Quetzal Craft for Kids to Celebrate Guatemala’s Independence

Quetzal bird craft made of toilet paper tube. DIY project to celebrate Guatemala's independence. Guatemalan craft. September 15th is just around the corner and for us it’s very important to celebrate Guatemala’s independence day and take advantage of this opportunity to teach them as much as we can about their home country. Even though Sebastian was only 3 months old and Ariane was 2 when we left Guatemala is still very important to us and we enjoy sharing that connection, those traditions, values and memories of Guatemala. I have to admit that most of this is done by Paula, she is really passionate about keeping that connection to Guatemala alive.

Now that Sebastian is getting older and loves making crafts and this is something we can share together I thought we could do something fun to celebrate Guatemala’s independence day on September 15th. For some reason my little guys has been saving toilet paper tubes for months now saying he wants to use them to make crafts so this was the perfect opportunity to finally make something with those toilet paper tubes! I decided to make a quetzal: the quetzal is the national bird of Guatemala, it symbolizes liberty and is part of the Guatemalan coat of arms.

Materials to make Guatemalan quetzal craft with toilet paper tube.


  • 1 sheet of green tissue paper
  • 1 sheet of red tissue paper
  • 1 piece of yellow foamy
  • 1 toilet paper tube
  • 2 googley eyes
  • scissors
  • a stapler
  • tape and glue
  • twine
  • wooden dowel

Guatemalan quetzal craft with toilet paper tube.


1. Roll a small rectangle of yellow foamy into a cone and secure it with staples, leaving a small hole at the point of the cone.

2. Cut a 12″ piece of twine through the hole, make a knot on one end to secure.

3. Pass the yellow cone throughout the tube so that is comes out on the other end and secure to the tube with a couple of staples.

4. Take green tissue paper and fold lengthwise to about 1 inch deep.

5. Cut into 1 1/2 inch rectangles.

6. To make the fringe cut about 4 slits into the open end of each rectangle, leaving about 1/4″ at the top.

7. Using a larger piece of green tissue paper create fringe that is at lest 3 or 4 inches long to make the tail of the quetzal.

8. Begin wrapping the tube starting with the tail fringe at the bottom of the tube and work your way up. Use tape or glue to secure the fringe. Make sure the last piece of fringe covers the edge of the tube where the beak is coming out of.

9. Using the red tissue paper cut a small rectangle into fringe and glue in the front of the tube to make the red chest of the quetzal.

10. To make the wings cut two 2″ by 6″ rectangles of green tissue paper, fold it in half and press the sides of the folded edge into the center.

11. Glue the wings to the top of the tube.

12. Put googley eyes on the head just below the beak and above the wings.

13. Tie the other end of the twine to the top of a wooden dowel.

My little guy had so much fun with this craft and he was able to do most of it himself with minimal help. The wooden dowel and string let him really play around with this fun bird and enjoy how it moves as if it where flying.

You can also check out other Guatemalan craft and activity ideas for celebrating Guatemalan’s independence here.

quetzal craft for kids for Guatemala's independence

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