I’ve been a little obsessed with “turkey robots” lately. Some people call them “turkey assemblages.” Or “upcycled turkeys.” Or “steampunk turkeys.”
Whatever you call them, they’re out there, and I love them, and I couldn’t wait to make my own.
I’ve been storing images of some of my favorites on Pinterest and keeping my eye out for parts lately.
A few weeks ago, I found an old vegetable steamer in a thrift store.
I bought it, knowing that the flaps on the basket would make perfect turkey feathers.
I also bought this thing. I thought maybe it was a tea strainer at the time, but my friends who bake have since informed me that it’s an egg separator. But never mind what it’s actually used for. When I looked at it in the thrift store, I saw a turkey head.
After I got my turkey parts home, I disassembled the steamer and soaked the pieces in vinegar for a few minutes to remove the lime scale.
The bright, shiny aluminum wasn’t working for me, so I slapped a quick coat of brown acrylic craft paint on everything.
Then I smeared Spanish copper Rub ‘n Buff over the paint. (Rub ‘n Buff doesn’t adhere very well to shiny metal; hence the basecoat.)
When the Rub ‘n Buff dried, I buffed the pieces with a soft cloth and started assembling the turkey.
Feet, beak, and eyes
For the feet, I found one of these picture hangers in the hardware stash in my basement. And then I had to go down to the hardware store to buy a second one.
They got a basecoat of brown acrylic craft paint, topped with Spanish copper Rub ‘n Buff, too.
The beak was made from an old earring. I just snipped the end of it off.
I found a couple of washers for the eyes. Obviously, these got the paint-and-Rub-n-Buff treatment, too.
Assembling the pieces
With all the small parts painted and ready to go, I put a bolt through the hole on the bottom of the turkey’s head.
Then I stacked nuts on the bolt to act as spacers …
… and screwed the bolt into a hole in the center of the turkey’s body.
Here’s what the head looks like from the front.
And here’s how it’s attached in the back.
Finishing the turkey assemblage
After I had the head attached, I hung the feet off the rim of the turkey’s body.
Then I glued on his facial features.
Here he is all done.
I think he’s awfully cute, considering he started life as a just a few random kitchen castoffs. What do you think?
If you like this guy, check out my other junk assemblages here.