Thanksgiving Thankfulness Turkey

Oops – Our Turkey – Named after the turkey in Sandra Boynton’s book, Blue Hat, Green Hat


Meet Oops. This is our pre-Thanksgiving turkey that we stuff throughout the month of November with feathers. Each feather has written on it something that a member of our family is grateful for. Oops has been a beloved family tradition for the past nine years now; he’s been in the family longer than our youngest!  We have saved the feathers from all of the previous years.  As the sign on Oops reads, “Gratitude is the Heart’s Memory.”  Each year, we go back to and re-read our feathers from years past and cherish the memories of visitors who joined in the tradition during their stay, past events, people and foods that we loved. It makes the kids laugh (and me tear up) to see the little-kid handwriting and spelling on those earliest feathers.
It’s not too late to make one for your family this Thanksgiving!  Here’s How:
Materials Needed:
1-  8′ x 11″ piece of thin cardboard (like a cereal box)
4 pieces of corrugated cardboard (8-14 inches square)
2- googly eyes
1- brown chenille stick
Several pieces of colored cardstock
1 brown paper bag
1 1-pound bag of dry rice or beans
First, use the piece of thin cardboard to cut out your turkey’s body shape like this one. I punched two holes at the base of the turkey body and put the chenille stick through it to make the legs.  Attach the googly eyes, and use colored cardstock to make the beak and the waddle.

Next, cut three circles from the corrugated cardboard: one ~9-inch diameter, one ~11-inch diameter, two ~13-inch diameter (I made mine by tracing a salad plate, a dinner plate and a large mixing bowl as templates).  Glue the cardboard circles together smallest to largest making sure to leave a 1-inch margin at the edges with no glue – this is where the feathers will be inserted.  Glue the bottom of a brown paper bag to the back of the 13-inch circle.

Glue the circles so that they line up at the bottom.

Glue two 13-inch circles together, leaving a 1-inch margin without glue, so feathers can be inserted at the top.


Glue the brown paper bag at the back of the second 13-inch circle. After the glue is dry, put a bag of dry rice or beans inside. This will help the turkey sit-up on the table.

Finally, cut feathers from the colored cardstock.  We’ve found the best way to do this is to take the piece of cardstock and fold it in half, and then into thirds.  Here’s a video if you are unclear on the Cutting Instructions.

Once all of the glue is dry and the feathers are ready – it’s time to gather your family and stuff your turkey – with feathers of gratitude and memories for the years to come.

After Thanksgiving, you can easily remove the feathers and the bag of rice or beans, fold up the paper bag and store your turkey for future use!

What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?