Hands On: Turkey Time


We’ve all been there. You’re on your way home from the park and your little one insists on bringing home all the pinecones he’s collected. If you are lucky, you can wheedle him down to just one or two. Either way, there’s probably more than a few pinecones rolling around your house. Put them to good use with this adorable project. You can make one and use it as a stand-alone decoration or create a posse of turkeys for a centerpiece. Or write names on small pieces of construction paper, insert them into the pine cones and use them as place settings on Turkey Day.



Red pipe cleaner
Colored feathers
Googly eyes
Bottle cap (milk jug or sports-drink caps will work)
White glue
Hot glue gun and sticks, optional


1. Cut approximately 2 inches off of the pipe cleaner and set aside.

2. Form a loop on the larger piece of pipe cleaner to create the head and twist to hold in place.


3. Take the smaller piece of pipe cleaner and twist it around the top part of the loop so that it hangs down on one side to form the wattle.

4. Twist the end of the pipe cleaner around the narrow end of the pinecone.

5. Adjust the turkey neck and head to the length and shape you want. Set turkey inside the bottle cap to steady it.

6. Dribble white glue into the empty spaces toward the fat
end of the pinecone and stick in as many feathers as you want. You can use traditional fall colors or go with bright colors for a festive look! (Note: Use white glue for feathers, not hot glue. There is always a risk of burns with hot glue, but feathers make it worse.)

7. Glue on googly eyes to the pipe-cleaner head. A grown-up can use hot glue, which ­works best. But you can use white glue and press eyes into place until the glue grabs. Pro tip: Whether using hot glue or white glue, squeeze some onto a paper plate
and carefully apply with a toothpick.

Julie Jetton is a co-owner of Spark Arts Center in Northeast Portland’s Hollywood District. She believes that creative expression is a pathway to learning. Spark Arts has classes and open studio time for kids ages 2 to 12. Find out more by visiting: sparkartscenter.com.

Julie Jetton
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