Make fun stuff out of gross turkey debris

We all know recycling is so in vogue that we are basically outcasts if we don’t do it.

You can wow your friends, neighbors, and even yourself when you go above and beyond traditional recycling and find uses for those gross turkey parts and disgusting by-products that most folks regard as junk.

Details of the RYNmobile/Art and photo Ryn Gargulinski

Details of the RYNmobile/Art and photo Ryn Gargulinski

If you’ve already disposed of these turkey parts this Thanksgiving, simply keep the helpful hints in mind for next year or any time you cook a large and slimy bird.

Turkey bone artwork

Anyone who wants to use turn those turkey bones into art and doesn’t mind getting fully grossed out in the process can engage in this enthralling project.

Get all the meat off the bones by boiling them for several hours on a heat high enough to automatically turn on your stove vents and melt the nearby plastic salt and pepper shakers.

Once the boiling is done, drill small holes in the bones so the marrow can escape and your artwork doesn’t rot. Wear protective goggles as the marrow stuff likes to spurt out of the drilled bone and invariably hit you in the face.

Proceed to further soak the bones for a day or so in hydrogen peroxide in a plastic container you don’t care if you wreck.

Allow the bones to dry out after a day of peroxide, cussing when you leave them too low on the table and Phoebe gets a hold of one.

Paint as desired, hook up with wire and hang in a doorway where visitors will inevitably knock into them with their heads.

My turkey bone RynMobile is a joy to behold. Please note, the turkey bone Ryn-MObile, hanging artwork, shan’t be confused with the Ryn-mobILE, or my decorated car.

Soaking the bones/Ryn Gargulinski

Soaking the bones/Ryn Gargulinski

Congealed turkey grease snow globes

Don’t clog up your sink or yard with congealed turkey grease. Turn them into snow globes. Take a clean jar and fill it with the grease, adding a few little plastic army guys or other small figurines for effect. Chuck in a small handful of glitter and shake.

Voila – fun for the whole family.

Gizzard and bone shard maracas

Nobody eats the gizzards, and you may be at a total loss with what to do with those bony and sickly turkey necks. Dry out the stuff by leaving it outside in the sunshine. Once the gizzards and neck parts are rock hard, smash them with something like a hammer or the base of an uncomfortably hard shoe.

Throw the little hardened pieces into an empty coconut shell you recycled from your last Hawaiian luau and you’ve got yourself an instant instrument.



Turkey bone RYNmobile/Art and photo Ryn Gargulinski

What do you think?

Have you used other food parts to make instruments, snow globes or art? Please explain.

Do you realize I’m kidding about playing with congealed grease?

What fun stuff could you do with duck feet or that thing that dangles on the side of a chicken’s beak?


About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at
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31 Responses to Make fun stuff out of gross turkey debris

  1. Jennatoolz says:

    Hahah Ryn! Love it! I’ve never used food or grease to create art, but it sure looks like fun! Maybe next year I’ll give it a whirl. 😛

    Hope you had a nice holiday, too! 😀

    • Rynski says:

      hiya jennatoolz –
      holiday was wonderful, hope yours was also a blast (and you brought a really cool dessert).
      pie crust can make some fine artwork too, you know (hahahah).
      I’m big on artwork made of bones – but i will def skip the grease (unless it can shiny up a paint job – haha).

      • Jennatoolz says:

        LOL Yes, the Eggnog Cheesecake was definitely a huge hit! It was soooo delicious! I’ve been volunteered to make a couple of them when Christmas comes around…ohh boy! What did I get myself into!? 😛

        Pie crust as artwork, hmm. It would have to be an inside piece, for sure. Not sure how well it would do outside…especially with this weird weather we’re having, haha. 😀

      • Rynski says:

        oh! so glad to hear your eggnogg cheesecake was sublime…and now you’re the official dessert baker! that is quite an honor. how cool is that!
        yes, pie crust would definitely have to be interior artwork. you’d be amazed, tho, how a sealing spray can preserve most anything…photos of my new dead frog artwork coming soon (hahahahah).

      • Jennatoolz says:

        Haha can’t wait to see it! 😛

  2. leftfield says:

    This year, we went to Govinda’s (a restaurant I highly recommend on any day) for a wonderful vegetarian feast.  The ambience, always great, was made even better by the presence of a live turkey wandering the outdoor dining area and greeting new arrivals.

    • Jennatoolz says:

      A live turkey?! That’s awesome! Not sure if I would be able to handle it though, since I developed a fear of the feathered-kind when I was attacked by a rooster as a child. I was also assaulted by an ostrich a few years later. It was a frightening situation to be in, that’s for sure! I wouldn’t want the turkey to see me and try to attack me as well. 😛

      • Rynski says:

        hahaha! oh, jenna – i’m so sorry to hear you were attacked by feathered things. why did the rooster go at you? and an ostrich? oh, no! i think i feel an animal blog coming on…..
        i’ve been attacked by geese  by they are supposed to attack people, no?

      • Jennatoolz says:

        I don’t know! I must give off an anti-feather vibe…lol.

      • Bjay says:

        Did you know The Crocodile Hunter, although he handed crocs and sharks, he still had a fear of a certain animal – parrots lol.

    • Rynski says:

      i love the live turkey thing, leftfield!!!
      that’s great. did he pass around a petition to encourage tofu-urkey in the future?
      never been to govinda’s – but i’ll def. check it out. did the turkey poop on the carpet while you were trying to eat?

