Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Button Turkey

This absolutely adorable button turkey is a fun way for little ones to practice improving their fine motor skills. How cute would these be on the Thanksgiving table for the kids to play with while they are waiting for dinner? 

They are relatively easy to make, as long as you know how to make button holes with your sewing machine. 

  • Sewing machine and thread
  • 2 sheets of brown felt
  • 5 other sheets of felt in different colors (for feathers, beaks and feet)
  • 5 buttons
  • 2 eyes
  • Glue

1. Make a template for all your pieces on cardboard or paper. I just drew the shapes I wanted by hand. Sorry, I don't have any templates to share, but the shapes are fairly easy to make. The body of the turkey is just a circle, roughly 7 inches in diameter (find something round to trace), the feathers are raindrop shaped and about 5 inches tall, and the face is a small circle about 1.5 inches in diameter.

2. Cut out all of your pieces (shown below) plus an extra circle for the back of the turkey. 

3. Lay out your pieces and mark where you want your button holes to go on the feathers. Sew a button hold on each feather. Refer to the instruction manual for your sewing machine for how to do this. I have this Brother machine and LOVE how easy it is to use. It has a special foot for sewing a button hole. You put the button in the presser foot, pull down the button bar, and it automatically measures and sews the button hole. So neat! 

4. Mark where you want the buttons to go on the body of the turkey. Sew them on by hand or by machine. 

5. Using a zip-zag stitch, sew on the turkeys face and red dangly thing. (What is that thing called again?) I applied fusible webbing to the back of these pieces and pressed them on with an iron before stitching them on. This will keep the pieces in place and stop them from slipping on you while you are sewing. 

6. Sew or glue on the beak. 

7. With the feathers OFF, sew on the back of the turkey, making sure to sew the feet into the seam. The back of your turkey will look nice and finish. I sewed on the back with my sewing machine, using a zig-zig stitch again set to 6.0 mm wide. It'll end up looking kind of like a whip stitch around the edge of the turkey's body. 

8. Glue on the eyes and button on the feather and you are done! 


Where this post is linked up...


  1. Leanne, you left such a sweet comment on my post about taking risks. Thank you for taking the time to connect and encourage. I've made so many friends in the blogging world as well as real life, and it's all about loving and messing up and loving some more! I pray your Thanksgiving is a blessed one!

    Your turkey is adorable, by the way!
    Marty @Marty's Musings

  2. Oh, I love this!! What a fabulous idea!! We need some serious button practice around here, too! I might even add a bow around the neck because my 5-year old needs some shoe-tying practice!

    I enjoyed looking around your blog, and look forward to getting to know you better!!

    1. Thanks, Carla! Funny that you mention adding a bow, because I was just thinking about how I could make something for shoe-tying practice. I was thinking maybe a snowman with a scarf to tie?

  3. This is so brilliant!!! My son hates buttons, so this will be the perfect way to practice buttoning. Thanks.