Thursday, October 18, 2012

Lessons Learned from Puppet Making

This past weekend I went to Elizabethtown to my friends', Julie and Rod, house to spend the day making a puppet with their youngest, Clayton.  Clayton adores me.  That may sound pious, but folks, it's true.  If that boy was my age, I'd marry him in a heartbeat.  I don't know that a man could love me as much as that young man.  He is precious.  His birthday was in September and all he wanted was to make a puppet with me.  He wants to be the next Jim Henson (and he is well on his way), but become the Christian version, taking his puppetry very seriously.  He made a resolution at the beginning of the year that he'd make his own puppet.  Being the crafty (double entendre intended) sort that I am, I was all about a day of creativity.  By the end of the evening, we had Rupert the Fish.  We'd hoped for Isaac William...but he's our next project.  From this puppetry experience, I learned some lessons...

1.  Planning is essential - You can't just wake up one morning and say "I'm going to make a puppet!" and expect to have it complete by the end of the day. Clayton spent hours researching the tips on making puppets, then drew out his various patterns, and schematics of the puppet.  He made his materials list and his Mom went out and bought the items needed.  She and Rod told me I'm the most patient person on the planet to do this, but when you love crafts - and you love this sweet boy - it's easy.

2.  Hot Glue is the best invention ever - I was in charge of hot glue and any other carcinogen products that we used.  When we got in a pinch and didn't want to take the time for sewing, hot glue worked great.  Of course, if you touched it, it was painful, but it dried in an instant and was very adhesive.  Hot glue and I are friends.  

3.  With felt, foam and covered wire, you can make the best hands ever - My favorite part of the puppet was the hands.  Clayton had made a pattern and had it all planned out and it worked like a charm.  I cut out the pattern in foam, then hot glued portions of covered wire on each finger so they would become pose-able.  Then I covered the wire-enhanced foam hands with orange felt and sewed it all together.  Voila!  We added a dowel rod and all of a sudden you have a working puppet arm that has pose-able fingers.  Genius!

4.  Humans did not evolve from tadpoles - After making the puppet head 3 times, and then changing our plans completely, I can confirm that God created us.  We didn't evolve.  A puppet is merely foam and felt plopped on a hand to come to life.  Creating a puppet head is so intricate and difficult that there is no way our complex bodies just happened.  Unfortunately, we didn't get to make Isaac because we couldn't perfect the head.  After more research, I'm hoping we'll be able to make the perfect round puppet head.  

Clayton took Rupert the Fish to church the next day to show off to his class.  He was so excited.  I am now doing research to figure out how to perfect the puppet head.  Let's hope another puppet is in our that will be equipped with a well-crafted head.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I suggest going to Their patterns are only $20 and a good starting point. I also have a blog called and I've made a ton of Puppet Building videos based on the Roly puppet pattern- the tutorials are on my blog under the Tutorial section.