Is it just me, or does it seem like the last two months of the year just fly by? I swear the clock speeds up the minute the last trick or treater steps off my porch. Blink and it’s Thanksgiving, wink and it’s Christmas! I love decorating for the holidays but I always feel like Thanksgiving gets the short end of the stick. Even in my own tutorials, there’s a notable lack of Thanksgiving projects. So I made this little guy to try to tip the balance a bit.
He’s based on the ruffled wreath tutorials I’ve shared for other holidays (St. Patricks Day, Easter and 4th of July), so he only requires straight line sewing and a bit of patience with the glue gun. He’s also a great way to use up scrap fabric.
To make one, you’ll need:
- A 12″ styrofoam wreath form
- Fabric scraps or fat quarters in assorted colors for the tail and wings
there are a total of 7 sections in the tail plus brown for the turkey body, a color for the wings and yellow for the feet
- Something to stiffen the turkey body parts. I used 1/2 yard of Pellon 71F fusible stabilizer. You could also attach the fabric to lightweight cardboard using spray adhesive, if that’s what you have on hand.
- Small scraps of Pellon EZ Steam to attach the beak and wattle
- A glue gun and glue sticks
- A small black button or googly eye
- A 4-5″ scrap of ribbon
- The turkey body pattern (download here)
Lay out your tail fabrics and decide on an order for the colors.
Once you have an arrangement you like, cut a total of 7 7-1/2″ x 12-3/4″ pieces for the tail. Stitch the sections together with a 1/4″ seam into one long strip, joining the long edges. Press all the seams in one direction.
Fold the strip in half, long edges facing.
Sew along the long edge with a 1/4″ seam to create a long tube. Turn the tube right side out and press, with the long seam at one edge.
To form the casing for the wreath form, measure over 3” from the folded edge (not the seam edge) of the tube and sew a straight line all the way down. If your sewing machine doesn’t have a 3″ guide, you can use a piece of washi tape or masking tape as a guide.
Use a long serrated knife to cut make a cut through the wreath form.
Slide the non-seam side of your fabric tube onto the wreath form. Tip: Before you start, figure out which way the seams between the tail section are facing. You want to slide the tube onto the wreath in the same direction to avoid catching the cut edge of the form in the seams. In the photo below, the seam allowances are all ironed to the LEFT.
Slide the tube all the way onto the wreath. Use your glue gun to re-join the cut ends of the wreath form, being careful not to catch any of the fabric in the glue. Set the wreath aside for now.
Print out the turkey templates at 100% (download here).
Adhere whatever stabilizer you’re using (Pellon 71F or cardboard) to the back of the fabrics for the body, wings and feet. Flip the fabric pieces over and trace the body, wing and feet templates onto the wrong side (which is now the stabilizer side). Trace the feet twice, turning the pattern over for the second foot so they face in opposite directions. Do the same for the wings.
Apply fusible adhesive to the back side of scrap fabrics for the beak and wattle. Flip the pieces over and trace the beak and wattle templates onto the paper side of the adhesive. (You can also skip the fusible adhesive and use spray adhesive to attach the pieces.)
Cut out all the pieces.
Adhere the beak to the body piece.
Adhere the wattle over the beak, and attach the button or googly eye with hot glue.
Lay the body piece on top of the wreath form and decide where you want the head and body to attach. Push the fabric ruffle out of the way and mark where the bottom edges of the body overlap the wreath form. Set the body aside for now.
Cut a few strips 1″ strips from the remaining body fabric. Using pins to hold them in place, start just outside the marks you made on the wreath form and wrap the strips around it to cover the form. Slide the ruffle down a bit to cover the raw ends of the wrapped strips. Glue or pin the ruffle into place, then slide the tail sections around until the fabric is evenly distributed around the remainder of the wreath.
Lay the body piece back on top of the wreath. Glue the head to the wreath using hot glue. Don’t attach the bottom of the body yet.
Flip the wreath over and glue the feet to the back side of the body piece.
Turn the wreath back over and slide the wing sections under the body. Move them around until you’re happy with the placement, then glue them to the wreath. Glue down the remainder of the turkey body, attaching it to the wings on either side and the wrapped part of the wreath form.
Fold the ribbon in half and pin or glue it to the back side of the wreath to create a hanger.