still away on his internship, but will be visiting this weekend. It’s already been discussed and he will be creating his own turkey to be added to our family’s hanging turkey sign.

Thanksgiving Crafts: DIY Hanging Turkey Hands #GluenGlitter Kids craft

After attaching the braiding cord to both the hanging turkey and the sign. Then you can use the same method for creating a “hanger” for the sign. Cut a small length of the cord that is a little longer than the sign is wide. Attached on end to the top back of the sign, then attach the opposite end the other top back of the sign. You just created a little loop for the sign to now hang from the wall.

Turn your thanksgiving crafts into your own Home decor

Once the glue has had enough time to dry, you can then take your hanging turkey sign and display it in your home. It will make a fun Thanksgiving Home decor, your kids will love seeing their art work displayed so proudly, and your neighbors can even enjoy it when they visit.

Thanksgiving Crafts: DIY Hanging Turkey Hands #GluenGlitter Kids craft

For the extra hanging turkeys you and your kids created, simply take the mini suction cups and attach them to the windows then hang the extra turkeys on them.

Thanksgiving Crafts: DIY Hanging Turkey Hands #GluenGlitter Kids craft

This is where I think it would have been fun to have added some glow in the dark paint; for the turkeys that are hanging in the windows. Just imagine as it begins to get dark and your window turkeys start to glow!

Thanksgiving Crafts: DIY Hanging Turkey Hands #GluenGlitter Kids craft

Thanksgiving Crafts: DIY Hanging Turkey Hands #GluenGlitter Kids craft

Begin your own Thanksgiving crafts

There are so many fun things you can do with a little imagination and great craft supplies like Elmer’s foam board, painters, glue and much more! Next time you visit your local Walmart, be sure to pick some up and get your kids involved and start your own Hanging Turkey Hands Thanksgiving sign.

Thanksgiving Crafts: DIY Hanging Turkey Hands #GluenGlitter Kids craft

For lots more Thanksgiving and Kids crafts ideas be sure to follow Elmer’s on Twitter and Facebook. As well as GluenGlitter on Twitter and Facebook. And even Elmer’s Craft it on Facebook. They will all give you great crafting ideas, tips, tricks and lots of helpful information about great Elmer’s products that help get the job done.

What creative Thanksgiving crafts would you come up with using Elmer’s Foam board and painters? 

What is your favorite Thanksgiving crafts with kids? 


I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Elmer’s #CBias #SocialFabric. However all opinions are my own and I only recommend products that I personally use and believe will be good for my readers.

About Amber Edwards

Amber is the owner & editor of JadeLouise Designs located in Wasatch Front of Utah near SLC. She is a stay at home mom to 3 kids; Jonathan (10) Talmage (9) and Jade (5), 1 dog and 1 cat. She loves to read, craft, bake, shop, travel, photography, and being a Mom and homemaker. She loves her family, and is passionate about sharing how to help families design a more family friendly lifestyle.

56 comments

  1. This is a great idea, I love the feathers on them too! My kids love to draw their hands. Thanks!

  2. These are really cute and I think I have most of the things we would need around the house. I imagine this would make for a fun family activity. I really like the way you used the suction cups, I wouldn’t have thought of that.

  3. I did this last year with my son accept we made a body out of brown contruction paper. We traced and cut handprints out of different color paper and used the multiple cut outs of the traced hands as the feathers. We also did a paper chain with each day a new thing we were thankful for.

  4. I love how you have made it so easy to follow your fun craft project! Even I could try this with my nieces and nephews! In particular, I appreciate that there is a way for each child or member of the family to add their own personal touch to the final project! Thanks so much for sharing it :)

  5. Oh my goodness, these are SO CUTE! My 3year old is a craft freak (just like his momma!) and would LOVE this~ We just finished making our Thanksgiving leaf banner, which we started as a tradition last year. We take a couple of walks around our neighborhood & trips to the park, where I have my son collect his favorite leaves. Then we let them dry out, use a hole punch on them & string them through natural twine along with printed letters that spell out Happy Thanksgiving & hang it over our doorway. We will be doing this turkey hand craft!! Thanks~

  6. This is so cute! I am doing this for my inlaws from my kiddos! Thanks for sharing!!!

  7. This is an adorable idea!

  8. Perfect timing! My daughter and I are literally going to the craft store tomorrow to have a Saturday of creating! lol I can add this idea to the list! Thank you so much for all the pictures! I love when reviews and posts include lots of visuals! =)

  9. These are so cute! What a great idea and not too hard; although, glitter gets me every time. lol

  10. Thanks so much for the craft idea – I’m always looking for simple ideas and this one’s going to be a hit with my kids. They love turkeys. It’s good too because it’s using supplies that are already handy around the house – perfect.
    **I love your gold nail polish – awesome.

  11. awww! this is super cute!!! my little boy and i were just discussing what we should make for a thanksgiving decoration today! this is so amazing, i would love to give this a try. it’s a keeper!! thank you for sharing, i’m inspired. i will have to pin it!! :o) :o)

  12. this is so cute wish my son was old enough for this i would so do it with him

  13. What a fun idea to keep kids busy during Thanksgiving dinner prep!

  14. Super original to hand them in the window! What a fun craft!

  15. Those are so cute and they all turned out wonderfully! It really looks like everyone had fun.

  16. This is such a cute idea! I like how you can hang them on windows :) This is definitely an activity we will be doing over Thanksgiving break!

