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Thanksgiving Crafts: Turkey Candelabra Centerpiece

Turkey Candelabra Centerpiece

Total Time Needed: 1 Hour

This silly Thanksgiving centerpiece takes very little time to assemble and is bound to elicit some giggles from your guests. Just be sure not to leave it unsupervised while its plumage is lit.


  • Medium-size pumpkin without a stem
  • Large serving platter
  • Large kitchen knife
  • Large butternut squash with a stem
  • Wooden skewers, halved
  • Craft knife
  • 2 dried black-eyed peas or other dried beans
  • Metal-tipped vegetable peeler
  • 6 or more dripless or drip-resistant taper candles
  • Toothpicks
  • Sun-dried tomato


  1. Prop the pumpkin at an angle on the platter so the top points up at a 45-degree slant. If it doesn't balance easily, use a knife to cut a slice from underneath to create a flat base.
  2. Cut off the top 5 inches of a large butternut squash for the turkey head, then attach it to the top of the pumpkin with skewer halves. Use the tip of a vegetable peeler or a craft knife to dig out 2 small slits for the eyes and push a dried black-eyed pea into each slit.
  3. Cut the sides from the bottom half of the butternut squash, then use a craft knife to cut V shapes into each piece for turkey toes. Set the feet in place on the platter.
  4. Mark the candle holes toward the back of the pumpkin, at least an inch apart. Don't place them too far down the back; the candles should stick out at a slight angle, no more than 45 degrees, or they'll drip.
  5. Use a craft knife or the tip of a vegetable peeler to cut the holes, making sure they are slightly smaller than the candles, for a snug fit. If you cut the holes too big, wrap tinfoil or a pipe cleaner around the base of each candle, then push it into the hole far enough so that it's stable.
  6. For a wattle, bend a piece of sun-dried tomato over the top of the beak and, if necessary, secure it with a piece of toothpick.