Turkey Place Cards — 3D and Goofy

Put Smiles on Guest Faces With Goofy Turkey Place Cards

Put smiles on your guests’ faces this Thanksgiving when they’re searching for their names clutched in the beaks of these goofy turkey place cards. These turkey place cards can be made using the PDF or SVG cutting file that you can download below.

Turkey Place Cards - Hi Harry, This is Your Place

Supplies for Turkey Place Cards (makes 1 bird)

  • 2-inch Styrofoam ball
  • 1-inch Styrofoam ball
  • Brown acrylic paint
  • Disposable foam brush
  • Wood skewers and toothpicks
  • Craft googly eyes to fit a 1-inch head
  • Brown pipe cleaner
  • Tacky non-solvent glue — for example Aleene’s Quick Dry Tacky Glue or carpenter’s wood glue
  • Glue stick
  • Electronic cutting machine that accepts SVG files, such as Cricut or Silhouette (with Designer Edition) and/or scissors
  • Solid color cardstock in three turkey colors — for example, white, yellow, orange, red, brown
  • Scraps of cardstock in orange or red for the wattle and yellow or orange for the beak — if you didn’t already choose these colors
  • White cardstock for the 2 x 1/2-inch name tags
  • Stiff household or craft wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Needle nose pliers

Turkey Place Cards PDF

Click on the image to open a new window and download the PDF file if you plan to carve cut out the turkey parts by hand.

[SVG file coming soon! I have to learn how to convert my Silhouette Studio file to an SVG. Aaargh!]

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Directions for Turkey Place Cards: Body and Head

Turkey Place Cards - Poke Hole & Paint 1/2 of Styrofoam Ball

Poke a hole in a large Styrofoam ball. Then paint that half of the ball brown.

Turkey Place Cards - Skewer Styrofoam Ball & Paint Other Half

Insert skewer into hole. Then hold ball by the skewer so you can easily paint the other half.

Turkey Place Cards - Prop Styrofoan Balls to Dry

Prop Styrofoam ball to dry. Finally, repeat the painting process with the small Styrofoam ball.

Directions for Turkey Place Cards: Cutting Tail Feathers, Beaks & Wattles

Turkey Place Cards - Laying Out The Parts in Silhouette or Cricut

Use the PDF template to cut out the tail feather, beak and wattle pieces from cardstock by hand. Or, if you’re using an electronic cutter such as a Silhouette or Cricut, open the SVG file and lay out the pieces.

Though the SVG pieces are colored, that’s only to help you sort out the various pieces for cutting. For example, I created the layout above to be cut from yellow card stock because the beaks should be either yellow or orange.

Since I was making 11 turkey place cards for our Thanksgiving table, I cut  — or rather my Silhouette cut — the following sheets:

  • Tail feathers — 2 small, 2 medium and 1 large from
    • 1 sheet each of white, orange and brown cardstock,
    • The same set of 5 tail feathers plus 11 sets of beaks from yellow cardstock (Layout shown above. Oops, I just noticed that I cut 12 sets, but that’s okay because as my mother always said, “Better too much than not enough.”),
    • The same set of 5 tail feathers plus 11 sets of wattles from red cardstock; and
  • Additional tail feathers — 1 small, 1 medium and 3 large from 1 sheet each brown and orange cardstock.

Turkey Place Cards - Organize the Tail Feathers

Organizing the tail feathers was fun — sort of like playing solitaire. Each bird turns out differently because they have:

  • Different color feathers,
  • Googly eyes at different angles that give a different expression or character to each bird,
  • Different leg lengths and angles that make the turkeys appear to be walking, squatting or standing tall.

So have fun creating your different goofy turkey personalities!

Directions for Turkey Place Cards: Tail Feather Assembly

Turkey Place Cards - Curl Tail Feathers

Use a pen or shewer to curl the tips of the tail feathers for added dimension.

Turkey Place Cards - Form Wire Props

The turkey place cards need little wire props at the back so they stand steadily because there’s more weight in the tail feathers than in the body. Plus the pipe cleaner toes are furry and consequently they’re quite wobbly for standing without additional support.

Cut and bend two wire props as shown. You can cut them shorter later if you want, so it’s best to make them a bit longer to start.

