Whether you remember it from your childhood or you have had the pleasure of carrying on the tradition with your kids, we've all made the classic turkey hand for Thanksgiving. But what if you could make the tradition even better?

Say goodbye to the paper that won’t keep and bring in the plastic that will hold your children’s memories forever. Just follow these simple steps to make your hands, and then download the file for the feet we've made for you. All that's left to do is decorate your prints and voila! Now you can have a turkey hand for each year and bring the entire collection out to decorate your home and Thanksgiving dinner table. 

What you’ll need

  • Camera

  • Software: MatterControl (Free from www.MatterControl.com)

  • Hardware: Any 3D printer

  • Crafting Supplies


Create your hand image

Take a picture of the hand you want to transform into a turkey. Be sure to take the picture against a contrasting background.

Picture of hand on contrasting background

Using MatterControl ‘Image Converter’ to create a Hand Turkey

  • Open MatterControl (download the Image Converter here if you do not already have it installed).
  • At the bottom of the QUEUE tab click the ‘Create’ button. This will bring up a few of the MatterControl Design Tools.

  • To make your Turkey Hand select ‘Image Converter’.

  • Select ‘Add Image’ and find your hand picture.

  • Click ‘Edit Outline’ and adjust the ‘Start’ and ‘End’ Threshold until the hand is clearly captured (outlined in red). Hit ‘Apply’ and then 'Save & Exit'.

  • Adjust the size of the hand to fit real life size or go as big as your printer can handle.
  • Lastly, edit the part and scale the height of the hand to be 3mm so it fits snugly within the feet. This can be done by clicking Edit>Scale, unchecking ‘Lock Ratio’ and entering 3.00 into the Z dimension.
  • Save your part!

While you are in edit mode be sure to remove any extra parts that may have resulted from the image conversion. Click ‘Ungroup’, select any islands and hit the remove button for each island.

Print the hand and feet files

Hit print on that hand you made! Once that is done, download the design for the feet and print those too.

Decorate that Turkey Hand

You've got the pieces, now give them the look you want by using numerous art supplies. You can even use the Crafty Pen!

Crafting Supplies

Using the Crafty Pen to make your hand turkey


Once you have painted, glued, glittered or used the crafty pen, it is time to assemble your masterpiece. Stick that turkey into those feet and BOOM! You have yourself the coolest Hand Turkey that ever was. 

Download these other festive decorations to print:

Happy Thanksgiving!