We had them when we were little, and they are pretty much a given in any preschool or kindergarten class: hand print turkeys. But I wanted to make keepsakes that were pretty too. Clay hand print turkeys are an easy project even the most non-crafty mom or dad can make with their little one. They have been made with plaster, but anyone who has tried to hold a wiggly tiny hand flat to get a good impression knows how challenging that is. Tracing the hand instead makes an easy fix.
You will need:
air dry clay
freezer paper or wax paper
small bowl of water
Before rolling your clay, work it well and knead it with your hands to soften. Once it is easy to work with, place a sheet of freezer paper (shiny side up) down on the table. Place a fist size ball of clay and top with a second sheet of freezer paper, shiny side towards the clay. Roll clay flat as if you were making cookies. Remove top sheet of freezer paper.
Have your child place his/her hand down flat and trace the outline of their hand with a bamboo skewer. You don't have to go all the way through the clay; you just need a light outline. Once finished, let your little one wander off and you can finish cutting out the outline with a butter knife. Remove excess clay. Using your fingers and gently smooth away any rough edges. If needed, a light dip of your finger tip in the bowl of water can help smooth the clay if it is being difficult.
Using the back end of the knife, press the centers of the feathers in each of the fingers, leaving the thumb blank. Add the sides of the feathers as little lines on each side of center, as shown.
Cut a small triangle of clay and press the widest end a little flat. Dip your finger in the water and wet the flattened part. Add the beak underneath the top of the thumb and press down to adhere. Use the flat end of the skewer to make the eye.
Let dry 24 hours. Add names and dates to the back with a gold pen. I love the soft white grey color of these turkeys. I think we will be making them every year from now on!