Monday, November 24, 2008


Warning: Once you begin making these little pine cone turkeys, you will not want to stop! There's something about the bend of the pipe cleaner and the cock of the feathers that gives each little turkey a personality of it's own. Before you know it, you'll have a whole gaggle of these guys to embellish your table on this Thursday!

We made our pine cone turkeys one year after a special tree in my mother-in-law's yard had to be trimmed back. We frantically gathered all of the pine cones and saved them away for future crafts. Of all the things we have made with those pine cones, this by far is my favorite.

I had planned on writing and photographing a full-fledged tutorial for this one, but let's be real. With Thanksgiving preparations and holiday card season converging upon me like a 1000 lb. weight, a tutorial is not in cards. But I will tell you how it's done. (just pretend it's a beautifully illustrated and written tutorial, OK. pretty please?)

A pine cone.
Stiff felt. (we used black because we had it on hand, any autumnal color will do)
Cardstock (we used burnt orange because we had some scraps of it lying around)
Brown Pipe Cleaner 
Hot glue
Tape or stapler

Step One: Cut a heart shape out of the felt. These will be the feet.
Step Two: Cut four or five long ovals out of the cardstock. Stack them on top of each other then fan them out from the top, keeping the bottoms stacked. Tape or staple together.
Step Three: Cut the pipe cleaner in half or in thirds (depending on the size of your pine cone).
Step Four: Position the pine cone onto the felt heart finding a spot where it balances fairly well.
Step Five: Hot glue pine cone to felt.
Step Six: Bend end of one piece of pipe cleaner to form head.
Step Seven: Position end of pipe cleaner into pine cone in a spot that makes sense. Hot glue in place.
Step Eight: Glue cardstock feathers to back of pine cone.

And that's it! This project is super fast and super fun. The spaces in the pine cone can hold place cards to be used as place settings or you can just group a bunch together for a fun little display. The grouping is especially cute if you have pine cones in varied sizes.

We have used these as placecard holders for several years, varying how we use them each time. One year, we cut out cardstock into the same heart shapes as the felt feet and the kids wrote why they were thankful for each person who was joining us for dinner that year and glued the note to the bottom of the turkey. It was a fun little surprise and the kids were bursting with excitement waiting for the first person to discover the hidden message! (you can see our turkeys at each place setting in the photo below, quietly waiting for guests to arrive and discover the hidden messages of thanks).


With only a couple of days left, this is the perfect little project to keep your little ones busy while you take care of all the holiday prep. 

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