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Question about making puppets

Discussion in 'Puppet News' started by PiggyLover13, Sep 17, 2003.

  1. PiggyLover13

    PiggyLover13 Member

    hey i'm new here and i had no clue about puppets exept i have a miss piggy fisher price one. now i really want like a quality miss piggy just like a hand puppet. but i have no clue how to make them and i am totally confused when you are talking about making them and i need help! lol well if i cant do it i will ask someone to make it for me! lol well do you guys/girls know anyone that is good at making puppets? and what would the price be 4 a miss piggy hand puppet?

    thanks :mad: PiggyLover :mad:
  2. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter Well-Known Member

    My first suggestion, don't try making Miss Piggy on the first try. More often than not, it won't turn out the way you want it, and you'll end up dissapointed.

    Try building an original character first, something simple in design and construction. You can find all types of good information online about puppet building, but, like I said, start out simple, and work your way to building Miss Piggy. There are numerous things involved in building the famous pig, several highly complex. The foam her head is made out of can be quite difficult to carve out so that it'll look just right.

    I'm sure someone else can give you more tips on actually building the puppet. All I can offer is the above suggestion. I'm sorta in a middle stage of puppet building.
  3. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    I would first suggest not paying someone to make the puppet for you, because that is breaking the law. Piggy is a trademarked character and if someone is making a copy for you, you are running the risk of getting them in to legal trouble.

    If you'd like to start making puppets yourself there is lots of wonderful information already here in the Puppetry Forum...just scroll through the threads here or search under "puppet building".

    Some links that might be helpful if you are starting out:

    Nick Barone's Puppet Builder.com - A few basic puppet designs and lots of good info on books and materials.
    The Puppetry Homepage - Lots of great links can be found in the Puppet Building section.
    The Tumbles P. Bear Project - My current ongoing puppet building project.
    Snapdragon Puppets - Offer a guide to a more advanced method of puppet construction. This is (sort of) the method used to construct Piggys.
    Bookworm Puppet - An overview of how my old company built a bookworm puppet a few years ago.
    Blue Boy - Is a pattern for a simple Muppet-style puppet for beginners.

    I hope this helps!
  4. PiggyLover13

    PiggyLover13 Member

    thanks guys your a big help, sorry i didn't know that i couldn't have a piggy made for me, thanks for telling!:)

    KNOCK A LOT Member

    thanks for the patten for blue boy I have made some puppets but did not have patten
  6. Iokitek

    Iokitek Well-Known Member

    Today I found the first puppet I ever made while rearranging my workspace. And I used the Blue Boy Pattern to make the foam base. I won't go into all the mistakes I made out of inexperience :p But it might give you an idea about what you can do with it.
  7. wes

    wes Well-Known Member

    Thats a good start keep going and your puppets will progressively get better!:)
  8. Iokitek

    Iokitek Well-Known Member

    Thanks :)

    I tried my hand at a few other puppets in the mean time. But I guess I'm trying too much too fast. What I wanted was to move away from the Muppet look. But by doing that I made it too hard on myself I guess. In the past 2 years or so I picked up alot of info on building puppets (and threw alot of failed experiments away). So if I keep it simple I shouldn't have too much problems in avoiding all these typical mistakes.

    Maybe I'll finish this one sometime by giving him some Grover type arms. But it doesn't really matter right now because the mouth is too heavy to puppeteer anyway.
  9. Kar Ma

    Kar Ma Active Member


    Thanks for the links. I visited Nick Barone's site. I then purchased three of the books, including the one on playwriting for puppetry. I am a playwright and learning puppeteer. What a find!

    I found that some of the books were less expensive at www.abebooks.com. And the site includes book condition descriptions. I don't always see that with Amazon. Thanks again!
  10. Bobble991

    Bobble991 New Member

    Hi everyone,
    Just been messing about with the kermit pattern and have discovered it is far too small for me. I assume its all ok to alter everything to fit my hand? Also is he made from fleece or felt, the fleece doesnt seem to look quite right to me but then Im more accustomed to sculpting my puppets in clay and then moulding etc. Is kermits body a thin foam covered with fabric? Im trying to get a feel for soft puppets and any help would be most appreciated. Anyone else here from the uk? If so could you point me towards uk suppliers please.

