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Convert from plush toy to puppet, anyone done this?

Discussion in 'Puppet Building and Performing' started by zoetrope, Apr 17, 2004.

  1. zoetrope

    zoetrope New Member

    As mentioned in the eyebrow thread, i was recently poking around the thrift stores. While there I didn't see any puppets, but there was a nice Ernie plush toy with the mouth open. I could open and close the mouth easily from the outside, and thought, hey, how hard could it be to turn this into a nice Ernie puppet? In my mind I'm picturing slicing a hole in his back (sorry Ernie :p ), pulling out some stuffing, making a "tunnel" to the mouth, then sewing in some sort of sleeve and attaching that to the mouth plates so the remaining stuffing doesn't come out. Has anyone tried this or something similar. Any ideas, warnings, etc.? Thanks in advance, I'm so glad I found this board and all the creative people here.
  2. Jinx

    Jinx Member

    Back in 1980 I did that very thing with my sister's Fisher-Price stuffed Kermit. The seam I opened was on his back, and it was clear that this was where he was closed up when he was manufactured. The most important thing to remember about this approach is to reinforce the edges of the hole when opened up. If you made a "tunnel" to the mouth and stitched it to the edges of the opened seam, it should serve nicely. I actually just left Kermit half-stuffed with no other considerations. The only difficulty I encountered were the stems that locked his eyes in place. I found a way to wedge them between my fingers without distorting his face.

    Good luck, and let us know how it works out!
  3. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

  4. zoetrope

    zoetrope New Member

    Thanks Jinx and Buck. Any other ideas or experiences appreciated.
  5. Puppetplanet

    Puppetplanet Member

    Puppet Mania is the way to go here..... I never attempted that until John Kennedy's section on the subject piqued my interest. I tried it with a bear similar to the one John used and it came out great! That book is awsome and I rank it right up there with the foam book as one of the top puppet construction resources...... gotta get a link to him up on my site very soon. =)
  6. Whatever

    Whatever Active Member

  7. Krazedmuppet

    Krazedmuppet Active Member

  8. zoetrope

    zoetrope New Member

  9. PaulyPuppets

    PaulyPuppets New Member

    I gutted a "Tutter" (from Bear in the Big Blue House) puppet once. Simply opened the bottom so I can slip my hand in like any puppet, took out the stuffing, and PRESTO, instant puppet. The mouth opens and closes great too The way you described (with the glove) for your Ernie puppet sounds like a neat idea. Plush toys can make really nice puppets. They're cheap, quick to transform, and they're already built. ...Pauly

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