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Eyes...ping pongs are too small....

Discussion in 'Puppet Building and Performing' started by BorkBork, Dec 1, 2002.

  1. BorkBork

    BorkBork Well-Known Member

    You know, i was watching Fraggle Rock, and was looking at their eyes and i thought, hey, i haven't figured out how to make those kind of eyes for my puppets... :rolleyes:

    does anyone know, because i am getting ready soon to assemble a puppet, and i will need some eyes....


  2. punkNpuppets

    punkNpuppets Well-Known Member

    well, for the Herry Monster and Placido Flamingo stuffed animals that i made (yes, i did!!!) i just used t-shirt material. i got a white shirt and cut the material into little eyes! for the only puppet i've ever made (his name is phil), i used cardboard cuz he wears don music glasses!
  3. BorkBork

    BorkBork Well-Known Member

    thank you, paul - was it? - for your post, but i actually want to do round fraggle-type eyeballs. And they need to look really good too ;)

    I was thinking of christmastree-balls but they are too likely to break ;)

  4. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    I believe a lot of the Fraggle eyes were made from fishing floats, which we use pretty extensively with our puppets.
  5. BlueFrackle

    BlueFrackle Well-Known Member


    Hmmm... i never heard of that before.

    Could you give me some more details, Like if there is a specific type ?

  6. BorkBork

    BorkBork Well-Known Member

    So, i could basically use styrofoamballs then?
  7. fragglerockr

    fragglerockr Well-Known Member


    Bork Bork,

    Contact David Pannabecker at Arms Length Productions - www.armslength.com. He has a supplier for round white half sphere-type eyes. They have posts on the back with a washer that locks them into place. I'm sure Henson probably has a similar supplier if not the same one. I think the size of the sphere is 35mm. This is a standard size on many puppets but not all. They use all kinds of things for eyes in the Henson Workshop but I think this is a common size for some characters. Hope that helps you.

    Fragglerockr (Lee)
  8. BorkBork

    BorkBork Well-Known Member

    i've seen those eyes, they are great. although i want them full round, not halfes. I'm just gonna go for the styrofoamballs, and put some shiny glossy on them ;)

  9. fragglerockr

    fragglerockr Well-Known Member



    I'd still go ahead and email David. He's figured out a way to make them out of two halves of the spheres. Darren, from Dpuppets (www.dpuppets.com) told me that David Pannabecker taught a workshop on how to make a full circular eye at a puppetry conference a while back. I'd still email him. It would look a lot better than the styrofoam since it's not porous.

    If you can't get David to email you right back (he's pretty busy from time to time) I'd email Darren. Go to his site and look under puppet talk and type the question into that forum and he'll answer pretty quickly.


  10. BorkBork

    BorkBork Well-Known Member

    Thanks Fragglerockr! I'll go ahead and do that! :D

  11. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    Re: Buck,

    You should be able to find them in any fishing supply store - they are usually half red / half white and can be sanded and painted quite successfully. Wal-Mart carries them as well I believe. They come in a wide variety of sizes.

    I don't suggest styrofoam balls because of their rough surface and the face that they can be easily crushed, but if that's all you have to work with go for it!
  12. BorkBork

    BorkBork Well-Known Member

    i guess i'll go looking for fishing floates then. Just have to find a fiching store around ;)

    Hey Buck, there's some pics online on my puppetbuilding, if you want to see. I have made a topic for it in this forum ;)

  13. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    re: Hobbits Find Other Uses For Ping Pong Balls

    On the subject of ping pong balls, I was just reading that most of the domes on buildings you see in the "Lord of the Rings" movies are actually painted ping pong balls. Apparently, WETA workshop (who built the minatures for "Lord of the Rings") loves detailing minatures with Ping Pong balls. They cut them in half to use them for bowls and other round objects too.

    Kinda cool, huh?

    *Remember: "The Two Towers" opens December 18th.
  14. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    That's pretty good Bork Bork - I think you have all the basics down. My only suggestion would be to consider sewing the fabric "skin" for the head and the mouth together first, then turning them inside out so you can glue the mouth lining down to the mouth plate. You'll find you get much better results that way. Also, you may want to consider making the mouth opening a little narrower on the foam "skull" next time so you can fold the mouth edges over and glue it to the inside of the mouthplate instead of the outside edges like you did in the picture. I hope this makes sense.

    These two techniques are just little finishing touches but usually result in a much nicer looking puppet mouth.

    Great stuff - I can't wait to see the finished puppet!
  15. BorkBork

    BorkBork Well-Known Member

    So, do i insert the mouthplate in the fleece before i full it over the foam? Or did i just missunderstand?

  16. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    No, the mouth plate is still glued to the foam "skull" of the puppet, but you can cut out a liner (like black felt) the same size as the mouthplate which can be then sewn to the rest of the fabric used to cover the puppet's head. Once all the fabric to cover the mouthplate and the foam skull are sewn together you turn the fabric inside out and carefully glue the felt (or other material) to cover the mouthplate down to the mouthplate itself and then pull the rest of the material over the puppet's head.

    I hope this (now) makes sense!
  17. BorkBork

    BorkBork Well-Known Member

    i think i get it, yeah, great trick. Thanks!! I'll try it next time perhaps ;)


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