Get children involved in Thanksgiving decorating this year and help them learn to be eco-friendly at the same time by turning common household items that would otherwise end up in the trash into cute and environmentally friendly Thanksgiving decorations. Newspaper, scrap wood and cardboard paper towel rolls combined with a few craft materials and a little imagination can be turned into Thanksgiving decorations that you will be proud to use. Not only will these up-cycled Thanksgiving decoration help give waste products new life they will also save you money.
Scrap Wood Turkey
This cut Turkey Project uses scrap wood to create a cute eco-friendly turkey that you can add to your Thanksgiving decor.
Discarded scrap lumber in a rectangular block shape
Orange, green, red, brown, purple and yellow acrylic paint
Hot glue gun and glue sticks
Two black buttons
Plastic table covering
1. Select a rectangular piece of scrap wood. The ideal piece will be a rectangular block shape.
2. To prevent splinters sand down the piece of wood.
3. Cover your workspace with the plastic table covering. Using the brown acrylic paint to paint the entire piece of wood and allow to air dry.
4. Apply a second coat of paint and allow time to dry.
5. Trace and cut out 5 large feather shapes, a beak shape, a waddle shape and feet from the cardboard.
6. Paint each feather a different color and allow to dry.
7. Turn over and paint on the other side. When finished painting allow to dry/
8. Paint the feet and beak orange, Allow to dry and then turn over to paint on the other side.
9.Paint both sides of the waddle red.
10. Glue the beak to middle of the top half of the wooden block.
11. Glue the waddle over the beak.
12. Glue two buttons over the waddle for eyes.
13. Glue the feet to the bottom of the wooden block.
14. Glue the feathers to the back of the wooden block.
Indian Corn Napkin Rings
Children can recycle cardboard paper towel tubes into Indian corn napkin rings.to add a little Thanksgiving flair to cloth napkins.
Cardboard paper towel tubes
Red, yellow and orange tissue paper scraps ( a great way to reuse tissue paper from gift bags)
1. Use the scissors to cut the cardboard paper towel tube into two inch segments.
2. Stack the tissue paper scraps and cut them into small one inch squares.
3. Separate tissue paper squares and roll tissue paper into little balls to resemble kernels of corn.
4. Cover one side of the paper towel tube with glue and completely cover with the tissue paper squares.
5. Turn over and repeat step 4 on the other side of the tube.
6. Allow to dry
7. Slide over a folded cloth napkin and place next to each plate on the Thanksgiving dinner table.
Newspaper Leaves Garland
Children will love using real fall leaves and newspaper to create a beautiful garland of fall leaves that can be used to decorate your home or Thanksgiving dinner table.
Red, orange, yellow, brown and green crayons
Large eye needle
1. Peel the paper off all of the crayons.
2. Select several large leaves and use masking tape to stick them to a hard flat surface such as a table.
3. Place a sheet of newspaper over the leaves and tape to hold in place.
4. Using the side of a crayon gently rub over the newspaper to reveal the leaves underneath, Switch colors of crayons as desired.
5. Once you have colored over all of the leaves untape the newspaper and use the scissors to cut out the leaf rubbings.
6. Repeat steps 3-5 until you have as many leaves as you desire.
7. Thread the needle and tie a knot in one in.
8. Push the needle and thread in and out of each newspaper leaf to make a single stitch in the middle of the leaf.
9. Continue stringing until you have used all of your leaves.
10. Knot the end of the thread and remove from the needle.
11. Hang your garland of leaves above the dinner table or drape over a mantle to decorate your home for Thanksgiving.