Happy Thanksgiving Apple Turkeys! - A Tutorial

Thanksgiving weekend is finally here!  (Confused about why I'm celebrating this weekend?  Click here for an explanation!) To me, Thanksgiving is the "launch party" for the holiday season, and it really gets me in the spirit to start planning for Halloween, Christmas, and New YearsFrom now until January 31, I'll be buzzing along on a celebratory high, crafting and cooking and planning away.  And let's not forget the decorations!

For almost as long as I can remember, one Thanksgiving decoration has been a constant - The Apple Turkey.  My recollection of its origin is fuzzy, so, as I do with many things I can't remember, I called Mom.  She confirmed my hunch that we had first made Apple Turkeys as a Sunday School Project.  She thinks that perhaps she found the idea in a magazine, maybe Country Living, but even she wasn't sure.  That's enough of an explanation for me, and I hope it will suffice for you!   

Regardless of the Apple Turkey's mythical origins, one thing is for certain; it wouldn't be Thanksgiving in my house without one!  After that first Sunday School lesson, every Thanksgiving my sisters and I would craft what quickly became our family's traditional Thanksgiving centerpiece.  Even as teenagers, university students, and adults with homes of our own, each year someone would remember to make an Apple Turkey.  Eventually, a new generation of Apple Turkey craftspeople took over, and now they are being crafted by young relatives across Canada.  However, I still have to make my own (the dogs try, but without opposable thumbs, they find it hard).  Last year, the Apple Turkey made it's Kitimat debut at a Thanksgiving Dinner potluck we attended at a friend's home, and I'll be taking another along this year. To the uninitiated, Apple Turkeys are a charming absurdity, but to me, they are familiar and remind me of home.

If you would like a charmingly absurd Apple Turkey of your own, here is a handy dandy tutorial to guide you through the creative process.  If you are like me and tend to get obsessive about things like wing placement and the perfect beak, please bear in mind that this craft was designed for five year olds and approach it as such (read - relax, this is supposed to be fun!)

Step One
Assemble Your Materials

You will need:
Paper in pretty colours
A pencil or marker

Step 2
Make Your Turkey Some Feathers
And a Head

Turkeys enjoy having feathers and a head, so you don't want to skip this step! 

Take your pretty paper and from it, cut out feathers for your turkey.  You can use a stencil, a die cutter, or draw them freehand; it's up to you.  This is a GREAT opportunity to use up your scrapbooking stash!

Cut out a turkey shaped head as well.  Draw on eyes (so your turkey can see what's going on).  I sometimes like to add a contrasting beak; the design details are really up to you!
Once you have all your paper cut, glue toothpicks to the pieces. Let the glue dry (See, I told you this was easy...)

Step 3
Turkey Assembly

Take a deep breath, this is about to get complicated!

Find the prettiest side of your apple and make sure that side is facing up, with the stem of the apple facing you.  Using the picture as a guide, take two toothpicks and insert them into the bottom of the apple as feet.  Then, place the turkey's head on the top of the apple toward the front.  
I was just joking, this isn't complicated at all! 

 Don't worry if your turkey is a bit roly poly, that's just part of their charm!

Turkeys need wings, so go ahead and put them on either side of your apple.

Next, arrange your remaining feathers at the back of the apple for the turkey's tail. Turkeys are especially proud of their beautiful tail feathers, so go to town and use all your best colours; your turkey will thank you!!

See, I told you this was easy!

Step 4
Sit Back and Enjoy Your Apple Turkey!

All that's left to do it put your Apple Turkey to work decorating your home.  They really like hanging out in the middle of your dining room table during Thanksgiving Dinner, but in the meantime, use them to decorate all around your house!

Remember that they are made of fruit, and will drip a bit of juice, so make sure you put them on a safe surface.  Apple turkeys get embarrassed when they ruin your stuff!

I hope you've enjoyed this little tutorial as much as I've enjoyed sharing this fun little family tradition with you!

