diy projects, holidays, thanksgiving

DIY: Turkey Place Cards

Turkey Place Card Thanksgiving

I made these turkey place cards last year for a project and thought I should share the DIY on here this year as they’re just too darn cute to forget about.  With Thanksgiving around the corner, these little guys are an adorable way to personalize each of your guests place settings.


  • Styrofoam Balls: 1 x 2″ and 1 x 1″ balls
  • Toothpicks
  • Craft Paint + Paintbrush
  • Assortment of fall-inspired colored paper
  • Scissors (decorative [optional] + regular scissors)
  • Serrated Knife
  • Hot Glue + Glue Stick
  • Brown Pipe Cleaners


Turkey Placecards DIY

 Step #1: First, paint both the smaller and larger Styrofoam balls. To assist with the painting, stick a toothpick into the balls and hold the toothpick to paint. Once finished, set aside to dry.  Note: Since these balls will serve as the turkey’s body and head, I went with a red paint, but the color is all up to you. Almost any craft paint will work – just make sure to not use spray paint, as most spray paints will deteriorate the Styrofoam.

Step #2: While you’re waiting for the paint to dry, take the scissors to your paper and cut the following shapes: 3 – 5 circular shapes in various sizes (for the tail feathers), 2 small circles (for the eyes), 2 elliptical shapes (for the wattle), and 1 triangular piece (for the beak). I used decorative craft scissors for the tail feather pieces, but if you don’t have decorative scissors, you can cut diagonal shapes by hand or just keep it simple with round circular shapes.

Step #3: Next, take your circular tail feather pieces and make diagonal lines about three-quarters of the way down each piece. Using glue, stack the pieces together, with the smallest piece on top. Make sure all of the edges are aligned at the bottom.

Step #4: Once your Styrofoam has dried, use a serrated knife make a 1” deep cut about three-quarters of the way back into your larger Styrofoam ball.

Step #5: Apply a bit of glue to the bottom of the paper tail feather piece and stick it into the cut you made in your Styrofoam.

Step #6: Taking your small Styrofoam ball, glue on the beak, the wattle, and the eyes. Then use a toothpick to secure the two balls together.

Step #7: Double up pipe cleaners and stick into the bottom of the larger ball to serve as the legs of the turkey. To prevent the turkey from falling over, avoid making the legs too long. If you’re having trouble standing the turkey, you can also hot glue the legs to a decorative piece of paper to give it a bit more balance.

Step #8: Print out your name cards and create tags for each of your guests. Lastly, secure the place cards into the turkeys, carefully wedging each one into the Styrofoam just below the beak.

Turkey Place Card