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Re: OT Puppet Help

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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 1 of 3 , Dec 8, 2005
      > Hey guys,
      > 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 of
      > 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
      > 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
      > 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
      > 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:

      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
      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.

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