Quetzal Craft for Kids to Celebrate Guatemala’s Independence

Spark your kid’s creativity with this easy Guatemalan quetzal craft! It is a great way to celebrate Guatemala’s independence day or as a classroom project for Hispanic Heritage Month. The quetzal is Guatemala’s national bird. It symbolizes liberty and is part of the Guatemalan coat of arms. For us, it’s vital to celebrate the Día de La Independencia and keep our Latino culture alive. So, get your craft table ready for a super easy Guatemalan quetzal bird craft the little ones can enjoy!

Quetzal bird craft made of toilet paper tube. DIY project to celebrate Guatemala's independence. Guatemalan craft.

Reconnecting to Our Guatemalan Roots

Even though Sebastian was only three months old and Ariane was 2 when we left, Guatemala is still very important to us. We enjoy sharing traditions and memories of Guatemala with them. However, I have to admit that Paula is the one more passionate about keeping that connection to Guatemala alive.

Guatemala’s Independence Day is the perfect excuse to connect to our Latino roots. And what better way to do that than with a fun Guatemalan Quetzal! You’ll only need simple materials you might have at home (or easily buy at the craft store). And it makes for a colorful Guatemalan-themed decoration perfect for Hispanic Heritage Month.

What Is a Quetzal?

The quetzal is a striking bird that lives in the mountain regions and tropical forests of Central America. Many consider it among the world’s most beautiful birds, with its vibrant green plumage, deep red chest, and long tail feathers. The quetzal is Guatemala’s national bird, considered a symbol of freedom and light. You can find its image embedded in countless places, like the Guatemalan coat of arms, the National flag, and even in the currency.

An Easy Guatemalan Quetzal Craft For Kids

Now that Sebastian is older, he loves making crafts. It is something we have in common. So I thought we could do something fun to celebrate Guatemala’s independence day. And for some reason, my little guy has been saving toilet paper tubes for months. 

September 15th is Independence Day in Guatemala and is just around the corner. It is the perfect opportunity to finally make something with those paper tubes! So I decided to make an easy quetzal craft perfect for those little hands. 

Materials For Guatemalan Quetzal Craft

Materials to make Guatemalan quetzal craft with toilet paper tube.

How to Make a Guatemalan Quetzal Bird Craft

  1. Roll a small rectangle of yellow foamy into a cone. Secure it with staples, leaving a small hole at the point of the cone.
  2. Cut a 12″ piece of twine and pass it through the hole. Make a knot on one end to secure.
  3. Pass the yellow cone throughout the toilet paper tube to come out on the other end. Secure everything to the tube with a couple of staples.
  4. Take green tissue paper and fold lengthwise to about 1 inch deep. Cut into 1 1/2 inch rectangles.
  5. To make the fringe, cut about four slits into the open end of each rectangle, leaving about 1/4″ at the top.
  6. Create a fringe at least 3 or 4 inches long using a larger piece of green tissue paper. It will make the tail of the quetzal.
  7. Begin wrapping the tube, starting with the tail fringe at the bottom of the tube. Then, work your way up to the top. Use tape or glue to secure the trim. Finally, ensure the last piece of fringe covers the edge of the tube where the beak comes out.
  8. Using the red tissue paper, cut a small rectangle into fringes. Glue it in the front of the tube to make the red chest of the quetzal.
  9. Cut two 2″ by 6″ rectangles of green tissue paper to make the wings. Fold it in half and press the sides of the folded edge into the center.
  10. Glue the wings to the top of the tube.
  11. Put googly eyes on the head just below the beak and above the wings.
  12. Tie the other end of the twine to the top of a wooden dowel.

Guatemalan quetzal craft with toilet paper tube.

My little guy had so much fun with this craft! He could do most of it himself with minimal help from us. The wooden dowel and string let him play around with this fun Guatemalan quetzal bird. He enjoyed how it moved as if it were flying.

Check out other crafts and activity ideas for celebrating Guatemalan independence here.

quetzal craft for kids for Guatemala's independence

We usually make some of our favorite traditional Guatemalan food to celebrate Guatemala’s independence day. Here are some Guatemalan recipes that you can try: 

Traditional Guatemalan Recipes

If you crave traditional Guatemalan foods, add these delicious recipes to your menu. They are the perfect touch for a Día de La Independencia party or as a show-and-tell recipe for Hispanic Heritage Month.

Quetzal bird craft made of toilet paper tube. DIY project to celebrate Guatemala's independence. Guatemalan craft.

Quetzal Craft for Kids to Celebrate Guatemala's Independence

Yield: 1 quetzal
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: easy

A beautiful Guatemalan craft perfect for Independence day or Hispanic Heritage Month

Materials

  • One piece of yellow foamy
  • Twine
  • One toilet paper tube
  • Two sheets of green tissue paper
  • One sheet of red tissue paper
  • Two googly eyes
  • Wooden dowel

Tools

  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Tape and glue

Instructions

  1. Roll a small rectangle of yellow foamy into a cone. Secure it with staples, leaving a small hole at the point of the cone.
  2. Cut a 12" piece of twine and pass it through the hole. Make a knot on one end to secure.
  3. Pass the yellow cone throughout the toilet paper tube to come out on the other end. Secure everything to the tube with a couple of staples.
  4. Take green tissue paper and fold lengthwise to about 1 inch deep. Cut into 1 1/2 inch rectangles.
  5. To make the fringe, cut about four slits into the open end of each rectangle, leaving about 1/4″ at the top.
  6. Using a larger piece of green tissue paper, create a fringe at least 3 or 4 inches long. It will make the tail of the quetzal.
  7. Begin wrapping the tube, starting with the tail fringe at the bottom of the tube. Work your way up to the top. Use tape or glue to secure the trim. Ensure the last piece of fringe covers the edge of the tube where the beak comes out.
  8. Using the red tissue paper, cut a small rectangle into fringes. Glue it in the front of the tube to make the red chest of the quetzal.
  9. 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.
  10. Glue the wings to the top of the tube.
  11. Put googly eyes on the head just below the beak and above the wings.
  12. Tie the other end of the twine to the top of a wooden dowel.

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