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Covering Puppets with Fleece

Discussion in 'Puppet Building and Performing' started by GuySmiley, Jun 18, 2002.

  1. GuySmiley

    GuySmiley New Member

    Hi Guys!

    I recently acquired some fleece - not antron - but has a nice stretch to it. I will be using this to cover the puppet heads that I am making.

    This is a question for the puppet building experts among us (and I know you're there!). If making from foam [especially using the Foam Book Method] - should I cover the pieces before I assemble the different parts of the head together, or wait until assembled and then cover? The book says to use you original patterns and make them half an inch bigger to accomodate glueing/seams - I just wondered if anyone thought there way a 'best' way to do it.

    Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    Cheers everyone!

  2. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    Hi Guy,

    We actually use a different method to cover puppets which is a little difficult to describe in writing (I know, lots of help - aren't I?). I think the Foam Book's method is a good way to start if you are doing it for the first time though.

    When making patterns to make a fleece "skin" we usually only make them 1/4" bigger than the original (foam) pattern but maybe you should experiment and see what works best for you. Don't forget to give yourself an additional 1/4" outside the pattern when you cut them out if you are going to use a sewing machine.

    You might also want to do some test stiching on the material before you sew (we usually do that with everything). If you are hand-sewing the face (which we almost always do, especially with Antron) and using two-sided fleece you will find that one side you can make nearly invisible seams on, while stiching on the other side will usually be very visible. This varies depending on the type of fleece you use and doesn't apply to one-sided fleece. Machine-sewn seams are usually very visible.

    Hope this is helpful!
  3. MuppetQuilter

    MuppetQuilter Member

    I am by no means a professional and don't have any where near the experience or exerptese of Buck-Beaver, but here are my thoughts--

    I used the foam book method on my turtle puppet (you can see pics by clicking on My Quilts, below, and then selection the puppet link) and I found it easier with a larger seam allowance. meaning, I cut the fleece (fake fur in this case) about 1 1/2" larger than the foam pieces. This gave me plenty of extra to work with for good coverage and I could easily trim any excess. I started with smaller pieces (1/2" larger than the foam, I think) and it was more difficult-- around the mouth and other 'edges' I sometimes had trouble tucking the edges of the fabric in so they wouldn't show.

    Honestly, I don't remember exactly how I did it, I think I covered the upper head and lower jaw with the fabric before attaching them to the mouth piece. I think that method gives you a smoother lip. However, after it was all together, I used extra bits of the fake fur to create wrinkles and cover little spots I felt needed more 'skin.' Just play around with it. You can use straight pins to try things out before you sew or glue them in place (that's one of the great things about the foam).

    Post some pics when you get it done and let us know how it goes!
  4. fluffmuppet

    fluffmuppet Member

    Oiy, I'm just teaching myself how to do it! I hope when I go to the puppet club, they'll teach me alot of strategies. If so, I'll get back to you on that!

  5. BorkBork

    BorkBork Member

    something that would be very interesting is if any of the experts, Buck beaver, or maybe Terry could post a step by step how-to on covering a puppet (with pics).

    It's great to learn the thing with hand-sewing the fleece to make the seems less visable, thanks for the tip. If anyone has more tips, i would be very happy. I am trying to learn myself how to build puppets, and it's a lot of fun. But i bet it will be alot more fun when you have knowlege of all the different techniques.

  6. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Uh... my friend has an old Fozzie Bear Puppet that's covered in lint! Does that count?
  7. GuySmiley

    GuySmiley New Member

    Thanks everyone - I'm sure all these tips are going to be invaluable. Once I am done, I will definitely post some pics so you can see how I did.

    Thanks again,

  8. solo409

    solo409 New Member

    How-to guide on fleece

    Bork Bork said:

    I know that this is a really old post, but I was just reviewing them all and stumbled across this. Has any one actualy thought about doing this? This would be really cool, especialy coming from some of you professional builders out there! Please let us know if you would be willing to do this. It would be a great service to all of us 'little-ones'.
  9. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    It's on my "to do" list, but it may be there for awhile...
  10. solo409

    solo409 New Member

    I look foward to it!:D

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