1. Welcome to the Muppet Central Forum!
    You are viewing our forum as a guest. Join our free community to post topics and start private conversations. Please contact us if you need help with registration or your account login.

  2. Sesame Street Season 48
    Sesame Street's 48th season officially began Monday August 6 on PBS. After you see the new episodes, post here and let us know your thoughts.

    Dismiss Notice

Making Body Patterns

Discussion in 'Puppet Building and Performing' started by BartyBlue, Jan 6, 2017.

  1. BartyBlue

    BartyBlue Member

    So I wanted to try a new method of making a puppet body, and my last few tries at just sort of winging it were suitable, but not great. I couldn't find any patterns online, but I could find pictures of puppets' foam endoskeletons, which I based my pattern off of... Just wanted to show you guys the results and get some feedback (this is my second time making a pattern). :)

    The green is from the marker I used to trace the around the pattern for the foam pieces.

    What I'm trying to figure out now is how I'll attach the head (which will determine how I sew the fabric for the body). Any suggestions are welcome! :)
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  2. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Wow, that's some pretty thick foam; hope your arm is thin enough to fit into it.

    But as for attaching the head, that was actually the very first mistake I ever learned from: what you would need to do is make sure your puppet has a "neck," which would essentially be sort of like a fabric "sleeve" connected to the head and the body with no foam whatsoever - this is what gives your puppet the flexibility to turn its head in different directions. There are many different ways you can do this - some include the neck as part of the fabric pattern for the head, as Don Sahlin did in this clip from THE MUPPETS ON PUPPETS:

    Often times, other puppet builders essentially do the neck entirely separately, then sew the ends to the opening of the head where your hand goes, and the opening of the body where your comes through. I think it really boils down to how you think it would work best for you - I've tried it both ways, and found the results to differ: including the neck in the head pattern certainly cuts down on time and all, but somehow, an entirely separate neck pattern sewn to both openings seems to give the neck a better shape.
  3. BartyBlue

    BartyBlue Member

    Thanks for the advice, man! I really liked the video, and I've decided to go with the neck as a separate piece direction. Working swell so far, and I'm getting to figure out the sewing machine my aunt gave me at the same time! :)
  4. BartyBlue

    BartyBlue Member

    And yeah, the foam is pretty thick.... I found it in the theater building's dumpster at my college. I'm running out my thinner foam.....
  5. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Is there a Jo-Ann near you? You can find remnants and scraps of foam in varying different thicknesses for somewhat reasonable prices.

    Then again, I see Walmart is starting to carry packs of foam pieces now, which is odd, but would have been so much more helpful if they did this years ago, since there used to be only one Jo-Ann is my town waaaaay out west, lol.
    Kzyoung likes this.
  6. BartyBlue

    BartyBlue Member

    Yeah, we have a Jo-Anne's maybe 45 minutes away.

    Walmart is carrying foam now? I didn't know that.... That's definitely closer than Jo-Anne's is.
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  7. cathicks

    cathicks Member

    Man this video is just amazing. "Don why don't you play us some puppet-making music." Jim really was the best.
    MikaelaMuppet and Buck-Beaver like this.
  8. BartyBlue

    BartyBlue Member

    This is what I ended up with using this pattern:
  9. Mavway02

    Mavway02 Member

    Nice puppet! Just curious, what types of fabric did you use?
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  10. Adam Kreutinger

    Adam Kreutinger Well-Known Member

    If you want to make a more humanoid style body you can check out this video.
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  11. Chuk

    Chuk Active Member

    Love ur vids Adam. Hoping to make a puppet out of your patterns and making my own thanks to you. Subbed
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.

Share This Page

Find out more about Jim Henson the Biography