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How to start making puppets?

Discussion in 'Puppet Building and Performing' started by charlynoa, Feb 20, 2005.

  1. charlynoa

    charlynoa Member

    Hi everyone!

    It's a real dream for me to make puppets myself.
    I know how to use a sewing-machine and I've tried out modelling foam and stuff...
    What do you use for the "filling" of the puppets?
    PU-foam?

    Where do you get your stuff?
    Is it very expensive?

    I am sorry if my questions are "typical" questions and frequently asked, but it's too confusing to me to use the "search" because I English is not my mothertongue and it's hard to read through all the topics for me. *justbeashamed*

    Thank you and greetings from Germany,
    Charly

    Moderator's Note: Of interest to this thread should also be:
    http://forum.muppetcentral.com/showthread.php?t=21416
    basicallygood likes this.
  2. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    Hi Charly, welcome to the forum.

    I've written two articles that may be helpful as a starting point, a guide to puppet building resources that includes lots of information on puppet building books, kits, videos and links to web sites with lots of information.

    I've also written a tutorial on foam puppet construction (the way I do it anyway) called The Tumbles P. Bear Project.

    I hope that is helpful.
    KoozbanianFrakl likes this.
  3. charlynoa

    charlynoa Member

    Thanks a lot!!
    That is really great :excited:

    Wow, I can't wait to start.... but read first *grin*

    Charly
  4. Iokitek

    Iokitek New Member

    I noticed you're from Germany. This is a Dutch company. But they also ship to Germany if I'm correct. Atleast the site is also in German so I guess that speaks for itself then. Here's the link:

    http://www.aff-materialen.com/

    Note that this is for sculpting, molding and casting materials. I don't think they sell regular sheets or blocks of foam though. But that really shouldn't be hard to find anyway.
  5. charlynoa

    charlynoa Member

    Thank you, Iokitek!
    I'll take a look! :)
  6. Aus Muppeteer

    Aus Muppeteer New Member

    Hey! I'm glad you started a new thread about this! I've been working on my puppet for about 5months and it's still not finished. Over here in Australia, we just finished Summer Holidays. So I thought I'd get it done then, but no luck. I was quite suprised, my brother who I thought would know nothing about sewing and craft, actully did all the hard sewing, he shaped my puppet's head to make it unique. It's now got a Mohawk!!

    For the stuffing, we made an inside bag that when inside the puppet, we filled that up and sewed the bag to the puppet. if that makes sense.

    My only question is about eyes. Say if you're using ping pong halves, how would you stick that to the head? sorry if it's a stupid question. I'll look at those articles!!! Thanks
    basicallygood likes this.
  7. charlynoa

    charlynoa Member

    Hi!

    Perhaps you could glue anythink into it and then sew that onto the head.

    Sorry I don't know to express it better.

    charly
  8. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    To attach the half ping-pong balls eyes the best thing to do is cut a square of 1" foam that is aproximately the same size as a ping pong ball, then put hot glue inside the half ball and squish the foam inside. Once it dries you then glue the foam to your puppet's head.

    Does that make sense?

    Just be sure that the glue gun is not very hot when you do this, the temperature of many glue guns is to high that the glue will melt or distort the ping pong ball.
  9. I love those little bit's of advice man.
    I'm putting that one in the back of my head for later use. ;)

    ..what about super glue?
    Do any of you guys use it?
  10. doctort13

    doctort13 Member

    The eyes have it

    Thanks for the glued eyes tip, I'll have to try that out sometime.
  11. ravagefrackle

    ravagefrackle New Member


    i find it works better to round the edges of the foam so it fits inside with out squishing it to much, then glueing it in with contact cement , simalar maethod, just a different technigue
  12. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    Well, yes, assuming that you're not lazy. :p
  13. ravagefrackle

    ravagefrackle New Member

    true enough , lol
  14. Iokitek

    Iokitek New Member

    I'm lazy :p Very actually. I always try to take the easy way out. Wich is not always recommendable.
  15. Jitterz

    Jitterz New Member

    I have been looking all over the internet on how to make a puppet and i cant find anything and this looks like a helpful thread. i have drwn out some diagrams on what puppets i would like to make but cant do anything about it. can someone take me step by step on haw to make a puppet? that would be greatly appreciated...thanks!:D
  16. ravagefrackle

    ravagefrackle New Member

    dude, tons of stuff out thier , you not looking hard enough,

    go to bucks site,

    Puppetvision.blogspot.com,
    then check out
    sean and patricks websites

    Puppets 101,

    and Puppet design , both are linked on Bucks,
  17. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

  18. Fuzzhead

    Fuzzhead New Member

    I wanted to bring this thread back up because I am very interested in starting my own puppet building. I just finished reading the foam book and looking through most of the sites listed here. I really feel overwhelmed by all the information and intimidated by all the beautiful work people have done. I have a background in art, including sculpting and making animatronic puppets. However, it is a totally different procedure. The puppet head I built was sculpted, molded, cast in foam latex and attached to a fiberglass understructure. How can I incorporate some of those techniques into making some of the more traditional foam and fleece puppets? Also, am I correct in assuming a lot of first time builders tend to bite off more than they can chew at their first attempt? My first instinct is to build an Uncle Deadly type character, but I guess I should start with something a lot more simple. I have loved puppets since I was a child and I strongly feel that this is what I should be doing. What is a good first time project to try?
  19. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    I think your idea about starting with a simple project is a really good one. Why not start with something like Project Puppet's "Sock Puppet" pattern?
  20. PlaySoup

    PlaySoup New Member

    Sketch TO Show: Patterning a Puppet

    The DVD of taking your sketch to puppet shape that we were discussing last fall is now available.


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