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Question about making puppets

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

  1. staceyrebecca

    staceyrebecca Well-Known Member

    Hey Onath,

    For storage, I use a plastic bag around the puppet and then, if you can hang them, that's the best (i've found) but when you can't (I can't..) I shove them into a sterilite container. Like an adorable little coffin. I use the 18 quart ones so it ensures that I won't be putting too many puppets into the same box. (they fit one-two of my puppets comfortably...)

    When I used big rubbermaid boxes, I'd shove so many puppets in there that the ones on the bottom got squished.

    Never, ever shove them in a backpack that you plan on bringing onto an airplane. When you arrive to do your show, they'll be lop-sided.

    I speak from experience.
  2. Onath

    Onath Well-Known Member

    Awesome advice thanks.

    Now what is the best way to show off your work for a craft fair? I am thinking about constucting rows of dowels with different heights for stacking puppets behind each other. I am wondering if I could possibly attach some clips to some have the puppets mouth partially closed or be stuck in a smile position to attract buyers.
  3. staceyrebecca

    staceyrebecca Well-Known Member

    When I do it, I stea--I mean...I borrow a stand from the puppet theater. It has two rows of dowels on a board, however they're not spaced far enough apart to make it worth it. (well, I guess its worth it because it was free and meant I had to build nothing...)

    By far the best stands Ive used are Dowels stuck in a board with a little knobby ball on the end of it to give the head some girth.

    Also, wine bottles & other bottles of varying sizes (depending upon the size of the puppet) seem to work well

    I'd be concerned about adding clips. If I want to sell puppets, I want people to play with them and develop a relationship. I think a clip would discourage that.

    I think somewhere I heard to use varying heights in your display. Although I question the necessity of that.
  4. Kevin the Frog

    Kevin the Frog Well-Known Member

    I'll have to find the link to the cool metal stands I recently found. They are cheap and hip looking. Regarding the clips for the mouth, you could stick a piece of foam on top of the rod that is smaller but similar in shape to the mouth / puppet face. That way the face is "full' with foam and doesn't look weird, at least that's what I've been thinking about doing.
  5. Onath

    Onath Well-Known Member

    Thanks those are great tips. I would appreciate the link if you can find it to the stands. Stacy good call on no clips I definately want people to pick them up and play.
  6. Onath

    Onath Well-Known Member

    Anyone have spoons that they recommend for eyes?
  7. SesameKermie

    SesameKermie Well-Known Member

    I don't have a particular brand. I just get the plain ol' white plastic picnic spoons you see at Wally World or elsewhere for approx $1.00 for 100. Just cut off the handles, sand the cut spot, add a pupil, lid, lashes, etc. and Voila!
  8. staceyrebecca

    staceyrebecca Well-Known Member

    There's this Chinese take-out place here in Phoenix that sends along great spoons. Autumn Court. mmm delicious.
  9. Onath

    Onath Well-Known Member

    I have two quick questions

    1. I made a cookie monster body type. Is there foam inside to give the chest some shape?

    2. I have been trying to build a robot puppet. But, all the silver cloth I get is awful to sew. Any ideas for making a robot puppet with silver fabric? Another technique would be great too thanks.

    The very appreciative Onath
  10. pepperwink

    pepperwink Member

    Sewing "Antron Fleece"

    I have just started making puppets and find it is lots of fun. The only drag is the sewing part. I have tried to sew regular fleece on a sewing machine but was unable to keep my pattern lined up because of stretching. I can only imagine trying to sew the antron fleece sence it stretches as well. Sewing everything by hand is getting old. Any advice?
  11. staceyrebecca

    staceyrebecca Well-Known Member

    are you pinning your fabric before you sew?
  12. bezalel

    bezalel Well-Known Member

    Check the tension on the sewing machine. If your two fabric pieces are shifting as you sew the tension may be too loose. Or if the bottom piece is ending up "longer" than the top, the tension may be too tight. Refer to the user manual of the machine. It's probably just a setting.
  13. pepperwink

