Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means it’s time to start planning your holiday decor! While elaborate centerpieces can sometimes steal the show, they often require a lot of time and effort to put together. If you’re looking for easy-to-make turkey centerpieces that still make a statement, you’ve come to the right place!
When it comes to Thanksgiving, turkeys naturally take center stage. They’re the star of the meal after all! But there are many creative ways to incorporate turkeys into your Thanksgiving table decor without spending hours on complex DIY projects. Read on for turkey centerpiece ideas that can be made in minutes with common household items and a little creativity.
Keep It Simple With Mini Turkeys
One of the easiest turkey centerpieces starts with small plastic toy turkeys. You can find these cute little guys at most craft stores and even dollar stores this time of year. Arrange 3-5 turkeys down the center of your table, alternating which way they face. Nestle them into a bed of fall leaves, wheat, or other seasonal decorations you may have on hand. Top with some candlesticks or small potted plants for a simple, yet festive look. The turkeys will get conversation going and are a great choice if you have little kids that will be eager to play with the table decorations.
Use Food As Decor
Why use artificial decorations when you can construct your centerpiece from edible treats? Stack round crackers like Ritz or Wheat Thins to form the turkey’s body. Use peanut butter to “glue” them together and add red cinnamon candies for eyes. Insert pretzel sticks into the peanut butter to make the legs and wings. You can add any other snacks you think would make the turkey come to life, like chocolate chips for feathers or a gumdrop for a wattle. Surround your cracker turkey with fall fruits like apples and pears for a tasty centerpiece your guests can nibble on.
Get Creative With Pinecones
Pinecones lend themselves perfectly to becoming tiny turkeys. Start by painting larger pinecones brown. Once dry, glue on googly eyes and a small orange triangle for the beak. Use a hot glue gun to attach toothpicks as legs and construction paper cut into leaf shapes for feathers. If you can find pinecones with a natural curve, they will work perfectly to form the turkey’s plump body. Arrange your pinecone turkeys on a bed of fallen leaves or tuck them into a cornucopia centerpiece.
Craft Paper Turkeys
For a more decorative take, craft turkeys from construction paper. Cut turkey body shapes from brown paper and smaller feather shapes from fall colors like red, orange, and yellow. Use the pointy end of the feather template to also cut out a fanned tail. Glue the pieces together in turkey form and let the kids decorate with crayons, glitter, or sequins. Make turkey place cards by gluing the paper turkeys to the top of note cards folded in half. Write each guest’s name on one side. The paper turkeys can also be glued to bamboo skewers and inserted into a pumpkin or floral foam to create a fun turkey centerpiece.
DIY Turkey Place Card Holders
Speaking of place cards, slice a potato in half width-wise and carve out a notch that will hold a place card or name tag. Keep the two halves together while you paint the potato brown and decorate with feathers using a small paintbrush. Glue or insert an orange triangle beak made from felt or construction paper. Add googly eyes and toothpick legs for a full turkey effect. Write each guest’s name on a card and tuck it into the slit in the potato. Arrange the turkey place card holders around your centerpiece. Kids will get a kick out of finding their “turkey” at the table!
Display Mini Pumpkin Turkeys
Craft stores often sell adorable mini pumpkins this time of year, sometimes even pre-painted. Grab a few white mini pumpkins and paint the base brown for the body. Once dry, use a paint pen or marker to draw the wing feathers and face details like eyes and a beak. Cut a thin slice off the bottom of the pumpkin so it sits flat, then arrange on plates or platters scattered down your table. You can also set each pumpkin turkey at every place setting for a personalized touch.
Use Flowers & Decorative Gourds
For a more elegant tablescape, construct a turkey centerpiece from seasonal flowers and gourds. Use a large ornamental cabbage or other round floral base for the body. Insert long thick leaves like bear grass stems underneath to form the legs and tail. Arrange assorted orange and yellow gourds around the base, angling them out like feathers. Accent with pops of fall flowers and berries in coordinating colors. Trim flower stems short so your nature-inspired turkey centerpiece stays low and long down the table.
Craft Paper Bag Turkeys
Brown paper lunch bags make for surprisingly cute turkeys with just a little crafting. Fold the sealed end down for the head and neck, securing it with tape. At the open end, fold the sides in to taper the body, creating wings. Use orange construction paper to cut out and glue on feet, a beak, eyes, and wattle. You can leave the wings plain brown or decorate with markers, glue, or feathers to resemble a real turkey. Arrange the paper bag turkeys standing upright in a wreath, bouquet, or clustering them around a cranberry vase.
Display Turkey Figs For An Organic Look
Those cute turkey decor figurines that pop up everywhere this time of year provide great inspiration for a farmhouse style centerpiece. Look for tiny resin, ceramic, or wooden turkeys and place 2-3 down the center of your table. Surround them with mini pumpkins, gourds, honeycomb, dried fall leaves and flowers for an organic feel. Incorporate old books, galvanized buckets, or wooden crates for a touch of vintage charm. Handwritten chalkboard name cards complete the homespun Thanksgiving display.
Suspend Wooden Turkeys From The Chandelier
Bring your turkey centerpiece overhead by dangling wooden cutouts from the dining room chandelier. Trace and cut turkey body shapes from 1/4″ birch wood cut into 7-10″ sizes. Wooden alphabet letters in fall colors can spell out “Thanks” or “Grateful” to accent. Use varying lengths of fishing line or twine to hang the turkeys at different heights for visual interest. Scatter loose leaves and twigs on the table underneath to carry the nature theme throughout the space.
