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How to start making puppets?

Discussion in 'Puppet Building and Performing' started by charlynoa, Feb 20, 2005.

  1. Diego Fiorucci

    Diego Fiorucci Well-Known Member

    I remember a similar situation when I was a child, here in Argentina. There was a character quite forgotten today, called Zoquete (it's also "Sock" and "Silly"). It was very elementary, but in a program they explained how they almost improvised it all the time with a sock, a ping pong ball and a pair of eyes. I always wanted to build a more complex puppet, but those ideas remembers you how important is giving life to any puppet, the puppetry art itself.
    ashkent likes this.
  2. CBPuppets

    CBPuppets Well-Known Member

    the How they do that really help but didn't really explained how to sew the Fleece to the foam or what Patterns I could have used
    Diego Fiorucci likes this.
  3. Diego Fiorucci

    Diego Fiorucci Well-Known Member

    In my short experience you never sew the fleece to the foam, maybe sometimes you need to glue a special section, but the skin must not be totally fixed, just enough tighten to not move. That allows it more flexibility. There are videos about how to sew and how to hide the seams. Look for ladder stitch for puppets or Henson stitch for puppets. It's a process that takes time, but gives good results.
  4. ashkent

    ashkent Well-Known Member

    People do use the expression about sewing the fleece on the foam but in general they mean pinning the fleece against the foam so it fits right and then sewing the fleece together. It is usually done if you don't have a fleece pattern or if you just want to have the fleece as tight to the skull as possible.

    The only time i have needed to attach the fleece to the foam is sometimes a small amount of glue around areas such as cheeks or chins than are under the main fleece.
    Diego Fiorucci likes this.
  5. Diego Fiorucci

    Diego Fiorucci Well-Known Member

    Sure, that's the idea I had. Only when you need to define a volume, like a bump on a flat surface. A bulging forehead, nose windows, bulging cheeks, cheekbones, protruding lips, inner ears. I guess they used this for characters like Statler and Waldorf, or Link Hogthrob. Although I'm not sure if any of them is upholstered or flocked.
  6. CBPuppets

    CBPuppets Well-Known Member

    I never thought of it like that
    Diego Fiorucci likes this.
  7. CBPuppets

    CBPuppets Well-Known Member

    as far as the whole Foam and Fleece/Fur covering goes, I bet that would apply for the Puppet Likeness of the Star Fox Characters from the Nintendo E3 2015 video
    Diego Fiorucci likes this.
  8. Jared Nielsen

    Jared Nielsen Member

    I created a free puppet design crash course. You can sign-up here: http://eepurl.com/bOlKjb

    We're developing a more in-depth, hands-on course and would appreciate any feedback, especially from beginners.
    Diego Fiorucci likes this.
  9. CBPuppets

    CBPuppets Well-Known Member

    There was one other question, considering on how they made Muppet Likeness of the Star Fox Characters, How can I do that?
  10. Abnormtoons

    Abnormtoons Member

    Hey guys, Im out of my element, I am a cartoonist, and for fun I wanted to make a puppet of my character NORM, The problem is head is shaped differently then what I would use to make a puppet. (Never made one before) but How can I make a pattern? or make his head have the shape the way I created him. And the cartoon for my avatar is Norm. Please help me guys. I don't want to spend my money( as little as I have) and waste it cause I try to do something new.
    Thanks guys
  11. Hobblesnitch

    Hobblesnitch Member

    Hey Kevinn,

    The way I make a pattern is by building the head shape first. You can shape it out of foam or make a smaller figure out of clay. Once you have your shape, pin sheets of felt onto it. Making sure all the pieces are flat. If there are any creases or folds, smooth them over and cut them away. These will become darts when you sew. Unpin all your pieces and there’s your pattern!

    I have a photo in this thread.

  12. CBPuppets

    CBPuppets Well-Known Member

    I guess when it gets right down to it, everyone has their own way of building puppets. for example most people would use 3D Models or draw Patterns from Scratch
  13. Diego Fiorucci

    Diego Fiorucci Well-Known Member

    Hi friends:
    Does anyone know if some muppets use another kind of fleece than Antron? I feel that characters like Bunsen have a softer texture than Kermit. Is it maybe the reverse side of Antron? Or, can the fleece be shaved?
  14. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    Antron fleece can be shaved - and usually is - and it also used to be manufactured in different weights, some with a higher pile (essentially, thicker) than others. That might be the difference you've noticed.

    It's also worth noting that in the 1970s, some of the Muppets were carved foam that was then covered in a fine lint like material called Flock. Others were made from sheets of reticulated foam that was dyed rather than covered in fleece. Later, many of the characters like Miss Piggy that were originally carved were sculpted and made in molds, then flocked. Today almost all of the characters appear to be covered in some kind fleece or fur.

    Sometimes, the same puppet can look entirely different when shot under different lighting conditions or at different times too.
    Diego Fiorucci likes this.
  15. Diego Fiorucci

    Diego Fiorucci Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the answer, Buck! Yes, I know that Miss Piggy is flocked, and her structure is made of latex foam by molds. However I can see that some muppets who are not flocked or devoid of upholstered look softer than others. I´m talking about the last version of them. I know they've changed a lot through time. For example, Dr. Teeth's head shape has been changing, and it no longer presents the exposed foam, it's covered by green fleece. He started as a rod puppet and had four fingers in each hand, now he has glove hands with five fingers to better could play the organ keyboard. Many of them have changed not only clothes or notorious details, but shapes. Thanks again!
  16. Diego Fiorucci

    Diego Fiorucci Well-Known Member

    This is the puppet I'm working on. I still look forward to working with the corresponding materials, but I don't get them easily where I live, Rosario city (Argentina). At the moment, this character uses a generic fleece (I couldn't get Antron), the upholstery of his mouth is foamy and his tongue is a fleece that is known here as pañolenci, a kind of
    wool, harder than the fleece. It has spoon eyes with felt tip pupils. I need to hide the birth of eyebrow hair. I think I'm going to sew the visible edge. And here comes another of my problems, the difficulty to find fur, ostrich feathers and other textures for the skin.




    Last edited: Jan 17, 2017
  17. JT Yorke

    JT Yorke Well-Known Member

    The picture isnt working:search:
    Diego Fiorucci likes this.
  18. Diego Fiorucci

    Diego Fiorucci Well-Known Member

    Yes, I copied the link now. I don't understand why I can't upload a picture from my computer. Thanks!
  19. JT Yorke

    JT Yorke Well-Known Member

    Diego Fiorucci likes this.
  20. Diego Fiorucci

    Diego Fiorucci Well-Known Member

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