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Elmo Puppet Replica by Derek Thompson

Discussion in 'Puppet Building and Performing' started by Derek Thompson, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. Hi, all
    I am new to being a member here but I have read many of your valuable info on making puppets. I finally have a puppet to show and It is all thanks to this amazing site. I cant thank you enough for all the guidance just through the past posts. I think I got so much closer to what I wanted because of learning from everyones experiences.
    I decided I wanted to make a puppet and so I chose to make an Elmo replica for my 2 yr old Daughter. She love Elmo and that was my motivation to start. I also figured that Fur, in a way, would be more forgiving than starting out with Fleece. I wanted to get comfortable with sewing by hand and assembling a pattern.
    I know all the warnings of making a replica and the copyright laws thanks to this site. I have no intention of selling him. he is purely for the joy on my daughters face and the real joy for me of building him from scratch. For me the process and what i learn on the path to completion is so fullfilling. Boiling the fur to get just the right texture. I did all kinds of swatch experiments until i found the right combo for the Fur I had bought. The funny thing is I went to a foam store and I bought reticulated foam for Elmo but I didnt want to cut it up on my first attempt. So i went to the local fabric store and bought green foam sheet and made it out of that. I was so happy with the initial tests I just kept going and finished the puppet.
    The reason I chose to do a replica was because I needed a mark to hit to judge if I was understanding these new principles. If it looks remotely like Elmo at the end then I did okay. I really enjoyed gluing all the foam and making posable hands and then cutting and sewing the fur together. Like so many of you have posted before the challenge was to find the right eyes for him. I thought I had a good solution for it with antennae balls but the were 40 mm. just alittle shy of 2 inches. I ended up ordering 55 mm ping pong balls and they worked great. I blew up the pattern about 15% but looking at it now that was alittle to much. 5% would have done me perfect. Consequently my Elmo looks good but hes alittle bit of a big boy. I think my daughter is going to flip.
    I have several plans for my own unique puppets and I will post my progress on those as I go. Thank you again for everything. It has always been a dream to build my own muppet. Now I have. What to start next? Derek[​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. Id love to see your Elmo replica but for some reason the pics wont show up for me anyone else not seeing them?

    Im sure he looks fab!:laugh:

    Kind regards
    Steve:)
     
  3. Thanks for the reply. I will try to repost the pics. My avatar is My replica Elmo wearing his Pirate hat. His head is tipped back slightly. his nose is a sculpted piece of foam that matches the real puppet front and profile. let me see what I can do to get some pics up.
     
  4. from your avatar pic he looks realy good. I want to make an Elmo too at some point along the line. :laugh:

    Kind regards
    Steve:)
     
  5. KermieBaby47 and MikaelaMuppet like this.
  6. He looks great would like to see all your process pics too.:laugh:

    kind regards
    steve:)
     
  7. Here is another attempt to insert a picture for you all to see. I have noticed alot of people putting images into their posts and I want to do this as well but it seems to be eluding me. I need to figure this out in order to show progress pics. If this works great its figured out if not....Please help a nub. DT
    [​IMG]
     
  8. See, I dont know what Im doing wrong. I copied the URL into the box for photos and it just brings up that little pic icon and i cant click on it. I even got a photo bucket acout just so i could post these. Help please.
     
  9. If any one is interested. I have a full work in progress on my Elmo replica for people to see on my blog spot. Feel free to give it a look. This will have to do until I can post pics here directly.
    http://derekleethompsonblog.com/props/
     
  10. he looks fab and i love looking thought your process pics realy helps with planning my own at some point after i finish beaker, gonzo, the fraggles and the list keeps growing lol.:laugh:

    As for posting your pics this is what i do:
    where ever you have your phtos stored on the web i right click over the image then click view image info from the little list. then next to were it says location: highlight and copy that into your image box that your trying to upload the pics on and that should work. ;-)

    Kind regards
    Steve
     
  11. Stephen,
    Thank you. I knew it was something simple thatI was missing. I will try it tonight.
    BTW, You said your working on Gonzo? That is my next project. any ideas or tips? I got a few leads on eye size and construction. Any ideas on prefered mouth plate material for him? Gasket material? I am heading down to the garment district to find the best fur I can. There has to be some benefits to living not too far from LA. Also the biggest piece of foam I can find in reticulated is 4 inches thick. Im not sure that is thick enough to get his full skull or even just the top. any thoughts wuld be appreciated. DT again Thanks for you your help and kind words.
     
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  12. Ive not started gonzo yet i have the fur ready and his eyes a5omm two part clear bauble that i shall paint up Mupetlab was kind enough to give me a few tips and pointers on how he has done his. Im new to puppet making myself and so far have made a Kermit replica and a Boober fraggle. I haven't added any pics of Boober here as he has some orange fur for hair and im waiting on some orange ostrich feathers so can make his hair properly. The only pics i have of him are on my face book pages along with all my other artsy crafty models and monster replicas lol. Im trying to work on a beaker at the mo his head is done but need to work out the rest of him as i want to make him a full beaker puppet with legs and everything as my son requested a proper beaker he said it wont look right only half of him lol.

    as for gonzo i want to try and make the moving eye mech so his lids will go back to give that surprised look just like the real one. got a few ideas from things found on line.
    I just cant start him yet though as i cant find anything anywhere thick enough to cut a head from. The places i have seen foam of any type that will be thick enough is just far too expensive in my opinion so gonzo is on hold till i can find somthing from somewhere to make his head with. The plan will be to cut out a ruf head shape then trim it down to give it a smoother look. I will hollow out the inside for my hand to fit. i will then probably try and glue a small mouth plate inside to just give it a bit more strength as i think just sponge foam may not be thick enough (but wont know till Ive made a head lol)

    I think getting the head cut will be the main thing with gonzo once that is done the rest shouldn't be too hard to make.

    Then i will just need to decide what out fit i want him to wear and make all his clothing lol

    Kind regards
    Steve:concern:
     
  13. Here is a pic of my finished puppet for those who haven't seen him. I have a tux for him to wear when we go to the El Capitan for the New Muppet movie.[​IMG]
     
    KermieBaby47 and MikaelaMuppet like this.
  14. Here is his profile. I want to go back and matt up his face fur a bit more like the real one.[​IMG]
     
    KermieBaby47 and MikaelaMuppet like this.
  15. You can see that I barely stuck down his pupils because I was till working on eye focus. I used the sticky felt circles that someone here suggested. I found a pack of them in various sizes at Home depot
     
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  16. Here he is in his Tux ready for the premiere and his adoring fans.[​IMG]
     
    KermieBaby47 and MikaelaMuppet like this.
  17. "Elmo thinks Elmo looks like Tony Stark!"
     
  18. Yay glad you finally worked out how to add the pics :)
    Your Elmo looks fab ;-)
    Kind regards
    Steve
     
  19. My wife, baby and I are going to the El Capitan with Elmo for the opening night of Muppets Most Wanted. A bunch of my friends from Disney Feature are going and They said a bunch of people are bringing their puppets. I know that People from Puppet school are going to the movie with their puppets. Should be a good time.
     


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