Pipe Cleaner Turkey: A Colorful, Fun Kids Craft

Pipe Cleaner Turkey Kids Craft

During the holidays, the girls and I craft a lot! This cute pipe cleaner turkey was inspired by Thanksgiving and our love of pipe cleaners (as well as our need to create fuzzy creatures with them — Pig and Caterpillar).

I wanted to be very detailed in the steps (hence the 24), so it was super easy to follow. Honestly, I could have shortened/combined a number of them, so fear not if it looks long. It goes quickly! If you are doing this project with a group, I would recommend cutting the beak and wattle pieces ahead of time.

Hope you have fun with this little guy/gal! We certainly had fun creating them. They would also make great decorations for the Thanksgiving table!

Another Fun Thanksgiving Turkey Project: Feather Turkey Kids Craft


PIPE CLEANER TURKEY

What You’ll Need:
  • 2 Brown/Beige Pipe Cleaners  (I used this pack for all the pipe cleaners—this would also work very well!)
  • 1 Red Pipe Cleaner (for wattle)
  • 1 Orange Pipe Cleaner (for beak and feet)
  • 5 Pipe Cleaners – Various Fall Colors (for feathers)
  • Craft Glue (or hot glue & gun)
  • Small Googly Eyes
  • Sharpie Pen
  • Wire Cutter
  • Ruler
supplies for making pipe cleaner turkey
Supplies For Making A Pipe Cleaner Turkey

MAKING THE TURKEY BODY

1. Take one of the brown pipe cleaners and wrap it around the Sharpie pen.  Slide it off.

Wrapping pipe cleaner around sharpie pen to create turkey body
Wrapping The Pipe Cleaner Around A Sharpie Pen To Create The Turkey Body

2. Turn the body of the turkey, so one end is facing you.  Bend the end of the pipe cleaner inward to hide the hole where the pen was.  Repeat on the other side.

Bending end of pipe cleaner to cover opening where pen was
Bending The End Of The Pipe Cleaner To Cover The Opening Where The Pen Was

ADDING THE HEAD

3. Take the second brown pipe cleaner and wrap it around the Sharpie pen 3 times.

Wrapping pipe cleaner around Sharpie pen to create turkey head
Wrapping The Pipe Cleaner Around A Sharpie Pen to Create The Head

4. Turn the head of the turkey, so the short end is facing you.  Bend the end of the pipe cleaner inward, so it covers the opening where the pen was.

Bending end of pipe cleaner to cover the opening where the pen was
Bending The End Of The Pipe Cleaner To Cover The Opening Where The Pen Was

5. Turn the head, so the long end is facing you.  Bend it inward towards the center and then straight back away from the head. (We do this to help the head line up with the body when we connect them.)

Bending pipe cleaner so its ready to connect to body
Bending The Pipe Cleaner So Its Ready To Connect To The Body

6. Push the long end from the head through the body of the turkey to connect them and pull snug.

Connecting pipe cleaner head to body of turkey
Connecting The Pipe Cleaner Head To The Body Of The Turkey

7. Take the end from the head and slide it through the last loop in the body.  Carefully (and slowly) pull the end snug around the loop.  This will secure the turkey’s head to the body.

Securing head of pipe cleaner turkey to body
Securing The Head Of The Turkey To The Body

MAKING THE FEET

8. Cut a 4″ piece from the orange pipe cleaner.  This will be used for the feet.

9. Place the orange piece at the bottom of the body and twist around the end to secure.  Bend the 2 orange feet forward and the end piece to the back.

Attaching pipe cleaner feet to turkey
Attaching The Pipe Cleaner Feet To The Turkey

10. Bend each pipe cleaner back towards the body (about 3/4″) and cut off the extra

Creating feet of pipe cleaner turkey
Creating The Feet Of The Turkey

ADDING THE FEATHERS

11. Take the 5 pipe cleaners reserved for the feathers and put them together in a pile.  Place the center of the pile on top of the end piece and tightly wrap the end piece around the pile once.

Attaching turkey feathers to body
Attaching The Turkey Feathers To The Body

12. Starting with one side, select a pipe cleaner “feather” and bend it in a loop.  Wrap the end around the remaining pipe cleaner feathers.

Creating first pipe cleaner turkey feather
Creating The First Pipe Cleaner Turkey Feather

13. Select a pipe cleaner on the opposite side and repeat, making a loop and securing it to the others.

Creating second pipe cleaner turkey feather
Creating The Second Pipe Cleaner Turkey Feather

14. Keep creating the loop feathers, being sure to alternate between sides, until there is only one pipe cleaner left on each side.

Creating additional turkey feathers
Creating Additional Turkey Feathers

15. For the last feathers, create a loop that goes around the end piece and wrap the end of the feather to the brown end piece.  Repeat on the other side.

Completing last feathers on turkey
Completing The Last Feathers On The Turkey

16. Bend the end piece back in towards the center of the body and cut off the extra, leaving about 1/2″.  You may need to push it in a bit, so the turkey will sit flatter.

Cutting end piece off turkey
Cutting The End Piece Off Of The Turkey

17. Arrange the feathers, pulling and spreading them out, so they fan out nicely.

Arranging turkey feathers
Arranging The Turkey Feathers

You should have a cute, but faceless, pipe cleaner turkey now.

Pipe cleaner turkey without face
Pipe Cleaner Turkey Without A Face

ADDING THE FACE

18. Using the remaining orange pipe cleaner, bend the end about 1/2″ down.  Bend it again on itself.

Bending pipe cleaner to make turkey beak
Bending A Pipe Cleaner To Make The Turkey Beak

19. Cut the extra off the end of the pipe cleaner.  (NOTE:  In hind sight, I should have just cut a 1 1/2″ section and then bent it.  If this project is for a group of people, I would suggest cutting the 1 1/2″ section ahead of time.)

Cutting pipe cleaner to create turkey beak
Cutting The Pipe Cleaner To Create Turkey Beak

20. Slip one end of the beak into a loop in the head and pull it back out, so its “hooked”.  Squeeze the part that’s hooked to close and secure it.

Attaching beak to pipe cleaner turkey
Attaching The Beak To The Turkey

21. Squeeze the remaining part of the beak and tuck the end in between the loops in the head to hide.

Finishing beak of turkey
Finishing The Turkey’s Beak

22. To make the wattle on the turkey’s face, take the red pipe cleaner and place over the top of the beak, so a little peaks over.  Bend both sides down the beak, so its firmly clamped onto the beak.

Adding turkey wattle to face
Adding The Turkey Wattle To The Face

23. Bend the red pipe cleaner back up the other side of the beak, leaving it hang down as far as you like for the wattle (Mine is about a 1/2″ under the beak).  Cut off the extra and pinch to make sure its secure. (NOTE: If you are pre-cutting, cut a 2″ piece for the wattle)

Finishing turkey wattle
Finishing The Turkey’s Wattle

24. LAST STEP, YEAH!!  Glue on the googly eyes with either craft glue or hot glue.  If you have kids who like to play with them (as mine have definitely road tested them!!), the hot glue will hold up MUCH better!

Finished pipe cleaner turkey
Finished Pipe Cleaner Turkey

Hope you have fun putting these cuties together. They will definitely brighten up any Thanksgiving table. Happy holidays!

Nikole

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