    pepperwink Member

    DUH! I'm so stupid! I should have thought of that. Thanks.
  14. pepperwink

    pepperwink Member

    Thanks. I will try that.
  15. staceyrebecca

    staceyrebecca Well-Known Member

    Pepperwink, Another trick I learned from making teddy bears is to cut your fabric just slightly larger, with your pattern drawn out on the fabric, sew before you cut. It works well for smaller details like fingers/toes. You still need to pin, but its less detrimental if something should off-balance while you're working.
  16. Onath

    Onath Well-Known Member

    Hey stacy,

    What do you use to make eyes on your finger puppets(ex elephant or dragon). I have a small puppet I am making for an order and having a tough time getting something for an eyeball that will work. If anyone else has an idea of something I could use I would appreciate it. I am making the sting ray from the book Toys Go Out. I have everything done except the eyes.
  17. staceyrebecca

    staceyrebecca Well-Known Member

    the eyeballs on my tiny finger puppets (they're about 2" tall at most) are white pom-poms. I use glass seed beads as the pupil.

    I use larger poms on larger puppets, too. I love them. John Kennedy turned me onto the bigger ones.

    If you want non-googly eyes on a sting-ray, then just use the seed-beads.
    How big is he?
  18. Patience

    Patience Active Member

    The Links included in this post no longer work! Please Help!

    This is exactly what I am lookinf for. Just the HEAD would help me GREATLY! But the links no longer work, can someone post the actual www... Please!

    Thanks in advance,
    Hope I did this right
  19. Patience

    Patience Active Member

    Storage and Display

    Sorry, I can't remember (it is 4:20 am, so bear with me!) who asked but thought I would throw in some advice on these topics.

    To store for a long time, you should avoid Plastic! I know Dry Cleaners use plastic, but they don't expect you to leave your stuff wrapped. If you store your precious work in plastic (especially bags or even plastic garment bags) they will deteriorate mush faster. Always store in a cloth bag! (You may have to make something out of Muslin (cheap cotton)) It will be less harmful to your creations. Something I learned before I nodded off in a class called "Fabric Science" :sleep: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz (The Prof didn't really notice why I was sleeping 'cause she was as bored as the rest of us)

    The other thing I wanted to comment/mention on was the DISPLAY. I haven't checked it out, nor have I cost any of it. Just something to make you say mmmmm! :confused:

    You could go to Home Depot (Plumbing Dept) and get all kinds of piping (PVC) and build your own with a variety of connectors for a custom design. I think a display would look something like a "naked Christmas tree" (hope you get the visual, if not try a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree :confused:) They have all sorts of different lengths etc. You could even build a Mobile Puppet Theatre using the same pipe/tube with connectors and curtains. I'm not entirely sure, but you may find that a can of spray paint intended for lawn furniture will add a custom color as well (check with both the Plumbing and Paint dept).

    I made a custom bridal arch using PVC pipe. I filled 2 plastic flower urns with cement, stuck a piece of pipe into each. Once the cement was dry, I made an arch out of another piece of pipe that fit into the cemented ones. Then wired and hot glued flowers, tulle etc all over it to hide what it actually was. Very inexpensive to make, but looked like big bucks!

    Hope this helps someone!

    Also hope I'm doing this posting and smilies right!

  20. Blink

    Blink Well-Known Member

    I would think that it's the chemicals in the plastic that your prof was warning about. Would by that thinking it be adviseable to use PVC (plastic pipe) or spraypaint (filled with chemicals) and put it inside your puppet?

    I don't personally use the PVC pipe, nor do I have any major concerns for others using it. It is interesting thinking though, about not using plastic bags or containers.

    I just wondered how that translated with other plastic storage/displays for puppets.

    I wouldn't think it is a major problem, since I often use plastic components for my puppets.

    But it is interesting.


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