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Coffee Filter Turkey Craft for Thanksgiving Fun

Learn how to make the cutest coffee filter turkey craft for Thanksgiving! These are so easy and FUN to make for kids of all ages.

Skills Required: None. Even if your children have never crafted before (or you haven’t), you’ll be able to do this craft. You’ll be bleeding markers (easy), painting, and gluing.

Coffee filter turkeys

Many of you are familiar with the story of Elliott, my pinecone turkey that I made in the second grade. My little Thanksgiving friend had a converted Kleenex box for a house, and I kept in my room for years afterwards.

Elliott was one of my favorite kids’ Thanksgiving crafts ever, at least until recently. When I got a chance to try a coffee filter turkey craft with my nieces, who are 4 and 2. And it was so fun!

I had some coffee filters left over from the wreath I made; actually quite a few of them. Then I also had clothespins left over from some clothespin crafts. You’re starting to see how this project came together.

The coffee filters and clothespins were from the dollar store, which makes this a really inexpensive project that you can make with kids – even a group of kids like in a classroom – for a very, very low price. Gotta love that!

Coffee filter turkey craft

The girls loved making these coffee filter turkeys with me, and given their ages I think this is a really fun Thanksgiving craft for toddlers. The littles get to dye the coffee filters with markers, and they just love watching the colors spread!

If you’re ready to give this cute holiday craft idea a try, you can get the tutorial below. Here’s what you need to make them.

Gather These Supplies

  • Coffee filters – 1 per turkey
  • Clothespins – 1 per turkey
  • Washable markers – fall colors (brown, orange, red, mustard, yellow, etc)
  • Craft paint – brown
  • Craft glue
  • Googly eyes
  • Craft foam or felt
  • Scissors
  • Paintbrush
  • Small spray bottle of water
  • Hair dryer (optional)

Tips and Thoughts for This Project:

  • If you don’t have a spray bottle, you can drop water (single drops) on various areas of the filter, or use a toothbrush to fling water onto the filter. It might be a bit messier but it gets the job done.
  • Don’t add too much water when you spray the filter. You want to barely saturate the filter, otherwise all the water will drip off the filter and take the color with it.
  • You can let the coffee filter dry naturally. It might take a few hours. Other options are to use a hairdryer, or place in the oven for a few minutes at the lowest heat. If you use the oven, use a baking sheet and watch the whole time so nothing catches fire.
  • It’s easier to paint clothespins if they are attached to something else like a piece of cardboard or even the end of another paintbrush. Give it a try!
  • Felt, foam, construction paper, or cardstock can be used for the body parts. I love working with craft foam, but if you don’t have any, there are lots of other options.
  • Wouldn’t these make cute Thanksgiving place cards? For the kids’ table for sure, but even for the adult table too!
Coffee filter turkey

These cuties can stand up by themselves! My nieces squealed when I showed them. If you’re ready to get crafty for the holiday, check out the how to card below.

PS – we also made some coffee filter bats for Halloween and coffee filter snowflakes – so you need to check those out too.

Yield: 2 turkeys

Coffee Filter Turkeys

Coffee filter turkey craft

Learn how to make a cute little turkey craft for Thanksgiving using a coffee filter and a clothespin! Kids will love this idea.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $1


  • Coffee filters - 2
  • Clothespins - 2
  • Washable markers - fall colors
  • Acrylic paint
  • Craft glue
  • Googly eyes
  • Craft foam or felt
  • Small spray bottle of water
  • Wax paper (optional)


  • Scissors
  • Paintbrush
  • Hair dryer (optional)


  1. Gather the supplies to make the turkeys. You will need one coffee filter and one clothespin per turkey.Coffee filters, craft foam, washable markers, clothespins, scissors, googly eyes, paintbrush
  2. Choose four colors that you would like to use for your turkey’s tail. Picking a variety of colors that are different shades (light and dark) makes for the best results.Four washable markers on top of a coffee filter
  3. Start with a brown or similar dark shade of marker. Draw a circle around the edge of the coffee filter and then draw lines in an "X" across the middle.Drawing on the coffee filter with brown marker
  4. Take a contrasting color marker and draw some lines within each quadrant on the coffee filter.Drawing on the coffee filter with red marker
  5. With the remaining two markers, add additional lines at random to the inside of the other lines on the coffee filter. No need to add too many lines. They will bleed into each other.Coffee filter covered with brown, yellow, and red washable marker
  6. Place the coffee filter down on a washable work surface. You can use a craft mat, silicone mat, or wax paper. Mist the paper with 4 – 5 sprays of water and you will start to see the markers bleed. This is what you want.Spraying the filter with water
  7. If the markers didn’t bleed enough, add additional sprays of water. Don’t add too much water. You want to barely saturate the filter, otherwise all the water will drip off the filter and take the color with it.Marker bleeding across the coffee filter
  8. Leave the coffee filter on your work surface to dry. Additionally, you can take a hairdryer and dry the filter, or place in the oven for a few minutes at the lowest heat (watching the entire time).Dried coffee filter dyed with markers
  9. Place the coffee filter to the side for the moment and paint a clothespin with brown acrylic paint. Paint the entire clothespin with a few coats for coverage and let dry.Painting a clothespin with brown paint
  10. While the clothespin is drying, cut out the pieces you’ll need from craft foam. You’ll need a yellow beak, a red waddle, and (if you want) orange feet.Cut out pieces from craft foam
  11. Set the clothespin on your work surface so it stands up, with the clip part that holds paper at the top. Glue the googly eyes at the top and let dry.Gluing the googly eyes onto the clothespin
  12. Attach the waddle, feet, and beak with craft glue and let dry.Turkey beak and waddle glued to the clothespin
  13. Clip the coffee filter into the clothespin, creating the turkey tail. Adjust as necessary and your coffee filter turkey is complete. Make another one if desiredCoffee filter turkeys

Did you make this project?

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If you enjoyed this cute turkey craft, you’re going to love these other fun Thanksgiving ideas:

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