Fall Spool Craft: Vintage Thanksgiving Turkeys

Fall Spool Craft: Vintage Thanksgiving Turkeys

Vintage Turkeys

After a busy Fall season so far, I’m so ready to celebrate the peacefulness of Thanksgiving! I love vintage images, and work with them frequently in my art. So I just had to come up with a fun way to display some of my favorite vintage Thanksgiving turkey images from Victorian postcards.  

This group of turkeys (A gaggle of turkeys? No, that would be geese!) is great on a mantel, and could easily work as favors or placecards for your Thanksgiving gathering. 

Let’s get started!


I picked up a bunch of spools at the craft store, they are easy to find – just look in your store’s unfinished wood section. I tried something fun to paint them, and I love how it turned out. First I stained the spools (except the tops) using MinWax Gel Stain in red, and then I applied two coats of a red-and-gold glitter paint over the stain. I love the way the glitter paint seems to enhance the rustic and weathered look of the stain.

Wooden Spools Stained and Glittered

On the tops of each spool, I painted a coat of orange paint, followed on top with a coat of orange glitter paint. 

Painted Wooden Spools


I used vintage turkey images from my own collection and found a few more at The Graphics Fairy – which is such a fantastic image source.  I put these turkeys together as a free printable for you to use!  

Aren’t they cute? I really love how unique each turkey is. And by grouping them together? Instant collection!


Just click on the image above to enlarge and then you can download it to your computer to print out as you wish.

I have a standard list of steps I do when using vintage images like these turkeys in my crafts:

  • print out on a color printer, let dry a few minutes
  • apply glitter glue to select areas to enhance image, let dry
  • spray with acrylic sealer in either glossy or matte
  • cut out images with small decoupage scissors
  • outline the edges using a brown marker for definition

Putting it all together:

You can use twigs, toothpicks, thin wood skewers cut to size, just about anything that will easily fit inside the spools. I happened to have the perfect sticks on hand, which were formerly stems on some faux flowers from the craft store that I used in a different project. I had no idea what I’d use them for, but saved them just in case. 

shabby faux flower

I cut out 5 pieces of orange tulle – which you may remember from my Victorian-Style Halloween Boxes I shared here a few weeks ago – in small rectangles. Place the tulle over the spool, take your stick and push it gently down the center. The tulle will start to go “into” the center opening with the stick, leaving you with a pretty section sticking out from the center. I’ve used this idea before (when I made a Springtime spool craft) and I like how the tulle softens the look of the wooden spools and also helps to hold the sticks in place. 

Tulle and Wooden Spool

A strip of natural-colored raffia, wrapped around the center and tied in a knot, finishes off each spool.

wooden spool tied with raffia ribbon

Using washi tape – although any type of tape will work fine – I simply adhered each turkey to one of the sticks, just eye-balling each one to make sure they all were of a similar height. 

Vintage Thanksgiving Turkey Spools:

Vintage Turkeys


Thanksgiving Favors

Vintage Turkey Images


Thanksgiving Vintage Turkeys

Gobble! Gobble!

Thanksgiving Spool Craft Decoration

I’ll be back next week with another fun craft, but in the meantime you can visit me over at my blog, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+. (I’m everywhere!)



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  1. How darling. These would make perfect place markers too. .. to cute Laura. Thanks for sharing!~Tammy
    Tammy Killough recently posted…A Fun Childrens DIY Christmas Tree and OrnamentsMy Profile

  2. Thanks Tammy! I agree about the placecards idea, and hope this DIY comes in handy for those that need it for their Thanksgiving table!
    Laura / Pet Scribbles recently posted…Fall Spool Craft: Make Your Own Vintage Thanksgiving TurkeysMy Profile

  3. Sooo cute, Laura! Love the vintage turkeys and the colors are lovely.
    Steph @ The Silly Pearl recently posted…Handmade Gift Guide for Her and $250 Etsy Gift Card GiveawayMy Profile

  4. What a fantastic idea Laura. So many possibilities

  5. Love the vintage turkeys! So cute!!
    Jennifer @ Town and Country Living recently posted…How to Make Mason Jar CandlesMy Profile

  6. These are so cute I’d love to make them as place settings!!
    Dria recently posted…Operation Christmas ChildMy Profile

  7. What a fun idea! These are so cute!
    Anne recently posted…Cinnamon Apple French ToastMy Profile

  8. These are so cute Laura. I love them! Gobble on!
    malia recently posted…Corny Containers Thanksgiving CraftMy Profile

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