Turkey Place Cards - Attach Foam Tape & Props to Large Tail Feathers

Attach a strip of foam tape to the front side of the large tail feather piece. Then stick the wire props on.

Turkey Place Cards - Cover props with 2nd Piece of Foam Tape

Cover props with a second piece of foam tape.

Turkey Place Cards - Tail Feathers Assembled

Then stick the medium tail feather piece on the large tail feather assembly. Finally, use two strips of foam tape to attach the small tail feather piece to the front in the same way.

Directions for Turkey Place Cards: Body Assembly

Turkey Place Cards - Break Toothpicks in Half to Join Bodies and Heads

Break a toothpick in half to join the turkey body and head.

Turkey Place Cards - Glue and Insert Half Toothpick into Body

Use the holes you poked earlier in order to prop the Styrofoam balls for drying. Dribble some tacky glue into the hole of the body and then insert a toothpick half.

Turkey Place Cards - Push Head onto Protruding Toothpick and into Glue

Dribble glue into the hole on the head and then push the head onto the protruding toothpick.

Turkey Place Cards - Form Leg and 1 Toe from Pipe Cleaner

Cut a piece of pipe cleaner to form a leg, spur and one toe.

Turkey Place Cards - Form Other 2 Toes from Pipe Cleaner

Cut another piece of pipe cleaner to form a V for the outer toes.

Turkey Place Cards - Put Glue in Heel Nocth and Insert Other Toes

Then put glue in the spur notch and insert the V for the outer toes.  Repeat for the other leg.

Turkey Place Cards - Make Holes for Legs

Use a skewer to poke leg holes on the bottom of the body. Note that the holes are a bit foreward of center on the body.

Turkey Place Cards - Add Glue and Insert Legs

Dribble tacky glue in the holes and insert the legs; but don’t try to shape them yet. That can be done when the turkey is fully assembled and ready to be stood up.

Directions for Turkey Place Cards: Goofy Turkey Face

Turkey Place Cards - Form Holes for Eyes and Add Glue; Insert Eyes

If your googly eyes would protrude too much giving a pop eye look, you might want to recess them as I did. Use skewer to form holes for the eyes. Put glue in the holes. Then press in two googly eyes.

Make 2-inch x 1/2-inch rectangular name tags. Hand write the names or use your computer to print the names before cutting out the rectangles.

Turkey Place Cards - Glue Stick Tip of Beak Pieces to Front and Back of Name Tag

Use glue stick to glue the tip of a beak piece to the front and back of a name tag.

Turkey Place Cards - Make Slit, Add Glue and Insert Beak

Then cut a slit in the front of the face, dab tacky glue along the free edge of the beak assembly and insert into the slit.

Turkey Place Cards - Slit Chin for Wattles

Finally curl the two wattle pieces to give them a more natural look. Then cut a slit in the chin and insert the wattles in the same fashion as the beak.

Directions for Turkey Place Cards: Attaching Body to Tail Feathers

Turkey Place Cards - Glue Body to Tail Feathers Assembly and Prop to Dry

Put a generous blob of tacky glue on the turkey’s bum and press the turkey firmly onto the tail feather assembly. Then prop to dry as shown. This position allows you to even out the props and feet so that the turkey will stand steadily when dry. Once dry, they can be adjusted more as needed.

Turkey Place Cards - 9 More Gobblers Propped to DRy Assembly Line Fashion

Here are the other nine assembled and propped to dry. Once you have the parts made and the prcoess down, assembly is very quick. These nine took about an hour to put together assembly line fashion.

I’ll be back with a final photo once these guys are all placed on our Thanksgiving table. Stay tuned!

Here are more Holiday Craft ideas.

The Artful Crafter — Helping Crafters to Be

About Eileen Bergen


  1. Oh how cute! It’s that time of year again, Eileen, when I need to start combing your site to find projects I can do with my granddaughters when they come visit over Christmas. We are going to have soooo much fun this year thanks to all your great projects and suggestions! Thank you!

    • Eileen Bergen says:

      Thank yoou, Cyndi. I love the thought of you crafting away with your granddaughters. Makes me wonder if there will be another artist in the family 😉

  2. Great photos of the process Eileen. Love your little turkeys ! How many do you have to make i wonder… 🙂 Hugs! deb

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