If a worm puppet needs hair- what kind of hair does he get? Well, this worm is getting lively, wispy hair made from ostrich feathers. I slice the barbs off the quill with an x-acto knife, about 10-15 together. I hot glue these together at the very end, about 1/8 inch up the barbs. Then, after I have done this many, many times over, I take a piece of cloth (cap!) that is the same I will be using on the head. I cut a very small hole in the center of the fabric, which I slide one of the barb groupings tip through. I hot glue it on the bottom to keep it in place. I do this in a circular pattern around the cap. When the head has been completed, I will sew the toupee on to it. For more pictures of the progress of the squirmy wormy puppet so far, check out my facebook site, too. It is
I have been making my own eyes for awhile now. I make them from liquid resin that I cast, and then paint them on the backs. I like doing this, because then my eyes are very unique to my puppets. These green eyes will be for the squirmy wormy puppet, and will match the color of the poof of hair on the top of his head and his nose.
Many of my characters have been a couple different colors. But squirmy wormy- or Cornelius, as he will be called- will have 6 different colors of fleece, and polka dots to boot. It may take a little longer in the sewing, but the effect will be grand. The fleece will fit like a sock over the plastic tubing underneath, which will make a bendable but sturdy body for him.
As many of you know, there is no such thing as a "puppet supply superstore". The variety of what is used to build puppets is just as vast as the number of builders. I love building custom puppets, especially when my customers have an idea of what they want their puppet to do. Then I get to figure out how to make that happen- and where to find the materials to do it. I am glad to be able to have resources for ordering materials, and also good friends who will point me in the right direction. (The Institute for Ridiculous Science helped me find the company to order this fantastic tubing!)
Where else do I get supplies? Thrift stores, hardware stores, garage sales, curbside (before the garbageman!), craft and hobby stores, and fabric companies. The main parts of my puppets I buy new, quality materials, but you'd be surprised what kind of cool accessories (glasses, hats, etc.) and props you will find at thrift stores and garage sales. Keep your mind open to opportunities and always have a sketch pad/journal along. Puppet ideas are constantly popping out at me at odd times. If I don't write them down, they usually float away. :)
I am now building a worm puppet for a ventriloquist entertainer. The worm will be controlled with 2 hands from behind a black curtain. One hand will control the head, and the other hand will control the "tail". This will allow the puppeteer to make the worm squirm and dance. His body will be built with a fleece covered plastic tubing.
Finished up the foxy lady stole. she's quite cartoony, and yet classy. her new owner is quite happy with her. i love the faux furs that i used on this project, and am very thankful to have leftovers to create some more wild, furry creatures.
Getting some more work done on the foxy lady puppet. Poured resin eyes, then painted them from the back. Made a pattern for the head pieces, then cut out and sewn. Made the nose out of sculpey clay, baked and painted. Still need to trim up some of the fur. I'll write more details later. -K
Time to get purple furry monster's tongue into the mouth. I cut the tongue in a heart shape from red fleece. (Just like cutting a heart from paper folded in half!) I hot glue the tongue in after I set it in a couple different positions to get it "just right". I've found it's good to walk at least 6-10 feet away to get a good look at how it looks from farther away.
This puppet doesn't have teeth, but I think this a great place to talk about how I do teeth. I carve them with an embroidery scissor from latex makeup sponges. For the particular teeth shown in the pictures, I also "aged" and added plaque to the teeth with 3 different shades of brown markers.
Sewing, sewing and more sewing on the furry monster puppet. No pictures- only because I've already shown you how I sew- it would be repetitive. Instead I will give you a sneak peak at a new puppet I am in the early process of designing. It will be worn around the neck like a stole. The head will be rigged to a bracelet on the singer's wrist, so it will move the fox's head when the singer's arm moves.
Tonight I'm getting one of the arms attached to the furry monster puppet. I have sewn the arm pieces up, but not the hands yet. This is because I will be inserting the foam piece tomorrow that will give the hand more bulk. I first cut the foam piece into two halves. Then I apply contact cement on both halves. While waiting for the cement to dry, I work on bending a heavy gauge wire into finger shapes. This will allow the puppets fingers to be poseable, and to look as if he is "holding" small objects. After I place the wire on top of one of the halves, I place the other half on to that. I let them dry overnight with a couple heavy books holding them together.
Now onto the arm! I use doll joints to attach my puppet arms. I hot glue the retaining ring into the arm. Next, I make a very tiny hole in the shoulder area that I slide the shoulder bolt through. This attaches very securely into the ring. Tomorrow we'll talk about how to do this puppets tongue, and also a bit more about teeth that I have built in the past.
Creature Creator at Joy Filled Puppets