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How to start making puppets?

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

  1. iprevito

    iprevito New Member

    Hi Everybody, I'm Isabell From Italy.
    I Work At School And I Collaborate With Puppeteers Companies In Italy. I Love Puppets And I Use Puppetry In My Job. I'm Good In Making Paper Puppets, Socks Puppets And Papier Mache Puppets And I'm Really Interested In Learning To Make Foam Puppets And Muppets. I Bought Some Books Here In Italy And "puppets Mania" And "puppets Planet" In The U.s.a. But They Aren't In Half Clear To Me. I Need Some Free Patterns To Build A Round Head Moving Mouth Puppets. Is There Somebody Who Can Help Me?
    Thank You! Have A Great Day!

  2. Nick

    Nick Well-Known Member

    Ciao Isabel,
    Dare il benvenuto al Burattino Centrale! Questo è un luogo meraviglioso con alcune grandi informazioni! So che ci siamo diverse aree sul luogo con i modelli liberi, ed il Buck-Beaver al di sopra di ha una lezione meravigliosa sul suo luogo! :excited:

    Suggerisco anche che lei visita il projectpuppet com, sebbene i modelli non sono liberi, sono molto facili usare e venire con le istruzioni meravigliose! LORO AMO! :flirt: (Lei può pagare anche via il paypal, ed il bezalel è meraviglioso come bene! Essere sicuro di visitare il loro luogo di blog per alcune grandi lezioni.

    Spiacente se il mio italiano è rugginoso, affiggo questo in inglese di sotto!
    Ciao! ed ancora, Benvenuto!
    Nicola :)

    (For those of you Non-Italian speaking MC'rs, here is my post in English!)

    Hello Isabel,
    Welcome to Muppet Central! This is a wonderful site with some great info! I know that there are several areas on the site with free patterns, and Buck-Beaver above has a wonderful tutorial on his site!

    I also suggest that you visit projectpuppet.com, although the patterns are not free, they are very easy to use and come with wonderful instructions! I LOVE THEM! (you can also pay via paypal, and bezalel is wonderful as well! Be sure to visit their blog site for some great tutorials.

    Ciao! and again, Welcome!
  3. iprevito

    iprevito New Member

    Hi Nick,
    Thanks A Lot For Your Message And For Your Italian!
    I Knew Already The Websites You Told Me But I Needed To Know If The Patterns Are Working Well. I'll Buy Then The Rotondo Pattern From Projectpuppet. What Do You Think?
    As You Are An Expert I Would Like To Ask You Two More Things:
    1) What Do You Think Of "the Foam Book"?
    2) Do You Know Where I Can Find Foam Balls Suitable For Making Puppets Eyes?
    Thank You Very Much For Your Help! As Soon As I Start With My First Muppet I'll Let You.
    Ciao From Italy And Happy Easter!

  4. Nick

    Nick Well-Known Member


    I am far from being an expert... there are many others on here who are of expert Status! I am fairly new to being a puppet builder, and this forum has helped me greatly! As well as the wonderful people on here!

    I have not purchased the foam book as yet, but I have seen it and think it has some good direction. I do own both of John Kenedy's Books Puppet Planet and Puppet Mania. I think they are good books, but are mainly for children and school projects.

    The rotondo is a wonderful pattern and you will get many years of use from it, be sure to make a hard copy of the patterns, so you will always have them. Now for the eyes... there are many ideas. You could use ping pong balls cut in half, I have seen people use styrofoam eggs or balls cut in half. Another wonderful eye is a plastic spoon.

    You can find some of those items in any craft store or fabric store. The pupils are felt dots or plastic discs... you just have to be creative!

    Happy Easter to you as well! I look forward to seeing the progress of your puppet!

  5. Tommie

    Tommie Member

    I try myself also make muppets, but it succeeds not always well... :(
  6. iprevito

    iprevito New Member

    Hi Nick,
    Nice To Hear You Again...
    I Bought Right Half An Hour Ago Both The Rotondo Pattern And The Foam Book! As Soon As I Receive Them I'll Let You Know How Is Going On. Now I've Got "the Glorified Sock Pattern" To Start With... I'm Going To Build A Sort Of Hairy Monster For A Friend Of Mine, A Magician, Who Needs Three Talking Puppets ( A Monster, A Fairy And A Pirate) Coming Out From Big Books (about 40 Cm X 55 Cm) That I Already Built ... Any Suggestion?
    Have A Great Day!

