How to Make Hand Puppets Easily

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Staging hand puppet shows for your children can be fun for both you and your child. But you don't have to spend a whole lot of money buying the puppets at the store. Hand puppets are easy to make and can be crafted from a variety of materials, including felt. Felt is both inexpensive and simple to fashion into the puppet of your choice.

Things You'll Need

  • Sheets of felt larger than your hand -- two sheets per puppet and scraps for making details
  • Your choice of embellishments, such as googly eyes, feathers, jewels, etc.
  • Straight pins
  • Scissors
  • Fabric pencil
  • Hot glue gun, or needle and thread

Fasten two pieces of felt together with straight pins. Set one hand against the felt, spacing out your pinky and thumb, but keeping the three middle fingers next to each other.

Take the fabric pencil in your other hand and lightly sketch the body of the puppet around your fingers, drawing out around your thumb and back in, then around your three middle fingers together and back in, then draw out around your pinky. You should have three humps, one where your thumb was, another where your three middle fingers were and one around your pinky. (When the hand puppet is complete, your pinky and thumb will be the arms of the puppet and your three middle fingers will be the torso.) Be sure to make the outline slightly larger than your hand so that there is room for your hand to fit inside later. Remove your hand, and cut out the body you sketched.

Attach the two body pieces of your hand puppet together. You can do this by gluing them with a hot glue gun or by stitching the edges together with a needle and thread.

Cut out pieces from the scraps of felt in the shape of eyes, nose, mouth, beak, hair, hat or ears, depending on the character you are creating. A lighter color for the tummy and hands is also a good addition. You can also create earrings, necklaces or clothes for your hand puppet, using whatever materials you wish. Hot glue or stitch the embellishments to the puppet.

Tips & Warnings

  • Pipe cleaners, feathers, silk flowers, ribbons, beads and glitter glue are all great materials for making hand puppet accessories.
  • After fashioning the puppet's body, allow children to decorate the puppet.
  • Scissors, hot glue, and needles can be dangerous -- be cautious when using these objects.
  • Pieces of the hand puppets may not stay attached after lots of use, so supervise small children who may put these pieces in their mouth.

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