Introduction: Thanksgiving Turkey Pinata

This little paper maiche turkey pinata will be the talk of the party when you "string" it up. Adults and kids alike will enjoy making and breaking these little birds open to reveal the treasures inside.

Fill them up with candy such as: Harvest Mix, Candy Corn, Homemade Chocolate Thanksgiving Lolipops, etc. or instead stuff them with small trinkets such as: Thanksgiving pins, jewelry (plastic rings shaped like a turkey), stuffed animals, etc.

Children Party Idea (especially for Church Gatherings): Have each child write out one thing they're grateful for (general ideas) on a piece of paper then attach the papers to pieces of candy and drop them into the pinata. Once the pinata has been broken, have the children read the pieces of paper they picked up. This will help to widen their views on some of the things that they may have taken for granted and hadn't been grateful for.

1. Plastic/Paper Coffee Cup (or soda can)
2. Flour
3. Water
4. Paper Toilet/Towel Cardboard Tube
5. Copy/Printer Paper
6. Piece of Cardboard box
7. Markers/Paint and paintbrush
8. Newspaper
9. Tissue Paper and Food Coloring (or party tissue streamers)
10. String/Thread
11. Clear Tape
12. Vegetable oil/Crisco
13. Measuring cups

1. Scissors
2. Plastic Spoons
3. Containers
4. Oven and Tin Foil (optional)

Warning: There are sharp objects in this instructable. Also ovens have been known to be hot.

Step 1: Paper Maiche Mix...

First step we will take will be to make the paper maiche mixture.
1. Put 3/4 cup of warm water into a container.
2. Add 1 cup of flour.
3. Stir the mixture until it's smooth.

That's all there is to making the mix...

Now there's several ways to apply this mixture to the newspaper. You can use a spoon or knife and apply directly to the paper (or you can also use your finger). Another way would be to place the mixture in a long container and dip the newpaper into the mix as they are needed. I personally prefer to using the long container method along with using my finger too.

Step 2: The Various Pieces of the "mold"

First off, I'd like to tell you that there are two ways to make the body (at least that I'm showing).

The Body:
To make the body mold the harder way (but better looking):
Take the plastic cup and trace (and cut) an outline of the paper towel tube near the bottom of the cup. Make the hole a little larger then the tube so that the tube can move sideways a little. Take the tube out.

To make the body the easier way:
Take a piece of copy paper and wrap it around an empty soda can (after folding or cutting it down to size). Tape the paper onto itself. Slip the paper off and grease the can with oil/Crisco and slip the paper back on (optional).

The Neck/Head:
Already been made for you... it's the toilet paper tube (if you used a paper towel tube, cut it down to the size of a toilet paper tube). Later the beak will be made, but that's details...

The Feathers:
Take the piece of cardboard and place your hand on it. Now using a pen (pencil, marker, etc.), trace around your hand. Now place your index finger in the space between the traced index finger and thumb. Trace around your index finger again, so now you should be looking at a 6 fingered hand. Cut this shape out (rounding the bottom where your wrist was) and you have your feathers.

The Hat:
Cut a pice of cardboard about 1" by 6" and wrap it arond the top of the paper tube. Trim as needed until you have a circle alittle bit bigger then the tube. Now tape this to itself. Take it off the tube. Cut a cardboard circle out to be the rim of the hat (so make the overhang as wide as you want). Place the first piece over the rim and trace a circle alittle smaller then the "wall" of the hat on the rim. Cut the circle out and toss it. Now try to center the wall of the hat on the rim. Tape them together. Finally, Cut one more cardboard circle out so that it will fit on top of the hat. Do not tape the top on.

That's all there is to making the basic shape of the turkey... now let's move on

Step 3: Maiche the Body...

Now onto the fun stuff...
You can either let the pieces dry over time, or preheat the oven to 170 degrees (F) and time the pieces from 5-8 minutes depending on how much mix you used.
First to make the Body:

The Hard way:
1. Take the plastic cup and lube the outside up with oil or Crisco.
A. (optional) Take a piece of copy paper, cut it, and place it around the outside of the cup. Tape it to itself. This will make it easier to take the maiche off the mold.
2. Apply maiche mix to the cup (or copy paper) and start wrapping torn newpaper around it. Don't worry if you cover the hole that was cut out. You can cut it again using the cup as a guide.
3. After you've completely wrapped (except the open end) the cup. Do it again (at least three layers, more if you want it stronger).
4. Let it dry (you can also use the oven, but not for more then 5 minutes. Otherwise the cup will melt).
5. Cut the hole out again and slip the maiche off the cup.

