I’m so excited to partner with Coca-Cola again this month and bring you guys these DIY Coke Bottle Turkeys! This is a fun craft project for Thanksgiving that can be done on your own OR with family & friends… and I’m pretty sure that they’ll add an extra dose of HAPPY to your Thanksgiving either way. ;)
This project does not require any fancy skills – just simple painting, cutting, and gluing.
You’ll find the step-by-step instructions below, as well as a closer view of the free printables, which include the turkey elements (feathers, heads, mini banners) + a set of matching Thanksgiving tent cards.
I also painted some mini pumpkins and gourds at the same time as the Coke bottles, and grouped them with a turkey for a fun & unexpected centerpiece design! I know these colors are a little outside the box for Thanksgiving, but I’ve honestly never been a huge fan of the traditional Turkey Day palettes myself, and thought it would be fun to POP the color a bit!
DIY COKE BOTTLE TURKEYS
- Empty Coca-Cola bottles
- White primer (optional)
- Acrylic craft paint + brushes
- TURKEY PRINTABLES (feathers, heads, mini banners)
- Hot glue gun (or tape/glue dots)
- Small (real) feathers
STEP 1: Paint the Bottles
Make sure your Coke bottles are clean and dry before painting. I also primed them with white spray paint primer first. This is optional, since your first coat of acrylic craft paint can also act as a primer, but spray primer goes on quickly and dries quickly + makes the acrylic paint coverage better, so it’s a great time saver.
Once the bottles are dry, it’s time to start assembling the turkeys!
If you’re setting this up as an activity for guests – OR just want to be super organized yourself – here’s a quick glimpse at what the craft station should look like:
1. Coke Bottles / 2. Yarn / 3. Scissors / 4. Paper Printables (turkey heads, feathers, & banners) / 5. Hot Glue OR Tape & Glue Dots / 6. Feathers
Craft Station Tips:
- Depending on the ages of your guests and how much time you have on your own hands, you can pre-cut all of the printables like I did here, or leave them in sheets and turn the paper cutting into another step of the craft.
- I recommend just using hot glue for this project, but you can also use a mix of tape and glue dots if you want or need to avoid hot glue.
STEP 2: Wrap the Bottle Center
For this step, hold the starting point of the yarn down with one finger, then wrap upwards. Secure the start and stop points of the yarn with tiny dabs of hot glue.
STEP 3: Paper Turkey Feathers & Heads
Let’s talk turkey feathers! I like to lay the bottle flat on the table and decide on my feather arrangement first before actually gluing them on. This is super helpful for indecisive people like me. ;)
We now have a headless turkey, so I bet you can guess what’s next. ;) The printables contain turkey heads that face both directions, so you have the option to make the head double sided if you’d like. For an even easier solution, you can also just print a pattern on the back side of the printable turkey head sheet before cutting them out. This way you still have a little color on the back side of the head.
Use little dabs of hot glue to secure the head, and slightly bend both the head and feathers backward a bit with your fingers to keep them positioned upright. (Sometimes they’ll lean a bit forward at first.)
STEP 4: Real Feathers
For the finishing touch, add some (real, non-paper) feathers. For the record, the turkeys still look cute with paper feathers only, so it’s fine to stop there, but I feel like a few real feathers softens the design a bit and just adds that little extra something, you know?
I used a total of 4 real feathers per turkey: one in the center of the turkey’s back, one between the top 2 paper feathers on both sides of the turkey, and a smaller one on back to simultaneously act as the “tail feather” and cover up the tips of the glued feathers + any messy/stray glue gun marks. For reference, see image #2 of this post.
Ta da! Aren’t these little guys cute?!
You can mix the different bottles and feather designs to create an entire color-coordinating flock of turkeys (or “rafter” of turkeys, if you want to get technical)!
And while we’re on the subject of color-coordinating – if this palette doesn’t match your own Thanksgiving table or party theme, don’t worry… you can always use the same concept with other colors and decorative papers instead. Just find some great scrapbook papers and acrylic paints that work for you. You can still use the silhouette of the turkey head and the feathers as a trace-and-cut template, too.
Remember that you can also download my Thanksgiving Tent Cards below!
Hope you can have some fun with this project. I’d love to hear about it if you do. :) Happy Thanksgiving!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Coca-Cola. As always, all thoughts and designs are my own. Thank you so much for supporting the companies that make it possible for me to keep the creative content coming your way.