What is a puppet? It is an object made from wood, paper, cloth, saw dust, straw, cotton, and other materials which can be shaped to represent a person, an animal, or an object.
The puppeteer brings it to life using his fingers, hands, strings, or rods. A puppet is often times referred to as a doll especially when movements are operated by mechanical or electronic gadgets.
Second in popularity to the sock is making a character from paper Mache.
DIY Sock Pocket:
The simplest sock puppet to make is to choose one of your orphaned socks from the unused sock pile. Gather buttons to make the eyes, and nose.
There are two options on the mouth. One option is to place the sock on the hand and the heel of the sock over the thumb. Push the fabric into the bend of the hand and thumb, this will form the mouth. (Note the position of the eyes and nose will change.)
The second option for the mouth is to place the sock over your and bend your fingers. Stitch a set of lips at the base of the hand where the fingers bend.
If you wish place wool strands, flowers, or any object which will suggest hair, head ornaments, or gender of the puppet.
DIY paper Mache Puppet:
- Make the head portion using a round object or a balloon.
- Mix one cup of flour with two cups of water. Mix until smooth and no lumps.
- Cut any paper into soft strips. (We always used newspapers.)
- Dip one strip of paper into the flour paste and apply to the round chosen object building up the layers until you are satisfied with the thickness. If you wish, form ears, nose, eye, and lips.
- Let dry overnight or longer.
- Cut the paper portion in half in order to release the object. Combine the two halves and reapply paper and glue to make the two halves permanent. If working with a balloon, pop it with a needle.
- The neck can be constructed by inserting one or two fingers or an empty toilet roll into the round object while the paper Mache is wet.
- Paint the head and face.
- Sew a piece of clothing which will serve as the puppet’s clothing and cover the hand of the operator. One or two fingers will move the head and the other finger and thumb will move the arms. As an added detail wooden spoons can be inserted into the arm lengths to represent the puppet’s hands.