I had completely forgotten about this Thanksgiving Turkey Centerpiece craft until I came across this photograph in my files. I think this one is positively adorable. I used to make them with my Girl Guides and my students at school. It’s very easy to make and if cost is a factor, you can make some substitutions for some of the materials.
Note: I am not providing you with sizes of these items because you can vary that according to what size you want the final product to be. Just hold the “body”, “head” and the “saucer” together to make sure that they are appropriately sized for each other.
a clay pot (low cost substitute: a plastic, paper, or Styrofoam cup) – This is for the body of the turkey.
A saucer – the kind that goes under a clay pot (low cost substitute: a paper or plastic or Styrofoam plate or shallow bowl)
A wooden or Styrofoam ball (low cost substitute: wad up some paper to form a ball and wrap it in masking tape to hold its shape) – This is for the head.
Feathers (gathered or purchased) or autumn leaves (either real leaves that have been pressed in books or fake leaves – silk etc.) (low cost substitute: scraps of felt, fun foam, construction paper, cardboard that’s been painted or even just scrap paper that has been coloured) – This is for the wings.
Googly eyes (low cost substitute: felt or paper scraps)
Felt scraps for the beak (and wattle if you choose to add one) (low cost substitute: paper scraps)
Candy corn or something else you would prefer to place in the finished centerpiece
Glue gun and glue sticks to go in it – note: we used the cool touch glue guns because of working with children. You can also use tacky glue or plain old white glue but you will have to work in some drying time for it. I found that white glue worked best on putting the features onto the turkey’s face but used the glue gun for the rest of the project.
Directions: 1) It is easiest to begin by decorating the turkey’s face. Wooden balls can be pretty much left as is because the colouring is close to that of a turkey’s but obviously you can paint them if you prefer. With Styrofoam, painting can be a little trickier as it absorbs the paint. With several coats, you can usually manage to get decent coverage. Another option is to cover it with felt, fabric, or coloured paper scraps. If you are creating your own heads as described in the materials list, some of these same options will work as well but I also find that wrapping them in tissue paper gives you an easier surface to work on. Glue on the eyes (whether they be the googly eyes or ones that you have created from felt or paper). For the beak, I like to use a diamond shape and then give it a gentle fold in half. The wattle is easily freehanded but depending on what you make it out of, you may find you prefer to wait until the turkey is fully assembled to place this on the turkey
2) Now it’s time for the turkey’s body. If you are using a cup, it’s best to decorate that first. With the clay pot, it kind of mimics the colouring of the turkey’s body but most cups are white or clear so you will need to do something to add colour to them. What you use will depend on what you have handy as well as what will work best with the materials you are using. Paint works well on some surfaces but can be tricky to use on plastic and Styrofoam. Markers or crayons can work on paper cups and with pretty much all of them, you can use scraps of construction or paper you have coloured or scraps of felt or fabric to cover the turkey’s body. Use feathers or leaves or ones that you have created out of felt, fun foam, or paper and attach these to the turkey’s body. If you haven’t already attached the wattle, now’s the time!
3) Assemble the centerpiece. Glue the body into the saucer, with its back over to one of the sides. (see the photo for what I mean about the placement). Glue the head onto the body and allow this whole thing to dry.
4) Fill with candy and enjoy!!!