Puppet making is a centuries old tradition, and one that has been used countless times throughout history as a means of entertainment, storytelling, and the arts.
What’s more, making your own puppets couldn’t be easier, and can be a great arts and crafts session to share with your kids at home.
But how exactly can this be done, and what household items can be used to make it happen?
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What Materials Do You Need?
When making your own puppet from home, you do not need to purchase expensive store bought materials to make a puppet, and in fact there are numerous household things that can be used instead.
Depending on which type of puppet you are going to make, there are any number of things you could use, some of which include:
- Colored paper
- Leftover felt/material
- Needle and thread (maybe)
- Googly eyes
- Colored pencils
What Kind of Puppets Can You Make?
When it comes to making a puppet at home, there are numerous ways you can go about it.
One of the simplest ways to make your own puppet is with a sock.
Sock puppets are a common trope within puppetry – especially modern puppetry – and can be a fun and simple way to make them with children, if only because the basic shape is already sort of there.
To use this method, simply find an odd sock, or an old pair you don’t want anymore, and use these as your basic foundation for your puppet.
This is great when all you have is paper or card and limited materials with which to make a puppet. What’s more, they are simple to make, and if any mistakes are made they can simply be thrown away.
These are great if you have leftover material or felt, as they do not require a lot of work or fabric.
You can also use other items, like the fingers from old gloves, to make puppets that you can then customize and play with.
Making Your Puppet
Now it’s time to make your puppet, and depending on which of the following methods you choose, all of which are relatively simple, and require very little in the way of materials or craft accessories.
Things like googly eyes will need purchasing, but you can just as easily use buttons or card to create a pair of eyes for your puppet.
But anyway, let’s begin!
Method One: The Paper Puppet
The first thing to do when making a paper or card puppet, is to draw out the figure you want to create on the paper/card.
This doesn’t have to be a human being, and in essence can be whatever you want, but the edges need to be clearly defined, and any moving parts need to be drawn separately to make the cutting process easier.
If you want to introduce other materials, or indeed use colored pencils, then it is simpler to do this while they are still on the paper.
Once you are ready, you can then begin to cut, using scissors to separate each part (however many there may be).
Once you have all your pieces, you can then use glue or pins to create joins to allow for movement.
Method Two: The Sock Puppet
The sock puppet is a little bit more challenging in some ways, but in others it couldn’t be simpler.
If you are just using plastic googly eyes, then the whole process becomes much simpler, and you can take your old sock, and use glue or some form of adhesive substance to attach the eyes either side of where your hand will be positioned.
This is arguably one of the better ways to make a puppet, and the process can be fun – especially when more care and time are put into it – not to mention more materials.
To attach other materials you could either use glue or a needle and thread – depending on your skill level – and you can really go to town when it comes to personalization.
Method Three: The Finger Puppet
The good thing about finger puppets is that they are small and require little effort.
If you are going to use two pieces of felt, then you can cut your shapes out with scissors – using a pencil line to help you – and then you are ready for customization.
The good thing about felt is that you can use glue on that as well.
Take each half of your puppet, and glue the edges together, leaving a hole for your finger at the bottom. Then you can add your googly eyes, or whatever other accessories you want.
If you are using the finger from a glove, then you need to cut off the finger, and use glue once more to customize in whatever way you want to.
Is Puppet Making Difficult?
One of the main things to remember is that puppet making really doesn’t have to be hard, and you can use your imagination when it comes to materials, style, and the overall production value.
The experience is supposed to be a fun time for all involved, and it can be a great opportunity for you and your kids to let your imaginations run wild, and create your own wacky characters out of things you have laying around.
And there we have it, everything you need to know about puppet making, and how to create your own puppet at home.
It’s true that puppet making can be a fun and captivating experience, not to mention easier than you think – with any number of household items providing the basis for your new puppet.
So if you are looking for an activity to try with the kids, then why not have a go at puppet making? Something tells me you (or they) won’t be disappointed!