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How to Make Holiday Craft Thanksgiving Day Turkeys

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Make This Easy Thanksgiving Turkey Woodcraft

Here's a craft project that will help you have an entire ensemble of creative Thanksgiving Day turkeys.

The ensemble consists of turkey candle holders, turkey table placements. turkey napkin holders, and a proud standing turkey.

All of the craft variations are based on the same basic turkey design, and you can make any or all of the holiday crafts as you see fit.



Thanksgiving Day Turkey Supplies

Thanksgiving Day Turkey Table Decorations

Above you can see the supplies necessary for making the turkey candle holder in the inset.

This basic turkey design can also be configured to be a table placement, a napkin holder, or a standing turkey decoration.

Parts to make a Thanksgiving Day Turkey Candle Holder
  • A 1 inch diameter candle cup
  • A 1 1/2 inch diameter candle cup
  • A 1 inch diameter wood ball
  • A 1 1/4 inch diameter wood cap or wheel(optional)
  • A 5/8 inch diameter wood flower pot
  • Ten to twelve 2 inch long wood oval shapes
  • Six or seven 1 1/2 inch long wood oval shapes
  • A 1 inch long pointed wood oval shape
  • Two 1 1/4 inch long wood wing shapes
  • A 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 inch wood rectangle (for the base)
  • A 2 inch diameter thin wood circle
  • A 2 1/2 inch diameter Styrofoam ball
  • This project makes heavy use of small wood shapes that come in wood shape assortments. A bag or two of these wood shapes will give you enough crafting materials to make all the crafts on my website. If you shop for them, look for wood shapes.

    Note that the candle holder turkey is a mid-sized wood craft. You can scale up and down the size of your craft by using larger or smaller components. I use a smaller size for making the table placements, and a larger size for making the napkin holders.


    Amazon Craft Supplies

    Amazon Craft Supplies


    Making the Turkey's Body

    Thanksgiving Day Turkey Craft Step 1

    The holiday craft turkey's body is made from the Styrofoam ball, the smaller candle cup, the wood ball, and the wood oval shapes.

    This image above shows the first steps from both a back view (left) and a front view(right).

    From the left image you can see that two slices were taken off the Styrofoam ball. One slice off the bottom so the turkey can easily be attached to the base.

    Another slice is taken off the back, at a bit of an angle.

    I usually paint all the parts before assembly, but I left them unpainted in this illustration to make it clearer.

    As you can see, the tail feathers are made by putting glue on one end of each wood oval, and pushing the glued end into the Styrofoam. I usually put a couple rows of the larger ovals in place, with the 2nd row staggered so the gaps of the rows don't line up.

    Then I add a third row (staggered again) of the smaller wood ovals.

    I push the smaller candle cup (bottom side up) hard into the Styrofoam to make a form-fit indentation. Then I glue the candle cup in place and glue the wood ball on to make the turkey's head.

    I've found that trying to handle projects too soon that have wood glued to Styrofoam can make a pretty big mess. Let the glue on the Styrofoam dry for several hours or over night before handling.



    Finished Thanksgiving Day Craft Turkey Candle Holder

    Thanksgiving Day Wood Craft Turkey Candle Holder

    The image above shows a back (left image) and front (right image) view of the finished turkey candle holder.

    The left image shows how the turkey and large candle cup are mounted to the wood rectangle base.

    The right image shows how the tail feathers are placed. You can see that they are painted in different colors, and have glitter added.

    The wing shapes are pushed into the Styrofoam ball on the turkey's sides and glued.

    The wood circle shape is glued to the back end of the turkey.

    The wood cap or wheel (optional) is glued to the base of the candle cup making the front of the turkey.

    The small wood flower pot is painted and glued on as a pilgrim hat.

    One end of the small pointed oval is used to make a beak for the turkey.

    In this image a small piece of red chenille is glued along the side of the turkey's beak to make the "dew bill".

    You can see how I painted the turkey. You can follow this paint design or change it up as you wish.



    Smaller Variation, a Craft Turkey Table Placement

    Thanksgiving Day Turkey Table Placement

    By scaling down components in size, you can make the variation of the holiday craft turkey shown above.

    As you can see, it's a table placement, with a Happy Thanksgiving message on the base, and the name of a guest on the back.

    For this version, the part sizes are:

  • The large tail feathers are 1 1/2 inch long wood oval shapes
  • The small tail feathers are 1 inch long wood oval shapes
  • The body is a 2 inch diameter Styrofoam ball
  • The front of the turkey is a 3/4 inch diameter candle cup
  • The wood ball for the head is 3/4 inch diameter
  • The wood flower pot (pilgrim hat) is still 5/8 inch diameter
  • The wing shapes are 3/4 inch long
  • The wood base is 2 inches in diameter
  • The name plate is a 3/4 inch by 1 1/2 inch rectangle
  • As you can see, construction of the turkey is the same as for the turkey candle holder except for the base and nameplate.

    Use this handy craft-customized search engine to find your crafting materials:

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    Thanksgiving Day Turkey with Long Legs

    A Standing Holiday Craft Thanksgiving Day Turkey

    This smartly standing turkey uses the same part dimensions as the table placement variation.

    The turkey body is identical to that of the table placement version (above) with the following exceptions:

  • The bottom of the Styrofoam ball is not sliced off

  • Legs (two 2 inch lengths of 3/16 inch dowel) are added.

  • The legs are simply glued and pushed a 1/4 inch or so into the Styrofoam.

    A 3/8 inch ball and a 1/2 inch ball are glued to the bottom ends of the legs. The balls used had center holes that slid over the dowel.

    Two foot-shaped wood shapes are glued on as the turkey's feet.



    Larger Variation, a Craft Turkey Napkin Holder

    Thanksgiving Day Turkey Table Placement

    This back/front view is of the up-scaled wood craft turkey napkin holder.

    Again, you can see that the turkey construction is the same as for the turkey candle holder. This variation is also mounted to a wood rectangle.

    A small wood rail is glued to the back edge of the wood base (left image), and another rectangle glued upright against the rail. This makes the back of the napkin holder.

    This version uses the following sized components:

  • The large tail feathers are 2 inch long, 3/4 inch wide wood oval shapes
  • The small tail feathers are 1 1/2 inch long wood oval shapes
  • The body is a 3 inch diameter Styrofoam ball
  • The front of the turkey is a 1 1/2 inch diameter candle cup
  • The wood ball for the head is 1 1/2 inch diameter
  • The wood flower pot (pilgrim hat) is 1 inch diameter
  • The wing shapes are 1 3/4 inch long
  • The wood base is 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches
  • The back napkin support is 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches
  • The circle on the back end of the turkey is a 2 inch diameter wood shape




  • The Entire Holiday Craft Turkey Ensemble

    Thanksgiving Day Craft Turkey Ensemble

    This image shows the entire wood craft Thanksgiving Day turkey ensemble.

    Make just one variation, or make them all. These little gobblers will always dress up your Thanksgiving Day table.