Coffee Filter Turkeys

Time to start crafting for Thanksgiving!   This is one of my all-time favorite crafts.  You will need: a coffee filter, a few colors of Folk Art acrylic paint (diluted with water to a thin consistency), paper towels, and construction paper.  You'll also need scissors, glue and a black pen.

Step 1: Flatten the coffee filter, then fold it in half.  Continue folding it in half four more times.

Step 2: Dip just the tip of the folded coffee filter into one color of paint.  Remove it quickly- if the paint is sufficiently diluted, it will travel quickly up the filter.

Step 3: Dip the other two tips into two other colors.

Step 4: Put the wet coffee filters onto a few layers of paper towels, then set them aside.

Step 5: While the coffee filters are drying, use the brown construction paper to cut a turkey body (approximately the size and shape of a pear) and two turkey wings (leaf shapes). Use the yellow construction paper to cut two feet (I like whimsical upside-down t's) and a beak (a small diamond, folded in half). Use the red construction paper to cut a tiny waddle.

Step 6: Carefully unfold the coffee filters to reveal the designs. Every one is completely different and they are all beautiful. Set the moist coffee filters back on the paper towels and leave them undisturbed until they are completely dry. Obviously, this depends on temperature, humidity, and how dilute your paint was. Ours were dry in an hour.

Step 7: Assemble the finished art by gluing the coffee filter to a piece of construction paper, then layering the feet, body, wings, waddle, and beak on top. Trevor had the idea of tearing a piece of brown patterned paper to make a hill for the turkey to stand on, so we did that.

Step 8: Use a black pen to add eyes.


Aren't they adorable? I did this craft with my fourth and fifth graders every year. I taught over 400 kids and every single one of their turkeys looked different.


  1. Very cool... thanks for the tutorial :)
    Sylvia #5019

  2. These turned out so cool Cindy! I loved the vibrant colors and the coffee filters are an awesome idea.

  3. These are soooooooooooooo stinkin' cute!! :):):):):):):):):):):)

  4. Ooh...how fun! I want to try out this technique! :)


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