How to Make Glove-Style Hands

Born2Roll

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I'm a college student from Pennsylvania who has already made a Muppetlike puppet with rod-controlled hands, and for my next big step would like to build a character with glove-style hands, like Ernie or Bunsen. Does anyone have good advice?

The part that I am having the most trouble with is the glove itself. I've tried tracing my hand onto fleece (leaving ample room around the edges) and sewing two hand shapes together but it never turns out right. The fingers are always too short or too tight or too bulbous in the fingertips (if I was going for some freaky-alien-gecko thing, I'd be great :smile:). Can anyone tell me a better way to do this?
 

Buck-Beaver

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Well, you really just have to experiment until you develop a pattern that works...then lock it away somewhere safe so you'll have it next time! Make sure you pin the pieces of the arms/hands together before you sew them so they will be sewn correctly. It might also be helpful to use a stitch ripper and take apart an old pair of cloth gloves to see how they were patterned out.
 

Torarin

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I wish I could draw you a diagram but I don't have any webspace available, however i've seen a muppet glove hand and i'll try to explain how it is put together. Start with drawing an outline of a hand shape without a thumb with three fingers. They are all pretty thick and have kind of a triangular shape, bit like big bird's but slightly more rounded off. Their length should be just a little shorter than half your finger lenght. They should all be thick enough to be able to room two fingers. The hand ends where your real thumb begins, maybe half an inch or so below. It's kinda hard to explain to how the thumb is attached but it is done very similarily to the ones you find here: http://www.glove.org/
 

Born2Roll

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Whoddathunk that gloves were so complicated? Thanks so much though, looking over the patterns at the link you gave me was helpful and also rather reassuring; it wasn't such a simple problem afterall!
 

Buck-Beaver

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Thanks for posting that site, Torarin - it's great! Born2Roll, while this type of glove method is great, you can also make glove arms by just cutting the same pattern for the hands twice (one side must be reversed). I used to make "live arm" puppets this way (as many people do) and they work just fine once you have a good pattern worked out.

The fit and mobility of the puppeteer's thumb will never be quite as nice this way as it would if the hands were made like a glove, but it is often a good way to start out.
 

Born2Roll

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Thanks so much guys. I'm going to Trial & Error my way into making a pattern that works tonight hopefully. The three-fingered (and one thumbed) hand reminds me of another question I've had before. Will I need to pad the fingers to help fill them out (the ones with only one finger inside), and if I do what should I use?
 

Buck-Beaver

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Born2Roll said:
The three-fingered (and one thumbed) hand reminds me of another question I've had before. Will I need to pad the fingers to help fill them out (the ones with only one finger inside), and if I do what should I use?
I generally don't, but I suppose you could. I usually make all three fingers almost the same - the index and middle fingers are slightly narrower than the third (last) finger, but only so much that it is barely noticable.
 

Torarin

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Most of the muppet hands are just pure fleece (or fur), the fingers don't need to be super thick couse the fleece will stretch and make room for two fingers in the pinky anyway. It's just trying to get a little room to spare inside each finger.

Edit: You know Pops? His hands are padded, most probably just with a thin layer of foam rubber.
 
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