With the release of Muppets Most Wanted this weekend, have you started conjuring up dreams of growing up to be a puppeteer, but don’t have Kermit or Miss Piggy lying around just waiting to be puppet-ed? Don’t sweat, because you can make your very own puppet! Grab some felt, pour some glue, and get your imagination in gear!
A Tube Sock
Different Colored Felt and Fabric Scraps
2 Wooden Skewers, Chopsticks, or, if you’re feeling rustic, regular old sticks
Yarn, Buttons, and any other decorative material you might want
1. Decide what your puppet is going to be. Is it going to be a businessman with a monocle, or an alien with seven eyeballs? An opera singer with yellow braids and a Viking hat, or a professional dog-walker with an eye-patch and a bad attitude? Once you’ve figured out the character of your puppet, you’re ready to start creating!
2. The body of the puppet is the sock. Put your hand inside and figure out exactly how much of the sock you’ll use to be the inside of your puppet’s mouth. Once you’ve decided, you can decorate the puppet’s face accordingly. Using felt or any other materials you have handy, make eyeballs, a nose, and ears, and glue them onto your puppet face.
3. Clothe and accessorize your puppet. Make an outfit out of felt or other scrap fabric. Give your puppet hair and a nice new ‘do. Does your puppet wear glasses or braces or a funny hat? Make whatever you think your puppet would wear and glue them on. Let this part of your puppet sit and dry while you move on to the arms.
4. To make puppet arms, cut out two equal length strips of felt. Make the strips longer than you would normally think arms should be since extra length makes is easier to do exaggerated arm moves. Next, fold one end of each strip around a stick. (This will be your “hand” side.) Glue the fold around the tip of the stick, and let it sit to dry.
5. Once everything is dry, you can attach the arms to the body. Make sure the sticks are pointing down toward the floor (away from the puppet head). The hand sides will be farthest away from the body. Glue the end of each arm that doesn’t have a stick on it to the back of the puppet (where the puppet’s spine would be). Let it dry.
6. Your puppet is finally ready! Stick your hand inside the sock to operate the puppet’s head and mouth, and use the sticks to move the arms (you can also get a friend to help move the arms if you want both of them moving at the same time). Grab a friend, make a gaggle of puppets, and put on a show!
There are tons of other types of puppets and ways to make them too. Try fingerpuppets, shadow puppets, or even a marionette! Check out some of these incredible puppet shows for other ideas!