David Shear- Puppet-making

This is a puppet I made to look like my grandma! Here’s how i did it!

Materials Used:

  • Fabric Store Foam sheet with fusible web on both sides (about a centimeter thick)
  • Scissors
  • Rubber Cement
  • Acrylic paint (skin tone color)
  • Cardboard
  • Craft store colored foam sheets (red, black and pink)
  • Extra large black pom poms
  • Hot glue gun
  • Needle and thread
  • Funky patterned socks
  • 1 chopstick
  • Ink brushpen
  • White-out
  • Blue pen

Step by step 

I used this tutorial to help me through making most of the puppet. It’s pretty useful.

Steps:

1. Print out the pieces

The Tutorial provides a link to the pieces for people to print out. Unfortunately, when I created them at the original size, the head I made was much too small for my hand to fit inside. So I ended up making the pieces 125% larger in photoshop to fit my hand.

Click on both of these and right click so you can save them to your computer and print them out.

If you have big hands, I recommend doing what I did.

2. Cut out the pieces from the thick foam and start assembling the puppet.

First, using the two head pieces you cut out from the template, and apply rubber cement to the areas shown in the tutorial video and wait for the rubber cement to dry. Once dry, the areas with rubber cement will stick to each other and create a seal. Press together to make sure the seal stays. When you’re done you should have this:

Next, fuse the two bottom pieces together into a jaw for your puppet’s head.

3. Follow the video tutorial: add the nose and ears.

4. Paint the outside of the Puppet.

I used Acrylic paint which worked with the fusible web to make the puppet the right skin tone.

I put it on a bottle of honey to dry.

5. (Optional and possibly out of order) Make glasses

In order to make the glasses, I measured the head and estimated roughly how big I wanted the glasses to be on the face and I drew the shape onto hard cardstock paper and drew glasses on it with a sharpie. This took a lot of trial and error, but eventually i got glasses on it! I recommend using hot glue on the brim of the nose to make the glasses stay. (An alternative to this is to follow the video’s advice about making eyeballs or even to just draw eyes onto the puppet with a sharpie).

6. Make the Mouth

Follow the video tutorial around 5:53

and use cardboard and craft foam to create the mouth. I added the tongue in addition to the palate as an optional extra.

You should end up with something like this

7. Make the body

The tutorial originally said use socks, so i found some funky socks that kind of looked like a grandma sweater and i cut them off at the ankles so they were open at the bottom. I then cut them each down the side and connected them to each other by sewing them together so I had an extra large opening for my hand to get through.

I left a large hole on each side of the puppet towards the head while sewing for the arms to come through. To make the arms, I rolled the foot parts of the sock up and sewed them together rolled to create the tube-like arm shape.

***SOMETHING IMPORTANT TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN WORKING WITH SOCKS:

If you cut the socks anywhere, be sure to glue the edge that you cut so that the sock doesn’t come apart at the seams. this will happen eventually, so depending on how long you plan to keep your puppet, you may want to do this.

After all the sewing was done i ended up with this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I kept the arms inside by gluing them to the inside of the holes.

8. Attach the head to the sweater and add hair

For both the hair and attaching the head to the sweater, I used a hot glue gun. The hair is made up of several extra large pom-poms and some smaller pom-poms put in for variety and to fill in some gaps.

 

9. Add the stick and iPhone

The final thing I did to my puppet was give her a way to move her arm by attaching a stick to it, kind of like what they did in the muppets. So i took the end of the arm and attached a wooden chopstick and a piece of cardboard that i cut and painted to look like an iPhone.

 

And now I have a puppet!

There are a lot of artists who use their homemade puppets effectively.

For example: Glove and Boots

Glove and Boots use Youtube as a platform for publishing their videos with their homemade puppets they also sell merchandise on their website in order to make a living off of not only their youtube ad revenue but they sell shirts and iphone cases, and the occassional puppet they’re never going to use again.

Mario and Fafa

Gorilla
meh

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