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How to make a full-costume (full body) puppet?

Discussion in 'Puppet News' started by Rowlfy, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. Rowlfy

    Rowlfy Well-Known Member

    I've tried searching around....found nothing. It would be great to hear from someone who has made one before. Instructions prefered. Thanks!
  2. bluebomber95

    bluebomber95 Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry but do you mean a normal-size puppet with a full body or a puppet that you can actually go into, like Sweetums?
  3. Rowlfy

    Rowlfy Well-Known Member

    A costume puppet, like Sweetums. I know how to make a normal sized puppet :)
  4. NextJim1225

    NextJim1225 Active Member

    Great you know how to make a hand puppet. All you must do now is study costuming and modern day mascot making. You know that sketch Jim made of Big Bird with him inside? Refer back to that as well as your design and you'll do fine. Build the inside for comfort and try your best to keep the head light weight because you want to make it easy on yourself. Also alot of these full body puppet techniques come from theatre so study that stuff too. Last but not least, watch as much behind the scenes stuff relating to full body puppets and costumes in general.
  5. Rowlfy

    Rowlfy Well-Known Member

    Thanks but I was wondering like, literal instructions....perhaps materials and steps of process.
  6. meepmuppaphones

    meepmuppaphones Well-Known Member

    If you want a shortcut, get a really big Halloween costume and modify it. Of course, if you want to make one from scratch...

    If you want a basic one (Let's say a green full body monster), you're gonna want to get lots of fabric. It's probably the same basis as a Halloween costume, but if you want one your size, you'll need the assistance of someone else to measure things.

    The mouth could differ. It could be a regular hand mouth (Big Bird),but if you're looking for something like that, you'll need a huge puppet head with the mouth close to the top, so your hand could hold the top up while operating the mouth. Or, if you have the materials, stuff the top of the head with foam and put the mouth a little lower.

    Also, the bottom waist down is probably part of a two-piece, with the waist up being the top part. Just saying.

    As for hands, one hand will have to be stuffed because both of your hands will be busy operating one puppet arm and the mouth. So preferably sew the arm onto the body, and make sure it looks pretty casual.

    You'll want to make a starting foam template of the puppet, and add fabric onto it.

    Like I said, it'll probably take multiple people, and it will be long and grueling. Hopefully you can put my tips to good use!~
  7. Rowlfy

    Rowlfy Well-Known Member

    Wow, thanks! How did you come up with all of these great tips? Is this a project you have previously done yourself?
  8. meepmuppaphones

    meepmuppaphones Well-Known Member

    I have done plenty of research, but I've never actually built a puppet. I hope you put those tips to good use!

    Plus, I recommend the use of reticulated foam instead of styrofoam, and Antron fleece rather than other fleeces. Reticulated foam is more forgiving for sewing, and it lasts longer. Antron fleece is the fleece of choice for Muppets, giving it that Muppety look. It also conceals stitches very well.
  9. Rowlfy

    Rowlfy Well-Known Member

    Wow, cool! Thanks for the advice!
  10. meepmuppaphones

    meepmuppaphones Well-Known Member

    You're welcome.
  11. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    Snapdragon Puppets used to have a great step-by-step overview of how to make a full body costume puppet on their website. You can find it on the Internet Achive here. It looks like some of the images are missing, but they might be available under other dates when that site was crawled if you feel like doing some hunting. I have a printed copy of this in a puppetry sourcebook, I'll look to see if I still have a digital version of it.
  12. Rowlfy

    Rowlfy Well-Known Member

    Wow! Neat site! Thanks!
  13. DeputyDavis

    DeputyDavis New Member

    I know this is an older post, but just curious if you had ever completed your puppet?
    gavry3 and MikaelaMuppet like this.

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