Delightful Thanksgiving Turkey Craft Idea

Ideal For Your Front Porch and Home

Use our Thanksgiving turkey craft idea to make your holiday a most thankful one. With Halloween a fun memory, it's time to enjoy the peacefulness of this most gracious holiday.

What better way than to make a turkey or a few other Thanksgiving projects to place on your front porch or in your home.



Our Thanksgiving turkey craft is relatively inexpensive and easy to make. You can probably make this holiday decoration from items you may already have on hand.

Start with our Thanksgiving turkey project that's sure to delight both young and old and then check out several other decoration ideas for Thanksgiving below.

colorful thanksgiving turkey craft
Our Thanksgiving turkey craft idea
What's neat about this project is you can hang it on our autumn pumpkin fence (also a neat Thanksgiving project too - see our plans) or on your porch wall, or use it indoors as well.

Video: How We Made Our Turkey

Let's get started! Watch our turkey video to see the process and use the steps outlined below to make your own Tom Turkey. Then see how you can make more of our other decoration ideas for Thanksgiving below.

Watch us make this adorable turkey craft - thank you!

Written Instructions for
Our Thanksgiving Turkey Craft

This project only requires a few tools along with some craft paints and a brush.

Materials List

  • Piece of 1/2 inch plywood (exterior grade if possible), 16 inches by 16 inches (approximate)
  • Turkey pattern (download for free)
  • Pencil
  • Tape
  • Hammer
  • Nail punch (or Phillips screwdriver)
  • Jigsaw, band saw, or scroll saw (with fine tooth blade)
  • Sandpaper or orbital sander
  • Drill and 1/4 inch bit
  • A variety of craft paints (select colors based on personal preference)
  • Flat craft brush

Optional Materials

  • Wood buttons
  • Caulk
  • Extra plywood
  • Wire
  • Picture hanging hardware
  • Wood glue
  • Polyurethane

Step 1 - Download Template

Download a free turkey template. Because of its size you will need to tape the four sections together to form the entire template.

turkey template for thanksgiving project
Download this turkey template

Step 2 - Tape Template to Plywood

Lay the template on the plywood making sure the turkey will fit appropriately. Tape the template to the plywood so it won't move.

secure template to plywood with tape
Tape template to plywood

Step 3 - Mark Pattern on Plywood

Use the nail punch to mark the plywood through the template paper. Do this by lightly tapping the punch with a hammer along the black lines of the template. Make as many marks as you need to adequately transfer the template.

nail punch used to mark plywood
Use a nail punch to transfer template to wood
I lifted the template occasionally to ensure the marks were sufficient and noticed that it was easy to actually punch a hole in the plywood. Not to worry; you can easily fill the holes with caulk later in the process.

NOTE: Although I don't recommend it as a general rule, you could use a Phillips screw driver as a punch. Just make sure it's not your spouse's favorite screw driver.

Step 4 - Connect the Dots

Remove the template and connect the marks with a pencil. Refer to the template as you go to ensure your lines are correct.

pattern transfered to plywood
Turkey pattern transferred to wood

Step 5 - Cut Out the Turkey

Once completed, use a jigsaw to cut out the turkey from the plywood. Use a fine tooth blade as plywood edges tear out easily. For the legs, drill a 1/4 inch hole between them and insert the blade for making those cuts.

This is perhaps the most delicate cut you will make for this Thanksgiving turkey craft.

using jigsaw to cut out pattern from wood
Jigsaw used to cut the turkey pattern
Fill any holes with caulk (painters caulk works really well for this) and sand lightly if necessary.

caulk used to fill holes in wood
Use caulk to fill holes if applicable

Step 5A - Optional Raised Wings and/or Head

To make your Thanksgiving turkey a bit more interesting, consider adding additional wings to give your turkey more depth. Use the template to mark and cut wings as shown.

You will glue them onto the turkey later. You could do the same with the head - as you will see we did.

cut extra wings from template
Cut additional wings from template

Step 6 - Paint the Turkey

Now is the time to make your turkey come alive with paint! Mary has an eye for color and selected a specific color scheme, in this case, a soft palette. You might want to consider painting your turkey in colors that complement your own decor or go crazy with bright vibrant colors.

paints selected for thanksgiving turkey project
Mary selected the paint scheme

begin painting the turkey project
Applying paint to the turkey with flat brush

turkey project almost fully painted
Turkey almost completely painted

Step 6A - If applicable

Glue the extra wings and/or head to the body if you are using additional ones.

Step 7 - Optional Wooden Eye

I used wood buttons (available at craft stores) to make the eye and glued it onto the turkey.

turkey complete with paint and eye
Turkey completed with extra wings and eye attached
After painting, Mary brushed on just a little brown paint here and there for a vintage look.

Step 8 - Optional - Paint Turkey with Polyurethane

After the glue dries you may want to cover your turkey with polyurethane to protect it from the elements if placing him outdoors. I recommend you cover the front, back, and edges. Polyurethane won't be necessary if using indoors.

Step 9 - Attach a Wire If Hanging on Wall

If using as a wall decoration attach a wire to the back of the turkey. We combined ours with a Thanksgiving message (photo below).

turkey decoration ideas for thanksgiving
Heartfelt Thanksgiving message on the porch

turkey decoration ideas for thanksgiving

This is a fun Thanksgiving turkey craft and pretty easy to do. Make an extra turkey and give it away as a gift!

We Have More Decoration Ideas for Thanksgiving

We encourage you to check out our other Thanksgiving craft ideas too.

No-Sew Thanksgiving Garland

Make a no-sew Thanksgiving garland like the one below.

thanksgiving banner collage

Pumpkin Fence

Make this autumn pumpkin fence and use it all year! We added a black cat for Halloween and plan to replace the pumpkins with a Christmas tree and mailbox for the holidays (check back for the plans).

collage for making pumpkin picket fence


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