If there is anything that I have learned while working with younger children, it’s that they absolutely LOVE puppets and throwing their own puppet shows.
When I ran my home daycare, I couldn’t find enough puppets to fill our puppet basket. We had a few bought at the local dollar store but anything I found elsewhere was extremely expensive. Not liking to give up easily, I started a search for ideas on how to make my own puppets.
There are a lot of tutorials out there on how to make finger puppets. And we did make a few. But what I really, really wanted was a bigger hand puppet that both the children and I could use.
Puppet making does not have to be expensive or work intensive, so I dedicated myself to create my own basic design and then created a few cute puppets.
Since I closed my daycare, I have given away all the puppets we made, but I decided to make some with my daughters just to show you how easily they can be done.
This post will just tackle a very simple puppet, but I promise I will follow up with some more ideas on how to make different puppets from the same basic pattern.
What you need:
- Felt – in different colors. You need at least two 8 1/2 by 11 inches sheets of felt for the body. Everything else can be made out of remnants of felt you might have.
- Buttons, ribbons and other embellishments
- Glue – if you use white glue, make sure it is the tacky kind. White glue takes a long time to dry on felt, so you might want to use a hot glue gun instead. Alternatively, and if you have the skills for it, you might want to sew the puppet 🙂
- A pattern for the puppet. Print this pattern as big as your printer allows.
How to make your puppet:
1- Print and cut the pattern. 2- Attach the pattern to the two felt sheets you are using for the body. 3- Cut the felt around the pattern. If you cut on the lines, the puppet will fit your hands, but very snugly. If you want to have a little more wiggle room, cut the pattern on the line, attach it to the fabric and then cut the fabric around the pattern about 1/2 inch from the edge of the pattern. 4- Carefully remove the pins and separate both pieces. 5 – Carefully apply glue around all the edges, except for the bottom one (this is where you will inset your hand while using the puppet). Like I mentioned above, white glue takes a long time to dry. If you are in a hurry, use the hot glue gun instead. Sometimes I find that I have to go over with the hot glue to fill in for the place where the white glue didn’t quite do its work 🙂 6- Carefully place the second piece on top of the first one. Pat it down to help the glue stick to both pieces. 7 – While you wait for the glue to dry, start embellishing your puppet. Cut brown or black felt to make the hair. Glue buttons to make the eyes. Cut luscious lips from red felt. Use ribbons to define a waistline. Add some more buttons to decorate your puppet. Whatever you do, just make sure you have fun!!!! 8 – At the end, proudly display your puppet and put on a show 😀
Stay tuned for more posts on how to make more felt puppets.