  7. Nick

    Nick Well-Known Member

    Hi Isaabel...

    I don't have any ideas... but I will think on this. Are the puppeteers going to be seen? or are they behind a stage? You say that you have already built the books?
  8. iprevito

    iprevito New Member

    Hi Nick,
    ...the Puppetteer Is The Magician. The Books Shoud Be Set On A Table. On The Back Of Each Book There Is A Round Hole And During The Show The Magician Should Animates The Puppets Coming Out From The Front Of The Books... Well, I Realize That Is Quite Difficult To Explain And Probably Imagine All This Stuff!. I'll Send You A Picture Of A Book So You Can Have A Clear Idea. The Books Are Ready And They Are Art Attack Stile... Where Can I Send You The Picture?
    Thanks A Lot.
    Have A Super Week-end!

  9. BarbarianJ

    BarbarianJ Well-Known Member

    Hi all,

    I have joined up with MC for a little while now, but never came out of the woodwork because so much other stuff was going on in my life. But here I am now and just to formally introduce myself to the people in this thread: I'm Joris, 33-year old Belgian and I'm thinking of doing a "Muppet Project".

    I have read most of this thread and there's a lot of helpful information in it already, but what I was really after is a step-by-step book on "how to make a Muppet" ... I have seen the title before on some site, but lost that link.
    If memory serves, it covered really everything from materials to design and even some items on animatronics. Jim Henson was co-author of the book.

    Does anybody have an idea what the exact title of the book could be? I'm looking to buy it ...

    By the way, does anybody here already have pictures on their work? I would be very interested to see how you guys and gals did things.
  10. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    Jim Henson never wrote a book like that. There is "Jim Henson: The Works" and "No Strings Attached" but they are not puppet making books, although they have some interesting and helpful information. There is also "The Muppets Make Puppets" but that is more of a puppet craft book.

    I have a list of pretty good puppet building resources available online if that helps. You may also find PuppetBuilding.com helpful and it's updated with new information and resources every weekday.
  11. BarbarianJ

    BarbarianJ Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that already, Buck-Beaver ... I checked on those titles and they weren't the one I'm looking for.
    By the way, you're right, it wasn't Jim Henson who actually wrote the book. Somebody else wrote it, but since he (or she) basically wrote about Henson's work, got granted an inside look into the muppeteering secrets and even got some counsel from Mr. Henson himself, he was quoted as co-author.
    The only additional thing I know is that it's fairly old book, printed in black and white ... I know, it ain't much to go by ... :boo:

    I'm gonna check out those on-line resources you mentioned, though ... thanks ... :)
  12. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

  13. Gooch

    Gooch New Member

    hi people. well, the reason im here is because id like to build pepe (ok) he rocks and i have yet to find a good pepe puppet. (or any pepe puppet for that matter.) I guess im asking, Where do i start?
    What do i use and what is the best way to make the mouth move? being a mechanic im good at making things move but i usually have a manual (ok).
    anyway any help u guys can offer will be greatly appreciated.
  14. BarbarianJ

    BarbarianJ Well-Known Member

    I think I have it ... I guess I was looking for Puppet Mania!: The World's Most Incredible Puppet Making Book Ever! by John E. Kennedy. Anybody know this book? Is it any good?

    And (of course) you were right, Buck-Beaver ... Jim Henson wasn't co-author to this book; John Kennedy has worked for the Henson Company for ten years. That was probably the reference about the "inside information" I remembered. Thanks for your help again, though ... ;)
  15. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    Puppet Mania is a good book, but it's kind of a "puppet craft" book. There are good techniques in it though. John's second book is "Puppet Planet" and gets in to more advanced techniques.
  16. TheCreatureWork

    TheCreatureWork Well-Known Member

  17. BarbarianJ

    BarbarianJ Well-Known Member

    Are those the "original" pieces or is this a fan project? They look great anyway ...
  18. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    They are a reproduction, but by a professional. The creator works on the Master Replicas Muppet line I believe.
  19. ithacan

    ithacan Member

    This is a great conversation! I just recently ran accross a nice website offering tips on building puppets:


    He discusses construction techniques, as well as different options for materials and other tricks.
  20. loveshine

    loveshine New Member

    The doteasy website isn't working.

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