Re: [TheCostumersManifesto] OT Puppet Help
- 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.
magiclblingbling <DeadDoveDoNotEat@...> wrote:
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
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!
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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> Hey guys,to
> Sorry this is a bit OT but I really need help on this. I'm trying
> make a pretty complex hand puppet and I've got a genral Idea ofwhat
> I'm doing but I have a few specific questions.nose
> 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
> and such)?it
> 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
> will be stiff enough.general
> 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:
> It's on the box on the left of you screen. Small pic but good
> shape.Finally, something I know about. The puppet is probably made of
> Good shot of the entire head:
> CU of face:
> ANY information you can give me about this sort of thing would be
> really helpful!
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:
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
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
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.