  11. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    The pattern can be scaled up or down, I usually scale patterns using a photocopier or on the computer.

    As for fleece, the actual Kermit puppet is made using a custom fabric you can't buy in stores, but Antron fleece works nicely. It's available through Georgia Stage in the US (there is no UK supplier that I am aware of).
  12. Bobble991

    Bobble991 New Member

    Thanks for the help, Ill try and get some antron fleece. Now I come to examine the real kermit I dont see any seams. How does that work then?

  13. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    It's a combination of the stitch used and the pile (or "fuzz") on the fabric hiding the seams. See the "antron fleece" link above for more details.
  14. puppetguy 2191

    puppetguy 2191 Active Member

    any tips on making foam puppets? this is my first thread!

    hi everyone. i am new on this site, so i don't really know what to do. just trying to get to know people. i am going to attempt to make my first professional grade foam puppet, and was ondering if anyone had any tips. tips about puppet animatronics ( aka blinking eyes, ect.) would be appreciated.
  15. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    Check out the articles on eyelid mechanisms and moving eyes on The Puppet Building Wiki. I have a lot of information and links available on PuppetBuilding.com that you may find helpful and this forum is jam packed with information on just about every aspect of foam puppet construction if you spend some time searching the archives.
  16. spcglider

    spcglider Well-Known Member

    Jumping right on doing mechanisms in your puppet is a pretty advanced step to take for the first one.

    It is best to work in stages. Design your character on paper first. Draw a cartoon of the character you want to build. You'll get LOTS of ideas of how you're going to go about executing the design just from that simple exercise alone.
    That's not to say "winging it" isn't fun either... it is. But there's never a guarantee that your puppet will turn out the way your brain sees it without making a good plan first.

  17. puppetguy 2191

    puppetguy 2191 Active Member

    thanks for your advice, but this isn't my first puppet. it will be, approximately, my 28th. this will be my first professional grade foam puppet. thanks for the tip though.
    does antone know a website where they offer free professional puppet patterns? i know it would be a wise investment, but i really don want to shell out $150 for the forma trio on projectpuppet.com. i am not very tight with my money, but even i think 150 is a lot for some pieces of paper and a couple of instuctional booklets
  18. pjpiperhop

    pjpiperhop Active Member

    Hi puppetguy,

    I can certainly understand that you want “value” for your money, and I can understand that $150 may be pricey for a puppet pattern. From your post however, it looks like you are looking for a professional puppet pattern. If that is what you are looking for, it is going to cost you some money.
    Now there are many free puppet patterns on the web. Some of them have been mentioned and/or posted in this forum. They are good patterns, but if you want something more, you are going to have to pay for it.
    Quite frankly, project puppet’s patterns are great value for your money. You can buy one of the three head style patterns for $49.95. You don’t need to buy all three.
    You stated that the money is not the problem, So just buy one, see if you like it.
    I guess what I’m trying to say is that you get what you pay for. Free is free for a reason.
  19. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    This is very true. I think it's important to remember that when you buy a pattern you're not just paying for pieces of paper, you're paying for the years of experience the builder uses to make them and you're paying to save the time and energy it takes to figure it all out on your own.

    That being said, there's some good free patterns and tutorials available depending on what you need. There is a free round headed puppet pattern available as well as a "Kermit" head pattern that's very simple and flexible.

    You can also find a lot of links to various other patterns, tutorials and resources on PuppetBuilding.com.
  20. puppetguy 2191

    puppetguy 2191 Active Member

    thanks, everyone. i guess you are right. but i think i will buy the forma trio then just one pattern. why spend 50 on one pattern, when i can get three professional grade patterns, intructions, and tutorials on cd's for 150. by the way pjpiper hop, i love your free is free for a reason quote. It's so true!
    thanks everyone. :crazy:

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