Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday for many families. It often means lots of quality time with loved ones, big parades – and, of course, food! Whether it's the turkey itself or a trusty side, I bet you've got a favorite menu item. As you work in the kitchen this year creating that yummy meal, let your kids whip up their own culinary creations – with felt play food. Make ahead of time to keep younger guests entertained on Thanksgiving Day, or let wannabe sewers try their hand at a simple stitching project.
Ready to try your hand at a felt Thanksgiving feast? We've got several printable templates for you (simply right-click and save or print) for you to use. You can also see the food crafting in action as we make a mashed potato patty below.
- Craft felt in a variety of colors
- Embroidery floss
- Food templates (find all five just below)
- Embroidery needle
- Craft polyester fiberfill
- Small Velcro sticky dots
- Fabric glue
- Permanent marker
- Start out by downloading our templates (right above). Cut out the patterns and select a felt color for each food. For the turkey, cut two body ovals, four drumstick circles and two bones.
- To create the turkey, place both ovals together – there are no wrong sides with this fabric! Cut a long piece of embroidery thread and tie a knot at one end. Insert the needle into the oval pair, about a quarter-inch from an edge, and pull the thread through.
- Use a whipstitch to sew the pieces together. New to sewing? Wrap the thread around the two pieces of fabric and pull the needle through, close to your first stitch. (See the section below for a little pictorial guide.) Continue as you move around the edges of the oval pair.
- As you get closer to your original stitch, be sure to leave about 2 inches open at the end – this is where you'll insert your stuffing (fiberfill, that is – not the bread-and-herb kind!). Note: Do not remove your needle and thread at this point. Using small amounts, push the fiberfill into the body pocket you've created. Use the eraser end of a pencil to push the stuffing into the body. Make sure you fill-in the seams and nooks and crannies.
- Once the body is stuffed to the thickness you like, continue sewing around the body – you're now closing that 2-inch opening. When you come back around to where you started, knot your thread on the back of the body, just like you did when you started.
- Use the same technique for the drumsticks. Before you start sewing these, attach the "bone" to the drumstick with a small dab of fabric glue to the inside of one of the circles. Continue creating the drumstick like you did the turkey. When you're done, place one Velcro dot pair on the drumstick. Press the drumstick onto the turkey to secure the bond. Repeat for the other drumstick.
- Your turkey, complete with removable drumsticks, is ready for the table!
Whipstitch tips and tricks
| 1. Trace your template on your felt and cut out two potato shapes. Stack together. With your embroidery thread, pull the thread through the top potato layer.
| 2. As you get ready to stitch, tuck the knotted end of your thread into the felt potato layers.
| 3. This is what your stitches should look like as you work your way around the felt shape. Try to keep them as even as possible.
| 4. When stuffing your felt food creation, use a small amount of polyfill fiber at a time. It's easier to work with and can help you fill out nooks and crannies. The eraser end of a pencil is ideal for stuffing.
| 5. After your potato has been stuffed, finish stitching and tie with a tight knot. Trim the loose ends as close to the knot as possible.
| 6. When your felt food creation calls for a Velcro-attached extra, stick the pair of Velcro pieces to the accessory BEFORE attaching to the piece of felt food.
| 7. What a great looking potato! Happy Thanksgiving!