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Puppet version of children's book character

Discussion in 'Puppet Building and Performing' started by aaronmojo, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. aaronmojo

    aaronmojo Member

    I built Bird, from the children's book I illustrated, Buddy and Bird. (http://www.buddyandbird.com)
    I think he turned out okay but the beak was a gigantic pain. I'm working on Buddy and hopefully he'll turn out better.

    Thoughts? Critiques??
    KermieBaby47 likes this.
  2. propologist

    propologist Member

    Looks great. Can we see a side or 3/4 view? I can not tell if the beak is pointy like your deawing or not but non the less it looks great.

  3. aaronmojo

    aaronmojo Member

    Hey Mike - thanks for the comment. I'll post a 3/4 view later on but I'll tell you the beak didn't turn out as pointy as I would have liked. It looked fine when it was just foam, but when I covered it in fleece, some of the pointiness went away. I had no end of trouble building this thing.
  4. propologist

    propologist Member

    ya the fleece has a way of rounding thing out so you have to over do it some times to get what you want after you cover it. Still looks great.

  5. muppetperson

    muppetperson Well-Known Member

    Nice.Looks like a big puppet! What do you plan to do with the characters in puppet form?
  6. muppetperson

    muppetperson Well-Known Member

    Ps Just seen the drawing "Bird" and the puppet would resemble the drawing better if the beak didnt go right around his head.Where the puppet beak is, it should have white on either side.I know you had lots of problems with the beak! Hope this helps.
  7. aaronmojo

    aaronmojo Member

    Okay guys, an update. I've almost finished the Buddy puppet. Muppetperson, thanks for the tip - but I think I posted an old version of the characters. Here's the characters:
    And here's Buddy:
    muppetperson likes this.
  8. aaronmojo

    aaronmojo Member

    Also, Propologist asked about Bird's beak. Here's a side and a 3/4 view. It doesn't look as pointy as I'd like but it's foam rubber and fabric. Is there a better way to do this besides creating a mold and casting it in rubber or plastic or something?

  9. muppetperson

    muppetperson Well-Known Member

    Well done.
  10. KermieBaby47

    KermieBaby47 Well-Known Member

    Looks plenty pointy to me my good man!! ;) Really top-notch work on both of these awesome characters, designed well, and they just look "right" if you see my meaning. I'd love to read the story, and hopefully later on even purchase a puppeteered version in DVD! :D
  11. Melonpool

    Melonpool Active Member

    Look around for a product called L200. It's a type of denser foam that will hold it's shape better when you cover it with fabric. You can even glue it over the foam you already have in there and then recover the entire beak. The downside is that it's not very flexible, but it won't cave in, either.
  12. aaronmojo

    aaronmojo Member

    Last post on this, I swear! Here's the 100% completed Buddy puppet. My business partner (and the guy who wrote the book I illustrated the characters for) absolutely loved it, except his hand was a little too big to fit easily inside the neck. Whoops!
  13. larz

    larz Member

    Great work! Did you base these off of any patterns or was it all from scratch? Nice illustrations, too.
  14. aaronmojo

    aaronmojo Member


    These guys were all trial and error. The dog's "muzzle" is carved, or sculpted, out of 6 inch thick foam that Joanne Fabric had on sale. Everything else is pieced together out of other "clearance" foam.

    The toughest part for me was the eyes. I could find no plastic spoons of the size I wanted, so I ended up using styrofoam eggs, cutting them into slices, and then slathering on wood filler (yeah, I know, but it was all I had available, and I was being cheap). I sanded it down, painted it, sanded, painted, etc. I think they look okay but Buddy's eyes are kind of heavy because of how big they are.

    I didn't use patterns. I think I saved some of the patterns - halfway thru the project I tried to trace the foam so I had some record of what I was doing, in case I needed to do it again.

    Puppet making is an extremely frustrating but ultimately rewarding experience!

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