Layer Turkeys Under Cloches
Covered glass cloches are another trendy way to present your turkey centerpiece in a protected display. start with a wood plank as the base layer. Arrange real or artificial autumn leaves, sticks, and accents like pinecones on the plank. Place your choice of turkey figurine, handmade turkey decoration, flower arrangement, or place card holders on top. Cover with bell jars or cloches of varying heights and shapes to give dimension. The vintage cloches act as mini Turkey “habitats” and create a visually appealing layered look for your table.
Craft Colorful Feather Bouquets
Channel a turkey’s beautifully colored feathers into a stunning floral centerpiece. Use real or artificial blooms in warm fall hues like burgundy, orange, red, and brown. Select an odd number of bud vases or bottles in different heights. Cut flower stems short and arrange blooms tightly together so they resemble fanned feathers. Wrap twine, jute, or raffia around the necks of the vases to cover the stems. Then cluster the feathery flower “bouquets” down the center of the table for bold autumn style.
Let Kids Craft Melted Crayon Turkeys
Get the kids involved in making whimsical turkeys by melting old crayons onto pinecones. Have them peel and sort crayons into fall color groups to melt in mini tins or muffin cups. Carefully dip each pinecone top into the melted crayon, add googley eyes and let cool. The colored tips will dry to look like a turkey’s feathers! Arrange the pinecone turkeys in a line down the table so guests can admire your kid’s handiwork. Scatter acorns or nuts around for an added natural touch.
Suspend Paper Decoration Garlands
Cut long triangles and other turkey feather shapes from brown, red, orange and yellow construction paper. Use a paper hole punch to make holes along one side then string them together with ribbon to create a colorful paper garland. Drape the garlands across your table, winding them through candlesticks and centerpiece elements. Hang extras from the ceiling above or nearby banisters and fireplace to carry the theme throughout your home.
Incorporate Fun Turkey Figurines
For a bold, playful turkey display, surround a large glass bowl or urn filler with fun turkey decor pieces. Look for turkey salt-and-pepper shakers, turkey candles, whimsical stuffed turkey toys, ceramic turkey figurines, or anything else turkey-themed that catches your eye. Heap in fall fruits, nuts, leaves, flowers or other embellishments to fill out the arrangement. Let your kids help pick out the turkey trinkets for a centerpiece that’s sure to spark smiles!
Display Your Turkey Day Parade Pride
Decorate your dinner table with an ode to the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Use a large shallow bowl or pan as the base. Arrange bouquets of balloons on either side made from red, orange and yellow curled ribbon. Prop up paper bag turkey puppets in between and scatter confetti to look like crowds lining the parade route below. You can find printable bag puppet templates online or have your little ones color their own. It’s an easy centerpiece that celebrates the joy of the holiday season.
Give Thanks With A Gratitude Tree
Trees are a common nature-inspired Thanksgiving decoration, so put one at the center of your table with a gratitude theme. Use twisted branches or willow stems bundled together in a tall vase to create the tree effect. Hang paper leaves cut out in fall colors with notes from guests written on them sharing what they’re grateful for this season. Provide leaves and pens at each place setting so everyone can participate in your gratitude tree. Uplifting and interactive, it makes for a meaningful Thanksgiving centerpiece.
What are some good bases to use in turkey centerpieces?
Vases, trays, platters, cake stands, bowls, crates, and wreaths make great bases for building turkey centerpieces. Opt for neutral solids or wood textures to let your turkeys pop.
What are some easy turkey decorations I can add to a centerpiece?
Mini pumpkins, gourds, pinecones, fall leaves and flowers, candles, nuts, berries, fruits, and wood cutouts painted or shaped like turkeys are all easy options. Craft turkey figurines from clay, felt, or paper for handmade options.
How can I incorporate food into a turkey centerpiece?
Stack crackers or cookies to form the body and peanut butter to “glue” them together. Use pretzels, candy, fruits and nuts for accents. Arrange fresh veggies, herbs, nuts, and edible flowers in a cornucopia.Infuse drinks like cider with fall flavors.
What table decorations go well with turkey centerpieces?
Fall wreaths, garlands, candles, table runners, napkin rings, lace, burlap, and touches of brown, red, orange, and yellow help tie the theme together. Scatter nuts, pinecones, leaves, or acorns around your turkey decor.
How can I get kids involved in making turkey centerpieces?
Let them craft paper bag puppets, crayon-melted pinecones, or construction paper turkeys. Have them arrange gourds and decorations in a cornucopia. Provide supplies to make gratitude tree leaves or place cards to go with your centerpiece.
When it comes to Thanksgiving table decor, don’t be afraid to think outside the cornucopia! With a little creativity, you can craft charming turkey centerpieces from common household items and store-bought accents. Look for inspiration from nature themes like feathers, leaves, and flowers. DIY turkeys out of pumpkins, pinecones, or paper for unique handmade touches. Display fun figurines and trinkets that will make your guests smile. Most importantly, make it easy on yourself. These simple ideas come together quickly but still supply that festive fall flair! Use any leftover decorations to embellish sideboards, buffets, and other Thanksgiving gathering spots. With a handcrafted turkey centerpiece as the focal point, you’re sure to have a table that really wows this Turkey Day.