February 22, 2017

How to Make Felt Hand Puppets!



I love making puppets with/for the kids.  This isn't my first "puppet rodeo".
Last year the kids are I made some simple felt puppets, made from their hands, using their own designs.

But sometimes you just want your puppet to be able to open it's mouth.  A puppet that can actually talk is So cool!

I did some looking around the internet and came across this awesome pattern found on Martha Stewart.  




It works awesome.  But to be honest the instructions were a little confusing.  I think if there were pictures involved it would really add some clarity. 

After a bit of struggle sewing this dog puppet, picking my sewing out three or four times, I thought I'd try again.  But this time I'd take notes and some pictures to possibly help future puppet sewers, like yourself.


Materials Needed:
1. Go to Martha's site and print off the pattern. (there is a video, but it's not helpful).
2. Felt or old sweaters to cut up
3. Typical sewing notions 


STEP ONE: Following the pattern, cut everything out. 
I recommend not cutting the eye piece out for the dog, but instead adding your eye detail on top.
 If you're making something other than a dog, try being creative and add other details to make your cute puppet.

STEP TWO: Sew all the pieces of the face and any other details in place through one layer.
I zig-zag stitched most things rather quickly.
Yes, I was too lazy to change threads, so Black it was! 

STEP THREE:  Fold the front face piece in half (right sides facing) and
 stitch along the bottom cut-out piece to make your face stand out. 

STEP FOUR: Place ear pieces together, right sides facing and stitch around the sides, leaving the bottom open.  Fold right side out and press down.
For any harsh angels, be sure to clip your corners.

STEP FIVE:Place the ears on top of the face, right sides facing, and sew along the edge, with an edge stitch.


STEP SIX: Place the face piece over the back piece with right sides facing (ears in between). 
 Sew along the top curve.

Place the front piece on top, with right sides facing, and only stitch along one side, bottom to top (where the curve meets).  Leave the other side open.


STEP SEVEN:  With right sides together place the upper mouth piece on top of the lower mouth piece.  
Stitch along the top, inside curve.

Open the "mouth" and place the second bottom mouth piece on top of the inside bottom mouth piece with right sides facing. Stitch together along the outside curve. 


STEP EIGHT: Turn the second bottom mouthpiece right side out to form a pocket.



*****

This part can be a little confusing, so I've tried to take it real slow and add lots of details.  You're now attaching your mouth onto the puppet.


STEP NINE:  Place the mouth inside the puppet, lining up the face piece of the mouth to the bottom of the front piece.  Make sure right sides are facing and pin the top of the mouth to the face.  Stitch the mouth and face in place.

Pin the bottom of the mouth to the puppet front, lining up the curves and stitch the mouth in place along the curve.

One that's done, clip around the curves to add ease to the felt so it will turn properly.



STEP TEN: Sew the other side seam to finish the puppet.
Check to make sure everything is attached!


STEP ELEVEN:  Turn your puppet right side out. 
 Depending on what you're making, you might be done here. 


STEP TWELVE: If you're adding a tail. Cut out two tails, stitch down the sides, leaving the bottom open.  Turn right side out and stuff with cotton.


STEP THIRTEEN: Cut a small snip in the back of your puppet, big enough to fit the tail.  Place the tail inside the hole and stitch in place. 


ALL DONE!


Ha, that wasn't too bad!  And aren't they cute?!



Talking puppets!  Can't be beat. 



"Hey, Mr. Dog. How are you doing today?"
"Oh, I'm fine, but I'm feeling hungry."
"Oh, yeah?  Well, you can't eat me!"


And lastly, I'm trying to learn to use Illustrator. So I thought I'd think up some other idea to make puppets out of, with this basic design:
A bow-tie wearing Bear.



A blue bunny:

 A girl!  
I tried to decide if this design would work for a person puppet. 
 I decided, Yes, it does!
Have fun creating your own!

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