How to Make a Yarn Gratitude Turkey

How to Make a Yarn Gratitude Turkey

Make a fun and easy craft that can help you bring out the “thanks” in Thanksgiving.

By: Ellen Neuborne

Thanksgiving is here with its feasts, family and football! But amid the plenty, you may be looking for a way to slow down and remind everyone — even the youngest guests — that the holidays should come with a heaping side of gratitude.

Making a gratitude turkey is one way to add a moment of reflection and fun to the celebration.

Two foam balls: one big and one little. The exact sizes are up to you, but a 23-centimetre (9-inch) ball and a 10-centimetre (4-inch) ball would work. They will eventually be the body and the head of your turkey
Two balls of yarn: one light brown, one dark brown
Felt: orange (for the beak) and red (for the waddle)
Two glue-on googly eyes
Wooden craft sticks
Brown, orange, red and yellow craft paper
Crayons or markers


  1. Cut a 2 1/2-centimetre (1-inch) sliver off the larger ball to make a flat base for your turkey. Then, wrap the larger ball in dark brown yarn. (Tie a knot at the bottom. Some crafters recommend a shot from the glue gun to be sure it holds.) Wrap the smaller ball in the lighter yarn, securing with a knot and glue
  2. Using a wooden craft stick, skewer and connect the big ball to the small ball. Be sure to balance it so that your turkey does not tip forward
  3. Make your turkey’s face: glue on the eyes, cut and glue two triangles for the beak and a red teardrop for the waddle
  4. Cut feather shapes from your craft paper — be sure they are large enough for guests to write on. Bend each one in half lengthwise to create a seam. Glue a toothpick to the bottom third of each feather

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On Thanksgiving Day, have guests write things they are thankful for on the feathers and stick the feathers into your turkey to create his fan-shaped tail. If your group is small, spread your feathers out so that they fan across the turkey body. If you have a big group, it’s fine to have multiple fan layers.

Where should your grateful turkey sit? Some families may opt to make this a table centrepiece, giving it a place of honour at the meal. But there are other options that make sense.

  • Consider placing the turkey and its feathers on a table near the front door and ask each guest to complete a feather upon arrival.
  • Really shake things up and sit the turkey, its feathers and its message of gratitude on the coffee table by the football game. It’s a good reminder that the holiday isn’t all about a favourite sport.
  • Finally, if your kids’ table is mostly school-age kids, let the turkey be their centrepiece.

Tip: Consider making time during the meal to discuss your gratitude feathers.

What are you grateful for this year? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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