      • leftfield says:

        Mrs. Turkey was confined to the al fresco section of the restaurant.  What’s a little poultry poop among friends anyway? 

        Govinda’s is great.  They have an all-you-can-eat buffet and the theme of the meal (Indian, Mexican, etc) changes with the day of the week.  On Thanksgiving they even had two sitar players making music.  It goes without saying that the crowd is my sort of folk.

        Roosters can be aggressive, Jenna, especially if they have not been handled as young and even more so if there are hens around.  They are pretty much programmed to eat, breed hens and attack anything they perceive as a threat to their harem.  Ostriches can kill a person without any real effort.  They are all muscle and no brain.  I think they are best left roaming Africa, doing their Ostrich thing.  Geese are tough critters, too.  The girls have no respect for Geese, Turkeys or Ostriches.  They consider them crass and vulgar, with none of the class or refinement of a chicken.

      • Rynski says:

        ostrich are downright fascinating, esp. since their eggs are fun to paint or otherwise make into wall hangings. they are even more fascinating now that i know they can kill someone without even trying. eeek!
        your chickens sound like real class acts, for sure – so when are you going to send a photo or two so sawyer can feature them in tucson pet section? e-mail
        sawyer has the day off today, but he’s always looking for fine local animals.
        poultry poop among friends is fine – as long as you don’t step in it with bare feet.

      • azmouse says:

        My daughter when she was three was repeatedly attacked by a goose at the Reid Park pond.(Randolf  in those days) It kept following her around trying to nibble on her. I’ve also heard ostrich are vicious.

        Leftfield, do chickens enjoy water? I was raised around cows and horses as a kid, but I really don’t know much about chickens.

      • Jennatoolz says:

        Thanks for the info leftfield! Pretty sure that rooster wasn’t handled much, and also, I do remember a lot of hens around, as I was in their coop searching for some eggs. I was in his territory apparently. Looks like the odds were against me that day! I was probably 8 years old or so. Very scary when you’ve got an angry rooster flapping around trying to attack your face. I learned my lesson, that’s for sure! 😛

        Wow, I do tend to learn my lessons the hard way…

      • Bjay says:

        I LOVE Govindas.  It is probably my son’s favorite place to be besides being at home.  It’s one of the few places where he will sit still and gaze at the fish or the birds and get lost in thought.

      • azmouse says:

        Gosh, I’ll have to try this place. I’ve never heard of it, but I kinda stick  close to home most of the time.

  3. azmouse says:

    That picture of the container of bones makes me think of Jeffrey Dahmer.

    Thanksgiving…a good time was had by all, except when I made my Mom cry, but that’s normal.

    Jennatoolz, so glad your eggnog cheesecake was a hit! I looked up some recipes for it, and it aounded really good. It’s always cool to impress folks with your culinary skills.

    I also like the idea of a vegetarian meal, with a turkey cruising around. That’s cool!

    Turkey bones look way better after they’re painted.

    • Rynski says:

      hahhahha! i do wonder if dahmer used peroxide?
      actually, he had a big vat of caustic lye or some other substance in the middle of his bedroom that stank to high heaven yet none of his fellow apartment building dwellers bothered to notice…but anyway…
      sorry mom cried –
      I know it wasn’t because the turkey was dry as you def. sound like you know what you’re doing in the kitchen. (as does jennatoolz with her baking creation).
      glad to hear a good time was had by all!

      • azmouse says:

        Mom thinks my Dad is the king of the castle and I guess that includes my castle too.
        I was opting for ambiance music, with Dad on the back porch, which is right off my kitchen and has a great television, for his football viewing. (it also was very nice out that day, so he was happy)
        Not good enough for Mom, who thought Dad should be in the living room enjoying his sports, even if she had to shed tears to accomplish what she wanted. (sigh)

        It all worked out, and the turkey was perfection! 🙂

      • Jennatoolz says:

        Doesn’t Dad have a say in where he wants to watch his football?? Lol! I’m kidding…glad everything worked and the turkey was perfect! 😀

      • azmouse says:

        We’ve all given up years ago on trying to make up our own minds. lol
        Sorry Mom!!!
        She has definite ideas on how things should be, and we all usually just cruise along with her…..or do our own thing, and never tell her we didn’t do it her way…..

      • azmouse says:

        …but I love her!

      • Rynski says:

        see? dang football wrecking things again – hahah!
        tears are a great way to get what you want…so is begging.
        i think we need a bit of drama here and there, anyway. glad it worked out. i get no TV reception so i don’t even know if the lions lost (i’m betting they did…)

      • azmouse says:

        Yes, football ruins good times….I believe the Lions lost.

  4. radmax says:

    Happy post turkeyday and mid morn greetings Rynski! I’m still so stuffed my fingers won’t type correctly, thus the late comments. 🙂 Your turk-mobile rocks! As far as ambiance, football is ALWAYS a good fallback when the conversation hits a deadzone…or family members decide to stir up old gripes from decades past.

    • Rynski says:

      hiya radmax –
      thanks for turk-mobile compliments…but you didn’t say if you liked the snow globe idea (haha).
      your fingers appeared to have typed OK, save for some weird comment about football (haha). but yes, good when covos lull or people start getting cranky.
      you can always interrupt bickering with “did you just see that catch?!”

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