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Re: [TheCostumersManifesto] OT Puppet Help

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  • Loretta Armstrong
    Most of the time puppets aren t made like we think they are. I know a lot of the Muppets are carved from foam. This gives the detail and strength you need. I
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 8, 2005
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      Most of the time puppets aren't made like we think they are. I know a lot of the Muppets are carved from foam. This gives the detail and strength you need. I would recomend looking around for Muppet construction and see what you can find. There are a number of books (mostly older) that show some muppet construction.
      Good Luck!
      Loretta


      magiclblingbling <DeadDoveDoNotEat@...> wrote:
      Hey guys,
      Sorry this is a bit OT but I really need help on this. I'm trying to
      make a pretty complex hand puppet and I've got a genral Idea of what
      I'm doing but I have a few specific questions.

      1. What kind of material can I use for th puppet's skin? It almost
      looks like felt, but I just don;t know how to do that.

      2. Is there any way to replicate the nice detailed face (ex. the nose
      and such)?

      3. What kind of batting/stuffing would you guys recommend for this
      project? I think I have like teddy bear stuffing but I'm not sure it
      will be stiff enough.

      4. Is the head/mouth movement as simple as it looks? I just want to
      make this puppet workable and sturdy so...yeah.



      Fibre Arts, a cappella, costuming, and fun!
      http://www.laminathegreat.com

      Read and comment on your scriptures daily.
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    • nanniemouse
      ... to ... what ... nose ... it ... general ... Finally, something I know about. The puppet is probably made of Foam. Basically it is upholstery foam cut,
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 8, 2005
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        > Hey guys,
        > Sorry this is a bit OT but I really need help on this. I'm trying
        to
        > make a pretty complex hand puppet and I've got a genral Idea of
        what
        > I'm doing but I have a few specific questions.
        >
        > 1. What kind of material can I use for th puppet's skin? It almost
        > looks like felt, but I just don;t know how to do that.
        >
        > 2. Is there any way to replicate the nice detailed face (ex. the
        nose
        > and such)?
        >
        > 3. What kind of batting/stuffing would you guys recommend for this
        > project? I think I have like teddy bear stuffing but I'm not sure
        it
        > will be stiff enough.
        >
        > 4. Is the head/mouth movement as simple as it looks? I just want to
        > make this puppet workable and sturdy so...yeah.
        >
        > OK, here's some reference pictures:
        >
        > http://the-op.com/images/episode/216/000058_sm.jpg
        >
        > It's on the box on the left of you screen. Small pic but good
        general
        > shape.
        >
        > Good shot of the entire head:
        > http://the-op.com/images/episode/216/000172_sm.jpg
        >
        > CU of face:
        > http://the-op.com/media/image2.php?ep=216&i=7569&cat=6200
        >
        > ANY information you can give me about this sort of thing would be
        > really helpful!
        > Nicole
        >


        Finally, something I know about. The puppet is probably made of
        Foam. Basically it is upholstery foam cut, shaped , glued together
        and covered with fabric. I use 1" thick.

        This puppet looks like the top of the head is made into a bowl like
        shape, this could be done by cutting wedge shaped sections and
        glueing them edge to edge. Foam needs to be glued with special
        adhesive. You can get it at Upholstery supply stores or over the net
        at places like:
        http://site.iwebcenters.com/afoammart_2/foammarthome.html

        Remember VENTILATION. This stuff is rough on lungs. Spray both
        surfaces, this is contact cement. Consider the placement
        permanent. You can occassionally move a piece if it's still wet,
        but it is rarely successful. Dry fit and check before gluing. A
        couple of straigt pins can help.

        The "jaw" looks like half a "bowl". You glue the "lips" to a mouth
        peace made of two half circle shaped pieces of stiff cardboard,
        sandwiched between two circles of felt so that there is a hinge
        formed by the felt. I would cover the head with fabric before
        inserting the mouth, but it looks like this puppet was covered after
        the mouth was glued and stitched to the edge instead of glued under.

        A semi-circcle of foam is fitted above and below the mouth piece,
        so you can slip your hand in between the cardboard and the foam in
        order to control the movement. The exact placement and size
        depends on the puppeteer's comfort. I like a fairly tight fit.
        Experiment with it a little.

        The "skin" looks like felt molded in a Doll face mold and then
        stretched over the foam. This is the difficult part. Felt can be
        molded when wet, but you do not want to wet your foam. It takes
        forever to dry and it speeds the disintagration of the foam. So,
        you will have to find or make a hard mold for your face. Check Felt
        doll supplies on the net, or you can make a mold out of instant
        paper mache, just be sure to sand it smooth. Lumps will show. If
        you make a mold, make the entire front top of the face. It will be
        smoother.

        Cut the rest of the felt bigger than you need, fit using pins to
        hold it and then mark (chalk is good) and cut, you will get a
        smoother fit. Dont forget seam allowences. I would make them
        small, fold them under and stitch the seams together while pinned
        to the puppet. I don't remember what the stitch is called, but you
        take a little stitch in the fold, cross over to the other side and
        take another stich in that fold and pull the two sides together.
        Hand stitching is tedious, but will help hold the shape. Again, it
        will be smoother. A little poly fill under the cheeks will keep
        them plump.

        Stitch on lips.

        Remember, the bottom back of the head and the neck are nothing but
        fabric, to give easy movement. Don't be stingy, a little extra
        fabric will make the movement smoother.

        If you don't need an exact duplicate you can use "dolly skin"
        stretch fabric and pads of polyfil and needle sculpt the nose.

        The body is foam as well, probably dressed in childrens clothes.

        I'm sorry i can't give any more detailed instructions, but I would
        need to see more of the puppet. I hope I helped.

        Kathleen
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