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How to start making puppets?

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

  1. puppetsrock

    puppetsrock Member

    Can anyone help me?

    I am new here so if I have missed the answer to this question sorry. I am looking for a patter to make a really great puppet. Our team has just had a big shake up our director left and took alot of our puppets. We have a great team and they are heart broken so I thought that I could make them some new puppets. I am very crafty and I can sew very well. So I am pruty sure I can do it if I could just find a pattern. I really can't afford to buy a pattern at this time as we are on a really tight bugget but I just can't let these great kids down they really need a pick me up. Dose anyone know where I can get a free patter for a nice puppet or at least a cheap one I love the puppets that David Pannabecker makes (that is what we had before). We can't afford to repace them and I am not sure if we can even afford his pattern right now. Please help me help them. I will not sell the puppet I make or the pattern I promise. Thank you for any help you can give.
  2. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

  3. CookieCountDawn

    CookieCountDawn Well-Known Member

    I've always wanted to make a puppet but I don't know how.

    Does anyone know how should I start making a puppet and what materials and things I need? I would want to make a doggie puppet but I would like hand rods like a character from Sesame Street (like Elmo, Bert, Grover, Prairie Dawn).

    Thanks. (sorry if the answers were already answered.)
  4. SesameKermie

    SesameKermie Well-Known Member

    Puppets can be made of just about anything. However, Most of the puppets you see out there today are some variation of fleece and foam. As far as creating the character, I would recommend the 'Ratchet' tutorial on the Puppet 101 blog from Swazzle. (I don't remember the link right now.) Also, like has been mentioned before, check out Project Puppet.com. They've got great basic head and body patterns that can be turned into wonderful characters, with the additon of features.

    Hope this helps to get you started!
  5. Teenager's

    Teenager's Well-Known Member

  6. CookieCountDawn

    CookieCountDawn Well-Known Member


    Is there a list of things that I might need to make a rod puppet? And where do I get foam/fleece?

    Thanks again! :)
  7. Blink

    Blink Well-Known Member

    Hey CookieCountDawn,

    Here is a diagram of a rod puppet in a PDF file format. You can find more by looking on this page and scrollling down to "Rod Puppet Diagrams". THere are tons of infomational bits to help you.

    As for materials. Really all you need to do is a Google search or a forum search and all your questions will be answered. Here is something (besides the other link) to help get you started.
  8. bigcyd

    bigcyd New Member

    help in making oversized pirate head

    hi everybody!

    i'm interested in trying to build an oversized pirate head (like a mascot head)for my son for halloween. not sure how to construct it..any ideas! i'm not sure what material to cover the face with. i have a piece a foam that i carved out and made a crude face with but not sure what to do with it. i am very handy with a hot glue gun...lol...enjoy making outragious costumes for my kids for halloween.

    checked out nicodemus' fursuit site but since i'm not needing to apply fur not sure what to do
  9. Teenager's

    Teenager's Well-Known Member

    Well if you're going to use that carved head you can still do it the same way as the fursuits but with fabric.

    But do you want to build a diffrent head than the one you already have?

    If so, I would recomend using one of the project puppet patterns or this one

    and enlarge it by 100 or 150% at kinko's and make it out of foam or L-200 which is lighter, and can be bought at a car surplus store or a foam store, Regular foam is still good though. Its a either or thing not a better thing in this case.

    Thats what I recomend
  10. Honest George

    Honest George New Member

    Well, I'm new and didn't want to start a new thread but I am very happy. I had the chance to work with a professional puppeteer about 10 years ago which gave me some great experience and some foam puppet head patterns. Over the years a lot has happened, namely serving six years in the Air Force and surviving Hurricane Katrina, but my family is settled now and are ready to get back into the puppetry game.

    However, I had thought all those puppet patterns lost to Katrina. But just last night my wife found them in an old box that had survived! We have two shows we're planning on putting together and now I have the materials to get building. We are very excited!

    She also came across something else fairly interesting; John Kennedy's home phone number (at least 10 years ago). He went to the same univeristy I did years ago, IUPUI, and a teacher of his put me into contact with him over the phone. We spoke only once but as I recall he was very gracious with his time and advice. All things are coming up roses, and puppets, lately!
  11. Onath

    Onath Well-Known Member

    Thank You

    Hi everyone,

    I am new to the forum. I have been a huge muppet fan since I can remember. Recently, I have decided to take my muppet obsession to a new level by creating my own. It was however much harder than I even realized. However, I have been reading just about anything and everything from here for building puppets. I would like to say thank you to all the posters for helping me finish my first awesome working very muppety puppet. Everyones posts have been priceless with helping me with my first build. Look for more posts from me. Once again thanks everyone.

  12. ChickyBoy37

    ChickyBoy37 Well-Known Member

    I have another Question. How do I make the mouth for the Puppet?
  13. TheCreatureWork

    TheCreatureWork Well-Known Member

    the mouth should be one of the first things you build. There are many ways of making a mouth plate- I recommend making it light in weight, comfortable, and flexible. Some mouth pieces are made from gasket rubber, leather, canvass, sign plastic, bleach bottle plastic...it is really up to you. I recommend experimenting with different materials and techniques. I like to make the mouths out of sign plastic- covered in fabric and for the finger grips I use tubes or sewn elastic waste bans.
    Hope this helps
  14. Teenager's

    Teenager's Well-Known Member

    I....disagree TheCreatureWork, starting with the mouth is fine, but sometimes it's hard to get the head shape to fit to the mouthplate. Personally, I make the head first, and then make the mouth to fit.
  15. TheCreatureWork

    TheCreatureWork Well-Known Member

    There are many different ways to skin a cat- like I said, trial and error, come up with your own ways that works for you.

    PS- No animals were harmed in the making of this reply :)...especially cats
  16. Kevin the Frog

    Kevin the Frog Well-Known Member

    John was just in northern Indiana last month and held a puppet making workshop. He was the nicest guy in the world. If you email him via his website, I'm sure he'll email you back. I barely remember seeing his puppet act at Union Station in Indianapolis when I was a kid. Glad to hear things are looking up for you!
  17. ChickyBoy37

    ChickyBoy37 Well-Known Member

    Is there a Tutorial about building a Mouth?
  18. SJohnson

    SJohnson Well-Known Member

  19. ChickyBoy37

    ChickyBoy37 Well-Known Member

    Thanks SJohnson.:) you're a good man. I shall dedicate this to your inspiration if I ever became famous as a puppeteer.;)
  20. staceyrebecca

    staceyrebecca Well-Known Member

    I heart you with my heart, Sean.

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