  17. Thanks for sharing these ideas. Will be fun for both my boys! Most of the supplies I can find at our local Dollar Store ;)

  18. my kids would love to do this. anything with crafts is fun for them. i would just have to buy all the stuff for it.

  19. Love they turkeys ty for the idea and the tips

  20. I never would have thought that a different type of glue would make such a difference so thanks for sharing that info! I like the decorations on the window :)

  21. Amber, can you be any more creative!! What a wonderful post and a fabulous craft using Elmers!

  22. Now that’s a great idea! Love new craft ideas for the kids! I know we’ll be making these this year. Thank you!

  23. I love this idea! And your kiddos are adorable! Love the gold polish on your nails too! :)

  24. What a cute idea! That craft board looks pretty tricky, though! lol Cute kids :)

  25. love this i will be doing this with my kids over the holiday

  26. I remember making these, but mine were never so cool!

  27. What a cute idea! I would never have thought to use spray glue for this craft, but it makes total sense… I’ll definitely be picking up a can for our next ‘gluing’ collage project!

  28. Awesome!!! I love this project!! It is so simple yet meaningful and oober cute! I like the banner with hanging turkeys the best! This is the one I will do with my kiddos and make the hubby join in to! Also I have never realized that Elmers had a spry Glue for crafts and such. This was interesting to see!! I can just sit here and imagine the possibilites!!! Thank You for sharing this super cute family project! I appriciate it tons!! I always am looking for new fun idea’s! I was not gifted with a ton of creativity so I gotta hunt for it!! This I would have never thought of!! So thanks again!! I Enjoyed visiting your blog today!
    ~Amber Nara

    • You all are making me SMILE so big right now! I’m so glad that our fun little family craft project brings you all such great joy; and gives you ideas for your own projects! Crafting with the family has been such a fun experience and they are memories we are making with our children that will last a lifetime!

      Amber Nara; I didn’t think I was crafty at all; and so I know the feeling of having to “hunt” for it. After a while of practicing and doing a lot of crafts from others, it sort of Sparked a little craft flame in myself and then I started to begin to imagine the possibilities. :) It will come. Just keep at it.

  29. What a cute idea. I agree with you on the skipping Thanksgiving and going straight to Christmas. It seems as soon as Halloween is over they go right to the Christmas decorations. I love the pics you shared. There’s nothing better then seeing the expressions on the kids faces while they are being creative. :) My 7 are all grown now but we recently went through some boxes we had in the attic and lo and behold, it contained a lot of their creations from grade school. I love when I visit at the holidays and see their little projects hanging alongside their own children’s. :)
    Carol L

    • I love seeing their expressions too Carol. I always have to bring out the camera when we are crafting, so I can preserve those faces. I love going back and seeing the fun little crafts that I made as a child too. SO I hope my kids will enjoy seeing their crafts when they are grown too. We can’t always save every scrap of drawing they bring home from school. We save the most cherished ones and let go of the rest. But special craft projects like this are much easier to cherish and preserve for when they are grown.

  30. I love Elmer’s Craft Bond, I use it a lot with fabrics. It can form either a permanent or a temporary bond, making it very versatile…

    • I have to say I’m VERY impressed with it; and it is now a part of my permanent craft supply closet….ok..it’s not a closet..an entire room that looks like a bomb went off in it. HA! I craft in chaos. But still; it now has it’s own permanent spot in my craft zone.

  31. Very cute idea! Thanks!

  32. Very cute! This would make a great gift for Grandparent’s with all the grandkids’ hands.

  33. Love love love and will be doing this over the weekend!!!!!!

  34. A new twist on hand turkeys! This is a great craft!

  35. That is so much fun! I love this for a craft idea!!

  36. Those are adorable and what a great way to keep your kids busy! I love that you hung them on the windows….my fridge is getting full and I need a new place to showcase art!

  37. Those are so cute! I love the one’s with the suction cups. :-) I really have to start doing these creative projects with my kids. It seems there are never enough hours in the day for all the things I want to do!

  38. Thank you for psting this….Me and my kids make this exact peace of art every year……No matter how old they are now, they still love seeing who’s hand is Bigger…….Love this

  39. Love this idea! So smart and creative.

  40. So cute, I love making holiday decorations with the kiddos!

  41. Thanks for sharing, we love crafts

  42. Thanks for sharing, we love crafts in my house.

  43. What an awesome idea! I’m always looking for fun projects to do with my 20 month old.

  44. I love the way you took ordinary handprint turkeys and gave them new life!!

  45. Aww! I love this! I’m always looking for fun new crafts for the kiddos…especially for the holidays! Love it!

  46. I just love this thanks for the great idea can’t wait to try this with my kids.

  47. how cute are these kids. I like the ones that you can hang, this is a great idea for thanksgiving

    sibabe64 at ptd dot net

  48. Stephanie Brown Eversole

    A cute all-ages craft, and NO GLITTER INVOLVED, lol. Thank you! With two girls, even my dryer lint is sparkly:)

  49. I did something like this when my oldest was younger but not with my younger two :( you’ve piqued my crafting instinct and after school is completed today maybe we’ll be doing some crafting, thank you.

  50. Wow, you really took hand turkeys to a whole new level! What a fun project!

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