You Too Can Make a Puppet?


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I’ve resumed work on the mushroom cloud puppet. It’s definitely coming along better than before, but still just as scary as the first go:

When it’s done, I’ll make a better version and send it off to this enterprising young filmmaker:


Merry Christmizzle

Photo by Laura Brown

My sister’s boyfriend, who works for a liquor distributor, brought home a stack of Snoop Dogg for Landy Cognac posters. Waste not want not! The jokes about “California Santa Claus” have not stopped. My sister definitely wins for best wrapping this year [insert pun here].

Though it has nothing to do with crafts, everyone likes a good animal video, so here is my mother’s poor little Cairn terrier struggling to keep her dignity after outfitted with some kind of dog-Juicy Couture outfit. We weren’t sure if her inability to walk was from the dog boots or the embarrassment.

More felt flowers!

AAAAAH!  We’re leaving in two days for a Midwest holiday (more than two weeks!) and I’m scrambling to get my clothing together, let alone figure out blog stuff.  I’ve got post-its all over my computer reminding me to take pictures with my lightbox before I leave it, to wrap the damn gifts, and for some reason all these little ideas of crafty things to do that most sane people don’t have time for.  Must. Throw. Away. Post-its.

I entered the Lovely Package Exchange at Oh Hello Friend, and in getting to know my recipient learned about a new felt flower method.  This is MUCH less time-consuming than the lovely one I usually use from Holidash.  Thank you Janice (of Bellwether Thoughts) for the recommendation, and thank you Infarrantly Creative for coming up with it!

Now, as usual, I substitute needle felting for glue every time.  I have no time or love for glue when it comes to fabric projects.

Materials Needed:

  • Felt (sheets or by the yard)
  • Felting needle and pad
  • Pinback
  • needle and thread (I’m sure you could also just felt a piece of felt over the pinback onto the felt felt felt felt)

Look, I made a video!  Pretty, pretty.  What I don’t show in this video is how to put the flower together once you’ve cut the petals.  This is where the original tutorial would run glue along the roll as you’re rolling it.  I used a thread and needle and made little stitches, but I think just felting it at an angle as you go along works just fine.  Get all that stabby rage out!

Once you’ve got your strip all felted/glue/sewed up, you’ll cut the notches into the folded edge.  In all of my photos, I have cut the petals at an angle.  Test different patterns in your notching: more notches equal smaller petals, less bigger, and you can try starting small and getting larger. 

By the end, the felt almost looked like a solid mass, but if your needle skills aren’t that thorough, consider cutting an circle to fit right over the back and stitch it in place.  Stitch the pinback on before you do that! Saves hassle.

Making Puppets: Henson Stitch


INSPIRATION!  I took some time off my puppet-making research, but I couldn’t resist answering the question, “What are muppets made from?”

The internet led me to a wonderful article specifically on the muppets, teaching me what their “skin” is really made of (antron, or, Muppet fleece) and how it is you never see seams on the their faces. I present to you (non-puppeteers) the Henson Stitch:

The type of fabric used really lends itself to hiding seams or imperfections.  I would never have known!

I didn’t know to look for this information until something provoked the question.  Most of the time, you don’t know what question to ask to get the answer you need.  [TANGENTIAL AGENDA ALERT] And that is why teachers and librarians ARE SO DAMN IMPORTANT.  They take the garbled stuff that comes out of your mouth and help you form it into something useful.  Answers can be easy, but questions are the hard part.

So maybe I was helped by a picture of a hippo, but I gotta recognize.