How to Make a Hand Puppet
This simple hand puppet can be made from any type of fabric you like. Try using felt or cloth for people puppets and an appropriately colored fake fur for animal puppets.
Things You'll Need
- Embroidery Needles
- Dressmaker Pins
- Embroidery Floss
- Fur Fabric
- Sewing Machine
- Sewing Machine Needles
- Sewing Needles
- Stiff Paper
Use a pencil to draw the puppet pattern onto a piece of stiff paper or light- to medium-weight cardboard. Draw and redraw as often as needed to get the desired shape.
Draw the head and the neck, then make arm shapes that stretch outward. The arms can be angled upward, downward or drawn at a 90-degree angle to the body.
Make sure that the distance between the underarm points of the pattern is narrow enough to allow the wearer to insert a thumb into one arm and the little finger into the other. Position the head so that the wearer's other fingers will be able to extend into the head portion of the puppet.
Draw a straight line on each side of the shape that extends from the underarm to the desired length. The total length of the puppet should be no longer than the distance from the wearer's fingertips to his or her elbow.
Add 1/2 inch to the completed puppet outline for a seam allowance, and cut out the pattern along the outline.
Place the pattern onto the wrong side of the fabric, and pin it into place if necessary. Cut around the outline of the pattern piece. Unpin the pattern and cut out a second piece of fabric as you did the first.
Do any machine stitching of features or surface decoration before the puppet pieces are stitched together. Just make sure that any decoration is placed so that it will not be caught in the seam of the puppet (unless you've planned it that way).
Use glued or sewn-on felt and/or fabric cutouts to create the puppet's features. Other items such as buttons, beads, ribbon, yarn and embroidery stitching can also be used to create features and decorate the puppet's surface.
Position the two fabric pieces so that the right sides are together and all edges line up evenly.
Stitch the pieces together along all edges except the bottom edge. Clip, notch and trim the seams as needed.
Turn the puppet right side out. You may need to use the eraser end of a pencil to push out any pointed ear portions of the puppet.
Turn the bottom edge under 1/2 inch and stitch into place.
- Fold the pattern paper in half and draw one half of the puppet outline. The fold will be the center of the puppet. Keep the paper folded and cut along the drawn lines. This will help keep both halves of the outline symmetrical.
- Add rounded or pointed animal ears to the top of the outline for an animal puppet.
- Make a head and hands by cutting out pieces of flesh-colored felt or fabric. Hands should be the same size as the puppet's hands, and the head should correspond to that of the puppet as well. Draw in the lines for the fingers and decorate the head as desired. Glue the hands and head into place with fabric glue.
- Use glued or stitched-on pieces of yarn to make whiskers.
- Decorate the body of the puppet as if it were a dress or a pair of pants and a shirt.
- Use batting to pad the puppet's head. Cut out two pieces of batting that each correspond to the head shape. Sandwich the puppet fabric in between the batting pieces and stitch together as described above.