Meet Kermit the DIY Junk Turkey

I accidentally made another DIY junk turkey.

I say “accidentally” because I went down to the basement the other day intending to pack up all the DIY junk turkey parts that were spread out on my workbench to make space for a couple of Christmas craft projects I wanted to do.

But as I was putting everything in bins, I happened to stack a few random parts on top of each other. And the parts happened to fit together perfectly. And, before I knew it, I had dry fit an entire turkey. And then I figured I might as well pull out my drill and attach everything. So I did.

DIY junk turkey pieces

Here are the pieces I used for this guy:

  • A Frankonia Schokotaler Dutch chocolate tin
  • Seven leaves from a vegetable steamer basket
  • Two small L-brackets
  • A tea strainer
  • A coffee grounds basket lid*
  • An apple corer

*Both a coffee grounds basket and and lid are pictured, but in the end, I only used the lid.

I started by laying the vegetable steamer leaves around the chocolate tin, to see how many would fit around the exterior as tail feathers. Seven seemed to be the right number.

Then I grabbed a red Sharpie and marked approximately where to attach the leaves/feathers.

The chocolate tin has two separate pieces: a lid and a bottom. I separated the two halves and drilled holes through the lid only, where my marks were.

Then I found some short bolts and used them to attach the leaves/feathers to the front of the lid.

Here’s what the back of the lid looked like with the bolts protruding, before I attached nuts to to hold them in place.

After I slid the back of the tin back on, the ends of the bolts were sandwiched inside.

Here’s what the front of the chocolate tin looked like with the feathers attached.

Building the turkey’s legs and body

From here, I centered the coffee grounds basket top on top of the chocolate tin.

I drilled a hole through both halves of the chocolate tin to line up with the hole in the coffee grounds basket top.

I then separated the two halves of the chocolate tin, so I could drill holes into just the back half of the tin. I used those holes to attach the L-bracket legs.

Here’s the backside of the back half of the tin with the legs attached.

And here’s the front. I used the shortest bolts I could find, so the back of them, where the nuts attached, could also be sandwiched inside the tin.

From here, I put the two halves of the tin back together again.

And just like that, he was starting to look like a turkey.

Attaching the head

Obviously, my turkey needed a head yet. I used what I think is a tea strainer for that. (I buy all my parts at thrift stores, and since things don’t come in packages with labels on them, I don’t always know for sure what the original purpose of items were.)

Anyhoo, I drilled a hole in the handle of the tea strainer, ran a long bolt through it and through the top of the coffee grounds basket.

To keep the head from wobbling around, I attached a nut to the back of the coffee grounds basket top.

Then I slid the apple corer onto the back of the assemblage.

To hold the apple corer in place, I had to add a washer and another nut.

Then I slid the chocolate tin onto the bolt and attached a nut to the back of it, effectively sandwiching the entire turkey together.

Here’s an aerial view of the turkey, showing all of the layers of the sandwich.

And here’s the front of my new DIY junk turkey. My turkeys usually have more of a vintage farmhouse look to them. But this guy, with his clean lines and shiny metal, is definitely rocking a mid-century modern vibe.

Making a face

When it came time to do the eyes, I got the idea to use the holes in the tea strainer like plastic canvas. So I dug a couple of old white buttons out of my button jar and found some black thread and a needle skinny enough to fit through the holes.

Then I sewed the eyes in place.

HIs face cracks me up. For some reason, I think his eyes make him look like Kermit the Frog. Do you see it, too?

He’s not perfect. You can see when I drilled the hole into the tea strainer handle I didn’t exactly hit the center. Whoops. My drilling skills still need improvement, obviously; although they have come a long way from where they were when I made my first DIY junk turkey.

Imperfections and all, I think he’s kinda sweet.

I’m pretty sure Kermit here is going to be my last DIY junk turkey of the year. He’s the fourth one that I made this fall and my ninth overall. I love making these guys, but Christmas crafts are calling my name now, so it’s probably time to move on.

Let me know what you think of Kermit the Turkey. You do see Kermit in his face, too, right??? And is his face a tea strainer or something else? I’ve never seen another one like it in all my thrift store shopping days. I hope it’s not some rare piece that I just ruined by drilling a hole through the (more or less) center of the handle.

— Lisa

3 Replies to “Meet Kermit the DIY Junk Turkey”

  1. Lisa I think your tea strainer is a canning strainer. Yes the eyes are definitely Kermit’s eyes. I would name him Kermit Frankenturkey, love it.

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