How to Decorate a Large Pumpkin Like a Turkey

by Emily Jarvis

Pumpkins are as much a symbol of Thanksgiving as a toothy jack-o-lantern is for Halloween, but a plain pumpkin lacks that festive feel. Transforming an ordinary pumpkin into a Tom turkey is easy and fun for kids, not to mention a lot less messy than carving a jack-o-lantern. A turkey pumpkin can be kitschy or chic; it's all a matter of the materials used.

Items you will need

  • One large pumpkin
  • Bamboo skewers, one for each tail feather and one for the neck and head
  • Poster board
  • Craft paint
  • Paint brush
  • Scrapbook paper (optional)
  • Masking tape
  • Plastic eyes
  • Glue stick
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Step 1

Trace a feather shape onto poster board or other lightweight cardboard, like cereal boxes. Cut out at least five large feathers and four medium feathers, or even more for a fuller turkey tail.

Step 2

Trace a turkey head onto the poster board. Also draw a gobble and a top hat separately. Make a 3-D beak by drawing a squat rectangle with a triangle on top and a triangle on bottom. The triangle parts will be folded out to make a beak. Cut out all four shapes.

Step 3

Paint the feathers, head, gobble and top hat. Choose assorted fall colors for the paint. Add in a few metallic gold feathers for a chic turkey tail. Or, glue scrapbook paper in different patterns to brown feathers for a shabby-chic turkey tail. Paint the head brown, the top hat black, the beak yellow and the gobble red, or use whatever colors you like.

Step 4

Glue the plastic eyes to the head. Make the beak by folding the triangles so they face up and gluing the rectangle to the head. Glue the gobble over the beak and the top hat to the top of the head.

Step 5

Use masking tape to attach the feathers to bamboo skewers. Tape the back of the feather to the skewer using several piece of tape. Leave at least an inch of the sharp end of the skewer exposed at the bottom to stick in the pumpkin.

Step 6

Attach a skewer to the assembled head with masking tape. Leave at least an inch of sharp skewer end exposed to stick in the pumpkin.

Step 7

Assemble the turkey pumpkin. Skewer a row of larger feathers to the back of the top of the pumpkin. Stick the medium feathers staggered in front of the large ones. Skewer the head to the front side of the top of pumpkin.

About the Author

Emily Jarvis is a graduate of University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism. Her articles have appeared in "Southern Distinction Magazine" and "The Red & Black." Jarvis holds a Bachelor of Arts in magazine journalism and a Master of Arts in journalism.

Photo Credits

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