Introduction: Turkey Bowl Trophy

Picture of Turkey Bowl Trophy

This is a traveling trophy that I made for a city recreation department that runs an annual Thanksgiving flag football tournament, or "Turkey Bowl."

A traveling trophy is one that changes hands each time a new annual winner is determined. One of the most famous traveling trophies is hockey's Stanley Cup.

A Lombardi-style trophy with turkey-ball on top seemed like the most logical mix between football and Thanksgiving I could come up with. This a quick look at how I made it.

Step 1: Base

Picture of Base

The base was made from three pieces of 1/2-inch medium density fiberboard. The pieces were 18 inches tall, 8 1/2 inches on the bottom, and 2 1/2 inches on the top. The sides were cut at a 30 degree bevel, and the inside bottom edge was cut at about a 5 degree bevel.

The sides were glued together, and a triangular piece of MDF was glued into the bottom of the base. Wood filler was used to clean up the seams. The base was then painted with primer.

A bright aluminum plate was added to the front panel of the base with double-sided tape. The words "VINCE LOMTURKI TROPHY" were etched onto it, along with my recreation department's logo (in the same location as the NFL logo on the Lombardi trophy). This was done by a local trophy shop.

Step 2: Football Construction

Picture of Football Construction

Creating a standard-sized football shape perched on (and wrapped around) the top of the base was a little tricky.

Cardboard football-shaped cross-sections were made and hot glued together, and glued onto the base. Some pieces had to be trimmed down and adjusted in various ways to make them fit.

Step 3: Cover Ball With Masking Tape

Picture of Cover Ball With Masking Tape

The entire football structure was covered with a layer of masking tape. 

This worked well to create an initial covering, but left obvious ridges that needed to be hidden.

Step 4: Shaping

Picture of Shaping

To create a smooth, rounded, realistic football, wads of newspaper were smooshed into shape and added with masking tape to fill in the valleys and recesses on the ball.

Many additional layers of tape were then added. Stretching the pieces of masking tape slightly as you put them on helps to smooth out and tighten up the shape.

Step 5: Grooves

Picture of Grooves

Grooves were created by cutting into the football with a utility knife, and then re-covering the gaps with masking tape.

Step 6: Legs

Picture of Legs

Drumsticks were made out of two pieces of 5/8-inch doweling and wads of newspaper wrapped with masking tape.

More newspaper and tape were added and shaped until I was satisfied. The sides of the drumsticks were cut flat, along with a spot on the side of the football. The drumsticks were then glued in place and reinforced with more masking tape. 
Thigh meat was added with more newspaper and tape.

I guess I can't call it a football anymore... so I'll call it a turkball.  Or a footkey.

Step 7: Wings

Picture of Wings

Wings were made with wads of newspaper that were shaped and covered in masking tape.

These were glued in place on the turkball and reinforced with more masking tape.

Step 8: Cover the Turkball With PMF

Picture of Cover the Turkball With PMF

Paper mache is cheap, non-toxic, and it creates a hard, smooth covering.

It's the poor man's fiberglass.  PMF.

Step 9: Laces and Sealing

Picture of Laces and Sealing

Laces were added by gluing down strips of cardboard. White glue was added around the edges to create a smooth look.

The wing tips were glued down so they wouldn't flare out so much.

The entire turkball was painted with many coats of brush-on craft gloss. It was sanded a couple of times with 220 between coats, which smoothed out the little bumps in the newspaper. 

The gloss sealed the paper, preparing it for a good paint job.

Step 10: Priming

Picture of Priming

After the first coat of primer, the turkball was sanded again with 220, and wood filler was used to fill in some small holes and gaps. Then I resealed it with the brush-on gloss. This gave it a pretty smooth surface that I was quite pleased with.

Then the whole thing got two more coats of primer. 

Step 11: Finish Painting

Picture of Finish Painting

I initially painted it with silver paint (2nd photo).  It looked okay. 

But then I got some chrome paint, which gave it a more reflective, shiny metallic look. You can actually see my reflection on the turkey (to the left of the right drumstick), along with the blue sky, some clouds and some tree branches.

I think the chrome made this look totally awesome. That's it!


ejweber01 (author)2017-03-12

i made it for a school project it is awesome

prankster teens (author)2016-11-21

bravo *round of applause*

BeautifulMagic (author)2014-10-09

Not as good with my hands. Lol. I was just wondering if i could pay you to make a few of these trophies for our annual turkey bowl tournament?

Emma237 (author)2013-12-28

that is awesome nice work:-)

jadams19 (author)2013-12-01

So here what I came up with, not as good as yours but it turned out great for making it in 3 days thanks for the ideas

seamster (author)jadams192013-12-02

Good work! You used a real football too, which is a great idea. Thanks for taking the time to post these photos!

epearson13 (author)2013-11-27

This is awesome. I'll be attempting to make it this weekend.

