3-D Coffee Filter Turkey Craft for Kids

This coffee filter turkey craft wobbles adorably and has a brightly colored tie-dyed look. Add this to your Thanksgiving craft list for sure!

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I discovered this adorable new storybook, The Very Stuffed Turkey by Katharine Kenah (affiliate). It’s about a little turkey who goes visits five homes on Thanksgiving. Along the way, he encounters various traditions, and of course, eats too much.

My turkey doesn’t look anything like illustrator Binny Talb’s lovable bird. Still, I think doing a turkey craft after reading the story is a fair pairing.

While you craft, you can talk about family traditions and holiday plans.

RELATED: Craft Stick Turkey Puppet Craft

Coffee Filter Turkey Craft

There are a lot of coffee filter turkeys out there, but I had an idea for one that was a little different.

I wanted mine to be a brightly colored and 3-D turkey!

The bright colors part was actually pretty easy, but making the feathers 3-D was more of a challenge…

When I started out making it, the filter went flat when I colored it.  I had to experiment to figure out how to get it to hold its shape. Read on for the trick…


You won’t need to break out your glue gun or open up any acrylic paint for this coffee filter turkey craft – yay! And I’ll share a tip for making a washable version – you’re welcome 🙂

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • White coffee filter
  • Construction paper (brown or tan, orange, and yellow)
  • Scissors
  • Googly eyes
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Liquid food color or liquid watercolor (see below)
  • Paper towels

We made these homemade liquid watercolors out of washable markers. It takes some advanced prep, but very little hands-on time. They won’t give you quite as bright an effect, but they should be washable.


The trick to getting the filter to hold its shape is painting it while it’s folded.

Color the Feathers

  1. First, you fold a dry coffee filter into itself and tape it, as shown below. It’s kind of fiddly to do, but not hard. Try not to worry about making it perfect.
taped and colored coffee filter on top of paper towels
  1. Then, set the folded filter on a paper towel or two. 
  2. Next, drop the liquid watercolor or food coloring onto the filter. It’s fun to watch as the colors blend together! Once you’re satisfied, let it dry undisturbed.

Make the Rest of the Turkey

  1. Meanwhile, cut out all the turkey body pieces. You will want:
    • a large brown circle for the body and a smaller brown circle for the head
    • a long orange wattle (a.k.a. gobbler)
    • a yellow diamond shape to fold in half for the nose
    • orange legs with feet
  2. Next, glue the googly eyes, paper beak, and gobbler to the head, and the legs to the body.
  3. Now, go ahead and attach the turkey’s head to the body: First, accordion-fold a strip of paper. Then tape it to the body on one side and the head on the other. Here’s a side-view closeup:
closeup of the back of the coffee filter turkey craft, showing accordion folded construction paper connecting the head and body sections.

Put Your Coffee Filter Turkey Craft Together

  1. When your filter is totally dry, open it up and cut off the bottom so that the turkey body nestles into his wings as shown.
construction paper turkey craft with bright yellow and orange coffee filter "feathers"
  1. Finally, glue the body onto the colored coffee filter. You’re ready to gobble gobble!

RELATED: Spin Art Turkey Craft

This post is part of the Kids Are Thankful blog hop. Several other bloggers and I have teamed up to share Thanksgiving-themed storybooks with related crafts and activities.  Go see which one is your favorite!

Kids Are Thankful blog hop - stories + crafts & activities
3-D coffee filter turkey craft for kids - fun Thanksgiving craft, would be a cute preschool or kindergarten project
Turkey Craft! This 3-D coffee filter turkey craft for kids would be a fun Thanksgiving activity for preschool or kindergarten aged kids.


  1. So cute – Thanks for linking up to Pin Worthy Wednesday, I have pinned your post to the Pin Worthy Wednesday Pinterest Board.

  2. We don't have coffee filters in the house, but we love dying crafts. I think I should buy coffee filters just for playing with colors. I love how vibrant the reds and yellows came out. Very cute turkey!

  3. I really like the 3D effect and thank you for the advice on how to keep it from going flat . Your colors are vibrant and really pretty.

  4. I want to do these with my K class. They are very cute! I did a sample at home and am not sure I have the technique down for the coffee filter. First, you say to paint on the color. Then you say to drop on the color. Which did you do? Also, mine seemed to take a lot of food color. Am I doing something wrong? Thanks!

    1. We made our turkeys with regular cheap grocery store food coloring on a 4-cup filter, and it didn’t seem to use that much. However, if I were doing it in a classroom setting, I’d probably experiment with washable liquid watercolor paint, homemade liquid watercolors (from old markers), or just painting with watercolor. Also, I’d pre-fold and tape all the filters for the kids. Good luck and have fun!

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