DIY Turkey Shirt Tutorial: Perfect for Kids and Adults (and Half Marathons too)

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DIY Thanksgiving Turkey Shirts were a MUST this year.  For the second year in a row I am running a half marathon on Thanksgiving.  After dressing up as Rapunzel in the Disney Princess Half Marathon with Ricole Runs I have become a little obsessed with costumes during races.  To me, if I am going to run on a holiday or for a special event then I should be dressed for the occasion, right?  And then I have friends who run with me who probably think I am crazy, but they go along with my ideas (see the Pilgrim picture from last year at the bottom of this post and you will see why).

DIY Turkey Shirt Tutorial

custom diy turkey shirt

Material Required to Make a Turkey Shirt


Making this shirt was incredibly easy.   Don’t roll your eyes at me.  If you can cut and use an iron, you can make this!!  I ran in to a big problem.  I couldn’t find a brown shirt.  Not at Walmart, Target, Joann’s, or Michaels.  How is that even possible?  So, I bought light pink shirts and died them brown.  I am definitely not an expert when dying fabric.  If you have to go this route because you can’t find a brown shirt….just know that perfection does not have to be achieved.  My shirts are far from a solid shade of brown.

custom turkey shirt 1

Figure out what color fabrics you are going to use.  Iron the Heat’n Bond Lite Iron-on Adhesive to the back of the fabric.  Then use a pencil to trace your shapes.  I use something similar to this Circle Cutter to make perfect circles.  Perfect circles are much easier to achieve when using a tool designed to get you perfect circles.  Once you have all your pieces cut out and the backing peeling off place the pieces on the shirt and pin in place.  Iron on.  It’s that easy!

custom turkey shirt 2

But I couldn’t stop there!  We are running a race.  There are going to be people behind me (I hope!!!).  There is nothing better than running races and seeing something motivational in front of you.  So I created backs to these shirts.  I used my Sizzix and cut out letters.  Okay, okay, I really have this dinosaur Sizzix from years ago.  It was one of the things I had to keep when I gave up my scrapbooking hobby a few years ago.  I knew it would come in handy, and it definitely has.

custom turkey shirt gobble

I was posting my ideas on my personal Facebook page and one of my friends who is much craftier than me shared an old photos of her kids in their chicken shirts.   I KNEW immediately that I wanted those feathers!  I asked if I could share her photo in this post and she agreed.  Aren’t those shirts so stinking cute?!?!?  I love them!

chicken shirts

Adding GOBBLE and feathers to the back of this turkey shirt sealed the cuteness right in!  I made 6 of these shirts.  To complete these shirts you need to sew the pieces in place.  If you want a cute shirt that you will wear once…maybe twice…and you don’t want to sew it…you will be fine.  But if you want to pull this out year after year be sure you sew the pieces onto the shirt.

diy turkey shirt

Be sure to check out this Thanksgiving Craft Round Up for more Thanksgiving Inspiration!

What do you think?  Are you inspired to make this?

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