Friday, November 14, 2014

Turkey Time: Repurposing a Pumpkin

I repurposed a Halloween pumpkin for Thanksgiving!

I completed this craft and tutorial - then realized I had made some pretty funny errors!  See if you can spot them, before I tell you what they are.

Do you remember the pumpkin I decorated by hot-gluing swirly designs of black chenille stems?  

When Halloween was over, the chenille stems easily peeled off - leaving me with a perfectly good pumpkin. I debated about using it to do some baking ... but its shape and stem gave me another idea. This would be a fun craft to do with or for young kids.

Using just these few items, and the once-again bare pumpkin...

... I turned the pumpkin into this Pumpkin-Turkey craft:

Parts of this craft may be reusable again next year

Hot glue peels away from the skin of a real pumpkin very easily.  The foam piece with the feathers attached, eyes, comb, and wattle could all potentially be stored; to use again next year. (Alternately, a synthetic pumpkin could be used to make this craft.)

A One-of-a-Kind Bird

Since I just used my imagination for this craft, I cannot direct you to a tutorial. This is truly a one-of-a-kind bird! If your read a little further, you’ll see exactly what I mean! 

In case you are curious as to how I made it, I'll explain my method here. ...

How I Made My Pumpkin Turkey (Oops - it is a TURKOOSTER!)


1 pumpkin - preferably with a beak-shaped stem
2 google eyes - size according to your choice
2 red chenille stems
feathers - I used about 18 feathers, a mixture of red, orange, yellow and black
1 small brown foam sheet
hot glue gun and glue sticks.


Turkey Wattle
  • Determine which part of the pumpkin will be the breast, according to the shape of the stem.
  • Wrap one red Chenille stem around the stalk, close to the body of the pumpkin, forming a loop or two hanging downward below the “beak.”
  • Add a dab of hot glue to secure this.

  • Determine the best spot for these, near the top of the pumpkin, just above the stem.
  • Hot glue google eyes in place.

Turkey comb
  • Fold over the second red pipe cleaner several times, making loops to resemble a turkey's comb.
  • Attach this to the top of pumpkin, where top of turkey's head should be.

Tail feathers
  • Cut a circle of the foam sheet, just smaller than the base of the pumpkin (the tail end)
  • Glue foam to the pumpkin, centering it on the base and leaving the top portion of the circle unglued.
  • Poke feathers (as many as desired and needed to make the tail look full) into the pocket formed between the foam and the pumpkin.  Add dabs of hot glue to keep them in place, then firmly glue the foam to all sides of the pumpkin that it is touching.

I thought that I was making a Pumpkin Turkey.  

I should have done my research first.  I actually invented a new species,  a TURKOOSTER!  

After I made this craft and wrote the draft of this post, I got thinking a little bit about turkeys. Then I did an internet search.  Sure enough, a turkey does not have a comb - but a rooster does.  Also, according to the same source, the wattle on a turkey is actually a flap of skin at the neck; what hangs down over the beak is called a snood. 

OOPS. Oh well - My bird is not anatomically incorrect, but I still think he's pretty cute!

Our cat seems to think it is a bird. I'm having trouble keeping him away from it, and he has been pulling out the tail feathers!

I have now made two crafts with the same pumpkin
I promise you - I will not repurpose it again. 
You will not see it as a Christmas craft!

Do you have any decorations you use for more than one holiday?

This post may be linked to one of the great link-up parties I follow and list on my blog. Check them out!


  1. So so creative Susan! I love it :) I wish you a terrific weekend!

    1. Thanks -I hope you are having a good weekend too!

  2. I love your turkooster! Really cute - and I love the pictures with the cat. Our pumpkins don't make it long enough to be repurposed :)!

    1. The cat seems to feel a need to be a part of any projects that I do!

  3. Big smiles. And those feathers wouldn't be safe here either. In fact the cats would spread them from 'Christmas to breakfast" (a phrase used here about something which is spread far and wide) so the pumpkin would get a look in at the next holiday.

    1. I'd never heard that phrase - but I love it and it would be a fitting description. Surprisingly, after the initial attraction, the feathers seem to have lost their appeal - or maybe I've just been around enough to distract the cat~!

  4. I love your repurposed pumpkin. Whether it's anatomically correct or not, it's adorable!


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