Before I sign off for the weekend, I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving, an a wonderful weekend!  
As well, this week Nesty is a featured blog over at the link party Friendly FridayFriendly Friday is hosted by The Frugal Novice, Thanks, Mail Carrier, and Healthy Home Blog. I'd like to thank the hosts of Friendly Friday so much for this feature, and for the lovely write up of my blog!  Please take the time to go and visit Friendly Friday (you'll find some great blogs!) as well as the host blogs. 

Today I'm linking to:

Friendly Friday Button

My Wee View




  1. I can't believe how early people prepare for thanksgiving and halloween. It sure is big over your way. they look really cool. I would love you to visit me on at http://lookingoutabrokenwindow.blogspot.com

  2. Feel in love with your turkeys they would make great name cards for Thanksgiving. So much fun for my nieces and nephews to make at the Holiday as well. They don't look to complicated. What a fun craftly blog you have.
    I would love for you to stop by my blog and say hi...http://shigandtin.blogspot.com
    cooking blog http://stomachtotheheart.blogspot.com

    I am your newest follower. I am excited to see your newest creations.

  3. I sure wish we had Thanksgiving in Australia -- any excuse for another holiday filled with yummy food!

    I'm your newest follower stopping by from Where's the Love Friday. Hope you can follow me back:



  4. Found you through Boost My Blog Friday. I just love the title of your blog. I am now following you. Have a great weekend. :-)

  5. What a cute idea, and I bet kids would love doing this as well. Just stoppin' by from Friendly Friday, Congrats on being featured. I am happy to be your newest follower and am looking forward to more recipes and crafty ideas like this.

  6. Too cute! Showcase Sisters is now following you from Friendly Friday Blog Hop!


  7. Very clever and cute as can be! Stopping by from Friday Follow - and now following you! Looking forward to getting to know you better....

  8. What a wonderful website! Great ideas that I could use at our preschool.

    Congrats on being featured for Friendly Friday!

  9. Would you believe I don't think I'v ever made one of these?? I always loved seeing them at your house, but this year will be my first!! The kids are going to love it, and I hope it becomes part of our Thanksgiving tradition!

    Oh, and I think you just might rock ;)

  10. Well like you our Christmas Tree over in these neck of the woods is going up November 1st. Its my husband's rule. He does this every year and he can handle the laughter and the people making fun, but its just a season he loves a lot and tries to get the most out of.

    Cute Turkeys!! I'll have to copy the idea when my kid gets old enough to craft.

    Following from Friendly Friday!
    Heather From and Mommy Only Has Two Hands! and Lynhea Designs

  11. OMG Those are so cute. What a great blog. I'm following from friendly friday.

  12. I love your craft ideas!!! Following you from Boost My Blog Friday.


  13. My kids will love this! I'm your newest follower from Friendly Friday! You can find me at


    Hope you stop by- I've got some great giveaway- one ending tonight!

  14. Thanksgiving is this weekend in Canada! Yay turkey :)

  15. I am so glad I found you at the hop!
    I love your blog and look forward to connecting with you.
    Living out Loud

  16. Hi, TNG; following from Friendly Fridays. Also signed up to follow on Twitter. :)

  17. I posted, but it didn't show up. Hmmm. Anyway, following from Friendly Friday blog hop (also on Twitter). :D

  18. Very cute! Love your Turkeys. I might have to try this with my 8 year old. I think she would still like it! Saw you on Friendly Friday. Stop by when you get the chance:

  19. New blog follower! Enjoy your weekend :0


  20. Hi, Everyone!

    Thank you so much for all the great comments! You have made my day!

    I'm looking forward to visiting your blogs over the next few days, but I just wanted to take a moment now to thank you all for stopping by! Have a wonderful weekend, and a very Happy (Canadian!) Thanksgiving!


  21. I've never heard of these before -- how adorable! Can't wait to make some with my kids:)

  22. Such a cute craft! I'm following from Welcome Wednesday! :-)

  23. Oh I had to laugh when I saw your turkey !


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