While this Thanksgiving centerpiece requires a crafty hand and a little bit of time, you’ll definitely achieve a wow factor with this Turkey Day themed decoration. Whether on the mantle or as part of a table or buffet centerpiece, this book turkey will turn some heads this holiday season. Not only does this decoration attract attention with its creativity, this project can also be made at a minimum cost with materials that are already sitting around at home!
Also, if you’re feeling like taking on a larger project, book turkeys (or the pumpkin variation) would be great table place cards or favors for guests to take home! Make sure to follow my step-by-step tutorial for the book turkey and pumpkin variation of this craft below, and after trying this fun craft, take a look at our other Thanksgiving Ideas and Activities to make your holiday a special one!
- Paperback book (1 1/2 -2 inches thick)
- Orange craft paper (12x12 sheet)
- Cream embroidery thread and needle
- Book Turkey Template 1 and 2
- Hot glue
- Permanent marker
- X-Acto knife
- Rip off the front cover of the paperback book. I used The Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens because (a) I already had two copies of the book, and (b) it was at least 1 ½ inches thick.
- Print and cutout Turkey Template 1. Find the halfway point of the book, and trace the template with a permanent marker onto the bottom half of the page.
- Use an X-Acto knife to cut the pages of the book along the template. You can try using a small pair of scissors instead, but a sharp X-Acto knife will be easier.
- Cut out all the pages, but do not cut the back cover or the binding.
- Next, cut out Turkey Template 2, and trace the head of the turkey onto the back cover of the book. Use a pair of scissors to remove the remaining binding and cut out the head.
- Trace Turkey Template 2 twice onto a sheet of heavy orange craft paper and cut out.
- Take one orange turkey paper and attach it to one side of the book cover and the adjoining book page. Repeat the same process on the other side with the second orange turkey paper.
- If you’d like to add embroidery thread to the head of the turkey like mine, poke holes along the edge with an X-Acto knife. Then, use cream colored thread to create a blanket stitch. Take a look at this easy tutorial to learn how to sew a blanket stitch.
- Finish your turkey off by slightly crinkling the pages so they fluff out nicely.
- Variation: I created a pumpkin variation of this project that is very easy! Follow the same instructions above, but remove both the back and front covers and us e the Pumpkin Template instead. After cutting the pages, do not remove the binding, but trim it to a 1-inch length. Finish off the pumpkin by hot gluing the binding together. Add some basket filler around the stem for some extra punch!