Making a professional, fleece and foam Muppet-style puppet is easier than you think. In this tutorial you will learn how to make a puppet with easily sourced materials. We use this puppet in our series, Superusers: The Legendary GNU/Linux Show. His name is Aramis and he teaches Linux.
Tools & Materials
Tools you will need:
- scissors (we recommend Gingher 8-Inch Knife Edge Dressmaker’s Shears)
- sewing machine (or a needle and a lot of patience; we recommend a Janome HD3000 Heavy Duty Mechanical Sewing Machine)
- sewing pins
- marker or tracing chalk
- fabric glue or other very strong adhesive
- gnu puppet pattern (available for purchase on our Gumroad page)
Materials you will need:
- blue fleece, 1/2 yd.
- white fleece, 1/2 yd.
- grey fleece, 1/2 yd.
- 1/2” foam sheeting, 1/2 yd.
- 3/4 or 1″ foam sheeting, 12″ square
- red felt, 1 sheet
- white stiffened felt, 1 sheet
- white foam, 1 sheet
- blue thread
- buttons, 2
- fabric dye (optional)
- yarn (optional)
- wire (optional)
Cutting and Assembling the Pattern
Let’s begin by tracing and cutting the head pattern. I recommend tracing on the “back” side of your fabric. Not all fleece is created equally. If one side is more textured and ‘fleecy’, this is the right side, which is the side you want facing out after assembling your puppet. Trace on the flat, or wrong side. This will also hide all of your tracing lines inside the puppet after sewing. You don’t have to use a marker. Chalk or pencil work fine, too. But if you do use a marker, be sure to get a lot of ink on your fingers like I did.
Start with the head pattern, cutting the separate pieces and joining them with tape.
Cut the separate pieces for both the Chest and Back patterns and join them with tape.
Cut the remaining pattern pieces.
Tracing the Pattern & Cutting the Materials
Let’s begin by tracing the pattern on the white fleece.
Trace the ear pattern face up, then flip it over to mirror the tracing.
Now move on to the blue fleece, starting with the back pattern and being mindful of matching the grain to the chest piece.
Trace the nostril pattern face up, then flip it over to mirror it.
Again, trace the ear pattern face up, then flip it over to mirror.
Trace the head pattern face up, then flip it over to mirror the opposite side.
Now trace and cut the Arm pattern on the grey fleece.
Next, trace and cut the mouth piece from the red felt.
Now trace and cut the mouth plate patterns on the stiffened felt.
Trace and cut the mouth pattern from the foam.
The last step is to trace and cut the horns from the thicker, white foam.
Part 2 of our tutorial will demonstrate how to sew and assemble your gnu puppet.
How to Make a Puppet: Pattern & Materials for a Gnu was posted by Jared on . Jared is one half of the creative force behind Dototot. In addition to writing scripts and tutorials, he draws and animates both the digital and the analog.