I have a small collection of vintage craft books, and sometime I’ll post a photo from the books on the Crafts ‘n Coffee Facebook page. After I posted the picture of this handsome Chenille Turkey from the 1975 book Foam Crafting with Styrofoam®, I had several requests for the tutorial. So, I asked designer Patty Schaffer if she was up for recreating the original Chenille Turkey Craft and of course she was.
Fast forward 38 years to 2013, and here’s Patty’s Thanksgiving Chenille Turkey redux. He’s a craft classic, and he’s made from materials that are as easy to find today as they were in 1975 – chenille stems and STYROFOAM Brand Foam. (Do you remember when chenille stems were called pipe cleaners?)
Patty reports that he was a lot of fun to make, and her son really loves the chenille stems. It’s the perfect Thanksgiving project for families, as the kids can curl the chenille stems while an adult cuts out the tail feathers and assembles the body.
To make a Chenille Turkey, you’ll need:
- STYROFOAM Brand Foam: 5″ ball; 3” x 4” egg; 12″ x 12″ x 1″ sheet
- Paper, 12” x 12” (for tail pattern)
- Chenille stems: 100 brown and 9 orange
- Wiggle eyes
- Felt: Gold, brown, white, red
- Ribbon, 1″ wide (for edge of tail)
- Top hat (Patty found hers at Michaels)
- Low-temp glue gun
- Tools needed: Scissors; pencil; serrated knife; old candle or bar of soap; straight pins; toothpicks
To make a Chenille Turkey:
1. Make the tail:
- Draw a scalloped tail on the sheet of paper. Patty’s pattern measured about 9-1/2″ wide by 8-1/2 ” tall. Cut out pattern, and pin to the foam sheet.
- Score a cutting line around the pattern using a sharp pencil.
- Wax the knife blade with a bar of soap or old candle.
- Cut out the tail.
- Cover one side with felt, and glue ribbon along the edge.
2. Assemble the body:
- Cut a small slice from the top of the ball and the side of the egg.
- Rub the cut sides together for a secure fit. The wide end of the egg faces the back.
- Insert 2 – 3 toothpicks between the pieces and glue together.
- Cut a small slice from the back of the ball. Glue and pick the ball body to the tail.
3. While you assemble the body, have the kids roll the chenille stems into coils. Cut about 30 of the brown chenille stems in half before coiling.
4. Cover the tail and body with a mix of the large and small coils. The orange coils are all placed on the tail. The head is covered with the smaller coils.
5. Cut feet from brown felt and a collar from the white felt. Cut out and glue a beak and wattle to the head. Glue on wiggle eyes. Glue hat onto the head.
Here they are, side by side. Patty is working on another turkey craft to share with you next week and I think you’re going to love it. And tomorrow, I’ll share a round up of turkey crafts from around the blogosphere.
Don’t forget about this week’s giveaway – you could win a subscription to Country Woman magazine and the winter issue of Paper Creations. You have till midnight tonight to enter.