Make your own pumpkin turkey

Larry G. Field
Wednesday, November 27, 2019
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Article Image Alt Text

Shown are the parts that go into making a turkey centerpiece and the finished product. As Field noted in the instructions, this looks like a great family project.

I began receiving feedback about the photo in the “hobby” issue (Nov. 14) before the mail person delivered my “Laurel Outlook.” That photo generated more feedback than any previous article and therefore I am going to provide more detail. Remember, making the replica of a being from a pumpkin is not limited to a turkey. Reread the Nov. 14 article if you are going to create a pumpkin turkey.

Creating a center piece “pumpkin turkey” is simple if you just do it and don’t overwork (d-ow) or over-think the project. They will be attractive even if not a masterpiece. This can be a great family project, with adults doing anything potentially hazardous such as attaching nails, sawing heads, trimming wings, etc. If you have display room, you can create a turkey family. Again, just do it, limited by your display space, not by your creativity.

Before I go any further, I will re-state a comment from the “crafts” article. Place a waterproof plate or similar under each pumpkin while displaying because they will eventually decompose shedding watery juice. You do not (and I or the Outlook do not want) want to ruin your furniture, carpet, etc.! They should last 10-20 days; but they will not smell offensive or give you any other

hint that decomposition is occurring until they become disfigured.

A good trick is to place a double thickness of (2) white paper doilies on each plate and under each pumpkin to absorb liquid which will distort and discolor the doily to forewarn you of decomposition. The more and larger the pilot holes (for inserting parts) that you drill/pierce into the pumpkin, the faster they will decompose.

Head: I make mine from scrap “1 by” lumber, shaped slightly by a sander after cutting, d-ow. I then paint and (adults) insert 2 headless attachment nails (parallel).

A turkey chick pumpkin should be similar in size, or slightly larger, than a softball. An adult turkey should be a pumpkin the size of a volley-ball.

You may be able to trace the head published in the Outlook. I save my parts in a box labeled “pumpkin turkey,” to prevent the need to re-grow colored corn or remake any of the parts. I use a head with a maximum height of 6” for adults and 3” for chicks. I also have 4” and 5” heads to size the head to the pumpkin. I

normally curve the attachment site to better fit the round pumpkin,

with deeper curves on progressively smaller heads to match the curve of smaller pumpkins. Curving is not required if you use a scarf to cover the head’s attachment site.

If you trace the head, make enlarged/reduced photocopies until you have at least a three and six inch head. Transfer these to matt board or similar cardboard and cut out the silhouettes for use as templates to mark the lumber (to be cut/prepared by adults).

Use your imagination for parts. Most items that can be used for tail feathers can also be used as wings. Useful items include rolled fall foliage leaves, bundles of seed-heads and colorful twigs (red, orange, yellow), cattail heads, etc. Thin items will have to be bundled to “size.” Fragile items may be sprayed with lacquer or glue. My favorites are colored corn tail and whole trimmed corn husk wing. I drill undersized holes and force attachment nails into the pieces/pumpkin.

The pictured items will probably be difficult to see, but they

are, starting at the top:

1. Corn husk wings 2. Turkey feathers tail and hobby plastic eyes. 3 Lumber and colored corn tail, centered the wood head 4. Holiday fabric scarves.

One adult and two chicks with different materials for tails & wings make a nice, large, centerpiece. This is a great family project.

The Laurel Outlook


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