How to Make Puppets

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One of the easiest and most malleable media for making puppets is papier-mâché. See "How to Make Papier-Mâché Paste," under Related eHows.

Things You'll Need

  • Chicken Wire
  • Hobby Paintbrushes
  • Elmer's Glue-All
  • Styrofoam
  • Acrylic Paints
  • Thin Wood Dowels
  • Waxed Paper
  • Worktables
  • Flour
  • Warm Water
  • Old Newspapers
  • Paper And Pencils
  • Balloons
  • Buckets
  • String
  • X-Acto Knives
  • Wire Cutters
  • Wire cutters

Setting Up

  • Blow up a balloon for the head of the puppet.

  • Cut and mold chicken wire or Styrofoam for the skeleton of your puppet. Remember that you'll be putting down many layers of papier-mâché, so think about the size.

  • Lay down copious amounts of newspaper or waxed paper to protect the area you'll be working in.

  • Set out various buckets.

  • Shred - don't cut - newspaper into thin strips. Have a pile ready before you begin.

  • Mix water with the papier-mâché paste or flour and a small amount of glue in the bucket.

  • Have warm water nearby to thin out the resulting paste throughout your work session.

Adding Details

  • Pop the balloon if you used it to form the head.

  • Build up specific areas of papier-mâché to form facial features.

  • Seal with another layer of papier-mâché all around the form.

  • Let the form dry for 24 to 48 hours.

  • Paint with acrylic paints.

  • Attach a wooden stick or strings to manipulate the puppet.

Creating the Puppet

  • Dunk some of the paper strips into the papier-mâché paste.

  • Do small batches or only a few strips at a time.

  • Lay the strips evenly on the molded or cutout form.

  • Cover the entire form evenly, as opposed to building up specific areas.

  • Let the form dry for 24 to 48 hours.

Tips & Warnings

  • Working with papier-mâché is extremely messy.
  • Children should be supervised when working with chicken wire, wire cutters or knives.

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