The Easy way:
1. Use the soda can that already has the copy paper on it from the previous step.
2. Apply maiche mixture to the paper and start wrapping newspaper around the can.
3. Wrap the can completely, leaving only the top open (where you drink from ;) ).
4. Wrap the can in at least three layers. Add more to make it stronger.
5. Let it dry.
6. Pull up on the can's tab while holding the paper maiche in place. The can should slip out easily.
7. Use toilet paper tube to trace and cut hole out near the closed end of the body.

Step 4: Maiche the Neck, Hat, and Feathers...

The Neck:
1. Apply maiche mixture to the toilet paper tube.
2. Wrap 1-2 layers of newspaper around the length of the tube, leaving the ends open.
3. Let dry.

The Hat:
1. Apply maiche mixture to the hat "mold".
2. Wrap 1-2 layers of newspaper around the hat (also maiche the loose top), leaving the ends open.
3. Let dry.

The Feathers:
1. Apply maiche mixture to the feathers "mold".
2. Wrap 1-2 layers of newspaper around the mold.
3. Let dry.

Now that wasn't so hard.... ;)

Step 5: Put the Pieces Together...

Once everything is dry, the pieces can be brought together and attached.

1. Attach the hat (minus the top) to the neck/head piece using tape. After you are satisfied with how it looks, use paper maiche at the joint to hold it together better.

2. Push the tube (neck) through the hole in the body. Once you adjust it to the height you want it at (don't push it in too far, otherwise the candy will get stuck), maiche the joint together.

3. Attach the feathers to the open end of the body using at least 3 layers of paper maiche.

4. Allow the joints to dry.

Now onto the decorations...

Step 6: Step for People Without Party Streamers....

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees (F).

1. Put 1/2 cup of water into a container and add 3-4 drops of food coloring (In my first batch I added the tissue first, but this way is easier).

2. Dip one tissue (at a time) into the water. Squeeze out most of the water.

3. Carefully open the tissues and lay them flat. Don't worry if you tear the tissues, that happens later too.

4. Place them on a sheet of tin foil in the oven for 5-8 minutes (depending on how much water is left in the tissues).

5. Take the tissues out after they've dried.

6. After you've created your colored tissues, shred them into pieces.

Step 7: "Dress" the Turkey...

For people with party streamers: Shred the streamers into pieces.

First step to "dress" the turkey is the hat. Take either black paint or marker and color the entire hat (including the top) black.

Next we attack the head/neck. Using your finger, spread paper maiche mix on the tube and apply whatever colored tissues you feel like. Make sure to overlap, so that the edges of the tissue paper will stick up into the air. Apply at least 2 layers of tissue to hide the base paper (newspaper).

Continue down the body using your finger to apply mixture. Create whatever kind of designs you want as you go. Don't forget to decorate the feathers and continue to use this technique until the turkey is wrapped in tissue.

Now onto the face and beak. Take a small piece of newspaper and fold it into the shape of a triangle. Use some paper maiche mix on the beak to glue it into shape. Let it dry. Use a red or orange marker to color the beak. Dip the edge of the beak that will be attached to the face into the maiche mix. Press the beak on to the face and hold it there for at least 1 minute. Next take some pink (or red) tissue paper and crumple it up. Dip it into the maiche mix and attach it below the beak. Let it dry.
Either make some eyes out of copy paper and markers (and use maiche mix to attach) or just use a marker directly on the face to create the eyes.

Next the finishing touches...

Step 8: Finish It Up...

The Pilgram Hat:
1. Cut a thin strip out of copy paper. Dip into the maiche mix and wrap it around center of the hat (have the ends meet in the front of the hat).
2. Take a small piece of yellow tissue and maiche it to the place where the ends meet.
3. Allow to dry.
4. Take a piece of tape and tape the top of the hat on (much like a hinge).

Now there's a ton of ways to attach the string.
First way: Tie a loop around the center of the pinata and hang.
2. Knot one end of the string and push it into the inside of the pinata using a pen/nail. Hang the pinata.
3. Maiche the ends of the string to the body (before decorating, which makes it harder to decorate).

I was lazy and decided to go with something much like the first way.... using a dog leash :P

Now all you have to do is: fill it with candy and/or trinkets through the hat (you can use a drinking straw to push the candy all the way in), tape the top of the hat on (or maiche), then hang and watch out for the swinging bat...

Hope you've enjoyed this long instructable :P