Crafts with Fifi: Tiny Walnut Tortoises

Never be stuck for something to do! Keep your hands and brain busy with glue, tape and scissors – and have crafty fun with Fifi!

An adult Greek tortoise, like Torty, is around 20cm long. But you can make a mini one from a walnut shell! Torty has some toes missing from her run in with an artillery gun in 1916. Can you see which ones they are?

You will need:

  • Walnut shells (halved and kernels removed) NB These are in-season this month & next, so ought to be available at supermarkets and roadside stalls.
  • Torty template
  • Craft glue
  • Scissors (small ones are best)
  • Felt tipped pens (optional)

1. Print out

Download the template here

Template for larger nuts

Print off the template onto heavy paper or thin card.

2. Colour

Colour in a tortoise, or use a pre-coloured one.

3. Cut & glue

Cut it out and dot glue onto the legs.

4. Stick & flip

Stick the shell to the tortoise and flip it onto its back to dry.

5. Finishing touches

test alt text

When it is completely dry, bend the neck, legs and tail to make the tortoise stand. Pinch the nose a little to give the head shape.

Make a whole bunch! Did you know a group of them is called ‘a creep’ of tortoises?

Print this craft out and save it for later: Here’s the PDF, incorporating both templates

Fifi Colston

Fifi Colston is a freelancer with fingers in many creative pies. She is a published junior fiction novelist, children’s book illustrator of more than 50 titles, poet and a long-standing television presenter of arts and crafts on firstly TVNZ’s WhatNowand then TheGoodMorningShow. Fifi is a veteran of Wearable Arts; a finalist and award winner over 26 years with 26 entries in show. She also works in the New Zealand film industry as a costumier, puppet maker and illustrator.

When she has a moment, Fifi visits schools and community groups, inspires budding artists and writers and runs workshops in creative process. You can find her at