Turkey Platter: DIY Thanksgiving Project

There are three things that get me excited for the holiday season: family, food, and crafts (yes, in that order)!  While brainstorming DIY craft ideas, I kept my favourite things in mind to be sure that the end result would be something we could treasure forever, or at least until someone accidentally drops it. I really wanted to find a project that was easy enough for the kids to help with but stylish enough to use for years to come. So, considering the approaching fall holidays, I decided a DIY painted turkey platter would be both festive and fun.

What you’ll need:

Enamel acrylic paint


Ceramic platter 

Permanent marker

Cotton swabs and nail polish remover (for touch-ups)

Step 1: Pick your paint and platter.

For this project, you’ll want to use a water-based, non-toxic enamel acrylic paint so that your creation will withstand normal wear and tear such as gentle use and washing.  Since this dish is Thanksgiving themed, I’ll be sticking to traditional falls colours like orange, brown, red, yellow, and green.  As for the platter itself, I opted for something with a large, flat surface, to give me plenty of room to be creative.

Step 2: Get to it!

Clean the platter thoroughly to get rid of any dirt and oil, and make sure it’s completely dry.  Begin by painting the kids’ hands brown and placing them firmly in the centre of the dish, these will become the turkey bodies and feathers.  If you’d like to add more colour, rather than painting their entire hand brown, you can paint the fingers yellow, orange, and red.  Once the handprints have dried, add the wattle, beak, and eye using a paintbrush.  When the entire turkey is dry and the kiddos’ hands have been washed, you can add leaves by painting the kids’ fingertips and having them press down around the border of the platter.  If they accidentally smudge or want to redo the paint, a cotton swab and some nail polish remover will take it off with ease. After this, you can add the children’s names under their turkey and any other desired text by using a paint pen.

Step 3: Bake it and enjoy!

Bake the platter for the time and duration listed on the paint bottles! That's it! Remember, ovens are hot and adults should be putting the plates in the oven to bake and taking them out. We don't want the little ones to get burned!

My favourite part of this platter is that it involves all of the things that I love about the holiday season—it’s something that I can do with the little ones, it’s the perfect amount of DIY effort, and it pairs with food. I’m not sure if it gets much better than that. It’s the ultimate Win-Win project!  Remember, you aren’t just creating a turkey platter, you’re making memories