Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Handcrafted Turkey DIY

 The following tutorial is an update from a previous post from last year. Recently I was looking at some ornamental grasses in my yard  and thought the shape resembled a very lush turkey. So naturally when I get inspired like that, I really have to act on it and make something!  

What I came up with is an adorable handcrafted turkey made with natural elements like the ornamental grasses, and a few other things I found in my stash:  

Pinecones and ornamental grasses

Styrofoam ball 6"


Mod Podge/brush 
Faux pear or squash
Brush bristles/pliers
Hot glue gun
Acrylic paint
Heavy duty scissors or wire cutters 
Proxxon hot wire cutter or craft knife

I started by cutting the styrofoam ball in half using my Proxxon wire cutter for a nice, smooth finish.  *You can also use a craft knife to make all the cuts - but they won't be as nice!
Then, I moved the tension of the hot wire to cut at an angle and sliced one of the half balls diagonally, for the body.

Next, I moved the Proxxon wire back into the straight cutting position and cut the faux pear in half for the head and neck, but it was still too big so .  .  .

I sliced a little more off on one side. Don't think I could have cut this evenly and smooth without using a great tool like the Proxxon!

Next, I painted the foam with mod podge and covered it with burlap, let dry and cut off the excess burlap .
 After the burlap dried, I glued the pear shape (head and neck) onto the bottom center of the foam.
Then, I pulled out bristles from a dollarstore brush that I used here and glued them on the back end of the foam and painted them.  Unfortunately, I couldn't get the bristles to stand up like I wanted them to so I ended up covering them later.
Next, I cut the scales off of pinecones and layered them on with hot glue starting at the edge of the bristles and .  .  .
adding them around the entire body of the turkey.
Then, I cut off a few stalks of ornamental grasses and glued them on in a fan shape on the back side of the turkey body.
I really love the look of ornamental grasses as feathers - nice and fluffy!

For the beak, I made a small cone shape out of cardboard that I cut down .  .  .
and covered with hot glue and let dry.  Then I cut off the excess glue .  .  .
and painted the beak.  Once dry, the beak and eyes were glued on. 
Then I added another type of ornamental leaves over the bristles to give a dramatic look which I also love!
I gave the grasses a coating of hairspray to help preserve the foliage.

I'm loving this neutral hued handcrafted turkey .  .  .  it really makes for a lovely addition to any Thanksgiving décor!

Thanks for stopping by
and take a little time to enjoy,
Happy Crafting!


  1. Oh that's cute, Gail! I thought you'd used a natural gourd for the head and neck at first, but I like that it's faux so it will last! Looks fairly easy. How hard is it to get the pinecone scales off the pinecone? I would think that's the hardest part of the whole project!

  2. Oh Gail, this little turkey is darling! You are truly amazing with your craft ideas. Thank you for sharing, sweet friend.


  3. Oh Gail, this is genius! Love how this sweet turkey turned out. Cuter than most store bought ones. You are always so gracious sharing your most creative ideas.

  4. Gail, you are such a creative maker! Your turkey is incredible. All of the details that you spend time on always make your creations truly stand out. Sharing!

  5. This is so pretty and I love how you made it from scratch putting all the pieces together. It's really stunning and looks fantastic!

  6. Such a cute idea. Love it. Thank you for sharing with us at #HomeMattersParty .We would love to see you again next week.

  7. That is one of the prettiest turkeys I've seen!! Pinned and will be making this weekend! Thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW's DIY party!

  8. That turkey is super cute. I will be featuring this tonight at my Fall into Fall party that opens at 8pm EST. Please stop by and pick up an I've Been Featured button. Thanks. http://diybydesign.blogspot.com

  9. Stopping back by to let you know that your Handcrafted Turkey is the Most Clicked Feature for this week's Snickerdoodle Party! Thanks for partying with us, Gail. Hope to see you at tomorrow's party!

  10. Wow, this is awesome! I would never have thought to make this. Thank you for sharing at Dishing it and Digging it link party. We love having you.

  11. Congratulations. You’ve been featured on this week’s Do it Yourself link up at the Pleasures of the NW! Stop by tomorrow when it’s live and grab your “I’ve been Featured” button!


    Thanks for sharing!

    And thanks for leaving me a comment last week - You've been tweeted and pinned!

  12. I love all the natural materials and how they created such depth and texture. Love it! Pinned and sharing. Thank you for linking up at Family Joy Blog Link-Up Party this week. We hope to see you back again starting Sunday at 12 EST.

  13. Your turkey is simply precious! You did such a great job. Smiles, Linda at Paper Seedlings

  14. You are an amazing crafter. This little guy is center piece worthy. Thanks for sharing on Sunday's Best. I'm pinning this one!


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