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Need help making a foam puppet

Discussion in 'Puppet Building and Performing' started by Gregwwd, Nov 3, 2003.

  1. Gregwwd

    Gregwwd New Member

    Hello, This ism y first time posting and Ive been on here for about 3 hours just reading many threads and trying to learn some things about puppets. Ive been messing with puppets for about 9 years here and there and I have one very old foam puppet thats my favorite but he's on his way out. I would love to be able to build a new one of him (recreate him so to speak) but I really dont even know where to get started. I purchased a book on foam building today on line and have been searching on here to see what you guys say about how to build a foam puppet, I know it won't be easy. I honestly have no idea where to get foam?? Do furniture stores sell it, arts and craft stores?? ...is there a standard type of foam to ask for polyfoam?? scott foam?? And is it readily available in block form?? i hate to sound like the newbie novice but I truly am slightly cluless, but I'm a creative talented guy who would love to get more involved with puppetry, so anyone who can help me out a bit, it would be greatful! Thanks, Greg
  2. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the forum!

    There are a number of different approaches to building a foam puppet, and most of them have been discussed here in past threads. You might want to check out the ones listed below under "Similar Threads".

    I have a tutorial online for what I've dubbed the "wedge method" at http://www.bear-town.com/backstage_pages/tumbles_intro.htm

    Another decent step-by-step tutorial can be found at http://www.nicodemus.org/fursuit.cgi?puppet-one

    PuppetPlant has been amassing a large collection of links to puppet building info at http://www.puppet-planet.com/Build Your Own.htm

    As for foam, there are many different types of foam available. Scott foam (expensive and hard to find) or reticulated foam (the coarse yellow or black foam that air conditioning filters are made from) is usually preferred by most professional builders, but polyfoam is readily available and that is what most people start out with. FYI, "polyfoam" is closed-cell polyurethane foam, the stuff that couch cushions are made from.

    Polyfoam is manufactured in large blocks, but is usually cut down at the factory and sold in long sheets of varying thicknesses - 1", 3/4", 1/2" and 1/4". There is also a range of foam densities available. I generally prefer to work with medium density 3/4" foam, but that's just my preference.

    To find foam blocks you'll probably have to find a foam manufacturer or specialty shop. Some dressmaking supply outlets sell them too. Check your yellow pages under "Foam Rubber" or visit local fabric/upholstery stores and camping outfitters.

    I hope this helps!
  3. Gregwwd

    Gregwwd New Member

    Thanks so much

    Thank you very much for all your suggestions, I have found a jo-anns fabric nearby and i will try there for the foam. Thanks again, I truly appreciate it, I cant wait to get started. I will also check out all the links you posted for further help in my endeavors. THANKS! Greg
  4. mkelley

    mkelley Active Member


    If the book you purchased was The Foam Book (kind of the Bible on foam puppet building) you'll be in real good shape. That book and the nearby Jo-Anns was all I needed to get started. I have absolutely zero talent when it comes to this kind of artsy-crafty sort of thing, and people actually think my puppets are rather cool (although it's pretty hard to screw up puppet making when you come to think about it, since almost anything with eyes on it can work :>)

    There are also some good videos about foam puppet building by the same folks who wrote the book -- I'd highly recommend getting at least one of these as it contains tips not in the book as well as offers an easier way to see how someone actually builds one of these things.
  5. Gregwwd

    Gregwwd New Member

    That is the book I purchased, so i'm psyched for it to get here so i can start, thanks for the comments. :) Greg

    FISH'N'WOLFE Well-Known Member

    Also go to http://www.osgoodtextile.com/ they are THE PLACE to go for any kind of fabric, and also have a huge polyfoam selection. You can't tell on their site but this place is a HUGE warehouse. I get big 36'' diameter round foam bolts for carving heads out of. I'm in easy driving distance of the store (1hr and a 1/2) so I go all the time, and you being in East Rockaway could easily take a trip up there. They are located in Springfield MA. It's well worth it. They have directions on their website. Enjoy!

    Sincerely, FISH'N'WOLFE Productions
    "Your friendly neighborhood puppet production company"
  7. Beebers

    Beebers Well-Known Member


    Welcome! I'm new, too, though my son (FISHNWOLFE) has been on awhile. We build professionally and there are poor-man's methods and otherwise. What counts is finished quality. Regarding your foam questions, if you can't find or afford blocks of foam you can use layers and hot-glue them together for any-sized hunk that you need. This really works and endures. It never ever comes apart. When we started out we were extremely financially challenged. Foam is the single most costly component so we quickly learned to make do and hot-glue foam scraps together when we couldn't afford chunks of it. Or, you can always dismantle upholstered household furnishings of family and friends.
  8. Beebers

    Beebers Well-Known Member

    Just to re-emphasize FISH'N'WOLFE's suggestion of www.osgoodtextile.com. Osgood's, of Springfield, Massachusetts. They are the Disneyland of fabrics and foams and we haven't found anyone less expensive. You won't find better prices and higher quality anywhere. They're the place for people on a budget, for sure. :cool: :cool: :cool:

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