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Gobble Gobble Turkey T-Shirt Tutorial

Get ready for one of the cutest Thanksgiving shirt ideas you've ever seen. This DIY turkey shirt is easy enough for anyone to make.

Updated November 15, 2022
Gobble Gobble Turkey T-Shirt Tutorial

Kids respond best to do-it-yourself tee shirts and projects when they are thematic or seasonal.

To get the kids revved up for an often overlooked holiday, make this Gobble Gobble Turkey T-Shirt with a full written tutorial that's also easy to follow. Even beginners can have fun making this Thanksgiving tee.

Thanksgiving crafts like this one will be worn proudly all throughout November by your little ones. Even for those who aren't artistically inclined, this DIY shirt is easy to put together, thanks to these simple instructions from Emma Jeffrey for Fiskars. Find out how easy it is to sew an appliqued turkey onto a tee in a few steps.

So, when the temperatures start dropping and you're looking for an easy and fun afternoon or evening project before the holidays get too busy. It's also a great last-minute make!

From Emma: "This adorable, embellished turkey t-shirt looks cute and is fun and easy to make. The simple appliqued design is made using the Fiskars' shape templates and by switching patterns and color schemes, it would look great on a tee for a girl or a boy. It's also a great way to use up some of those small fabric scraps we all have lying around."

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Gobble Gobble Turkey T-Shirt Tutorial

Materials List:
  • T-shirt
  • Assorted fabrics with a mix of patterns and solids
  • Adhesive fabric spray or fusible fabric bond
  • Embroidery floss and needle
  • Oval, Circles, and Letter Templates
  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing needle and thread

Skill Level: Easy
Project Type: Make a Project
Time to Complete: In an Evening
Sewn By: Machine and Hand
 

Turkey T-Shirt Instructions:

  1. Use a template (this project uses the Fiskars oval template) to cut five ovals measuring 3" x 4" from assorted fabrics. Cut three patterned prints and one solid cotton to make an alternating pattern for the turkey's wings.

  1. Next, use a circle template (this project uses the Fiskars circles template) to make the turkey's body. Use the 1.5" circle for the head and the 2.5" circle for the body. Draw in the turkey's neck to connect the head and the body and cut it out.

  1. It is important to adhere the wings to the t-shirt with an adhesive before sewing the fabric pieces to the t-shirt because pins will NOT hold the design in place and your jersey WILL ruffle up in all directions.

    Apply a fabric bond to the wrong side of the wings and position them centrally on the front of the t-shirt. You can use a fusible fabric bond, but you could also use an adhesive fabric spray to hold the applique onto the front of your shirt as you sew.

  1. Sew a small zig-zag stitch close to the edge of each of the wings. The fabric on the edge of the stitching will fray as the top is worn and washed, so stitch close to the edge for a neat look.

  1. You can embroider the turkey’s face with two French knots for eyes and a little orange beak.
     
  2. To make a French knot: bring the needle through the back to the front of the fabric.
     
  3. Hold the needle against the fabric and wrap the floss around the needle 3 times.
     
  4. Insert the needle back through the fabric very close to where it came up and pull the floss all the way through.

  1. When you have finished the turkey's features, apply fabric bond to the back of the head and body as before and stick it to the wings before sewing it onto the front of the design.
     
  2. To add the word 'gobble' to the bottom of my t-shirt, use letter templates to write the word backward directly onto the fabric.

  1. After you cut the letters out, sew them onto the front of the shirt with a straight stitch.

  1. This tutorial uses a cotton canvas, which will fray over time. For a different look, consider using a non-fraying fabric such as jersey, fleece, or felt.

    Plus, the technique and design could be used on almost anything, by using bigger or smaller template shapes.

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This is an absolutely darling tee shirt design! The instructions are great and this would be a super way to use up some nice fabric remnants that are still pretty but not enough for a bigger project. Another design option might be to add some buttons for eyes or even as embellishments in the feather area, would be a cute project for older kids to make with younger ones while he turkey is cooking! Thanks for sharing!

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