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
MAKING THE TURKEY BODY
1. Take one of the brown pipe cleaners and wrap it around the Sharpie pen. Slide it off.
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.
ADDING THE HEAD
3. Take the second brown pipe cleaner and wrap it around the Sharpie pen 3 times.
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.
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.)
6. Push the long end from the head through the body of the turkey to connect them and pull snug.
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.
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.
10. Bend each pipe cleaner back towards the body (about 3/4″) and cut off the extra
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.
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.
13. Select a pipe cleaner on the opposite side and repeat, making a loop and securing it to the others.
14. Keep creating the loop feathers, being sure to alternate between sides, until there is only one pipe cleaner left on each side.
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.
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.
17. Arrange the feathers, pulling and spreading them out, so they fan out nicely.
You should have a cute, but faceless, pipe cleaner turkey now.
ADDING THE FACE
18. Using the remaining orange pipe cleaner, bend the end about 1/2″ down. Bend it again on itself.
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.)
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.
21. Squeeze the remaining part of the beak and tuck the end in between the loops in the head to hide.
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.
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)
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!
Hope you have fun putting these cuties together. They will definitely brighten up any Thanksgiving table. Happy holidays!