I do have two questions: How has the trophy held up over time? And, what are the final dimensions of the trophy as-is in your photos? In case i wanted to get a case for it.

seamster (author)epearson132013-11-28

Thanks, glad you like it. I no longer have it, as I no longer work for the rec department I made it for. I'm guessing it was bout 20 - 22 inches tall. It held up very well for many years, and it didn't have any issues when I left. Unless somebody drops it or something, I can't imagine it getting ruined any time soon. Hey, if you make one, post a photo when you're done. I'd love to see how it turns out!

jadams19 (author)2013-11-21

Thanks in the process of making one I'll post pictures when I'm done

seamster (author)jadams192013-11-22

Nice. I'm excited to see it. Good luck. Any questions, just ask.

jadams19 (author)2013-11-21

Did you use wood putty on it ????

seamster (author)jadams192013-11-21

yes, to fill in some little holes and gaps.

Dusk Shadows (author)2012-06-13


Caseyforlife (author)2011-11-17

I'm new to your site and I just love the Turkey Bowl trophy. I've been looking to buy a trophy for our Turkey Bowl and haven't found anything I like. Would you consider making one and shipping it to me? How much would you charge? I would need it by Thanksgiving. Thanks!

train10 (author)2011-10-01

Awesome! I'm the Regional Commissioner for our local soccer organization. I immediately thought this would be great for a soccer tournament. Great Instructable, should be easy to follow.

seamster (author)train102011-10-02

Thanks! If you make something similar, be sure to post a photo to show it off!

ubercop (author)2010-11-25

outstanding! loved the poorman's fiberglass!

seamster (author)ubercop2010-11-25

Ha ha! Thank you! Our fourth annual turkey bowl actually takes place tomorrow. Hopefully a new team will take the trophy this year.

tomahwee (author)2010-11-14

I'm new to your site and I just love the Turkey Bowl trophy. I've been looking to buy a trophy for our 2nd Annual Turkey Bowl and haven't found anything I like. Would you consider making one and shipping it to me? How much would you charge? The only catch is, our Turkey Bowl is this Sat (Nov 20). Thanks.

kcli (author)2010-01-02

What fun!  Good luck in the contest ;o)

mdlmusic (author)2009-12-11

I'm the principal at an alternative education high school.  Each year we have a flag football game on the day before Thanksgiving break that we call the Turkey Bowl.

I'm going to make one of these for next year's game and take the student's pictures, then give them copies to take home.

Great Instructable!

seamster (author)mdlmusic2009-12-11


The kids will love it!  Glad I could share the idea.

mrcrumley (author)2009-11-24

 You are awesome! For too long, football and instructables have been enemies. Your creation shows how much better each can be when they put aside their childish differences.

seamster (author)mrcrumley2009-11-24

Thanks!  I knew you'd get a kick out of this one. 

tanmanknex (author)seamster2009-11-24

PUN ALERT!!!  Sorry, just love puns!

seamster (author)tanmanknex2009-11-24

Did you hear about the pun contest?  ...This lady entered her 10 best puns, hoping at least one would win.

No pun in ten did.

plasmaspy (author)seamster2009-11-25

 omg! lol thats awesome!! XD

plasmaspy (author)plasmaspy2009-11-25

 thats one fowl looking trophy.

Gage987 (author)plasmaspy2009-11-25


red-king (author)Gage9872009-11-29

 oh no! pun overload! my brain done broke.

gwrober (author)2009-11-27

Wow, excellent work!

the_burrito_master (author)2009-11-24

I hate football. like the creativity though.

CaseyCase (author)2009-11-23

Love it. Very creative.

zieak (author)2009-11-23

I work for a Parks and Recreation Department and wish we had a football event just so i could make one of these... it is beautiful!  Maybe I'll try and get something together for next year.

scoochmaroo (author)2009-11-23

Stunning, as always.

seamster (author)scoochmaroo2009-11-23


Weissensteinburg (author)2009-11-23

That looks great! Does it weigh enough to give it a good trophy feel?

Thanks. Yes, it turned out appropriately hefty. When I started working on the football I was worried it would end up weighing too much, but it turned out just right. 

You could probably fill the base with sand. have it weighted at the bottom, and have that feeling of carrying a big heavy trophy.

iminthebathroom (author)2009-11-23

turkey-tastic.  wanna make one just because!

MHeitman (author)2009-11-23

this is pure genius!  And to think it's nothing more than cardboard, newspaper, and tape, really...

James Longpaw (author)2009-11-22

looks good, now how about a "Turkey Bowling Trophy"?

About This Instructable




Bio: I got an old sewing machine when I was just a kid, and I've been hooked on making stuff ever since. My name is ... More »
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