How to Make a Muppet-Style Puppet

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The muppet, a type of marionette puppet made famous by Jim Henson, was born in the 1960s and has remained a popular type of puppet ever since. Whether you are a professional puppeteer or just a big fan of the muppet-style puppets on Sesame Street, Star Wars, Avenue Q or in other puppet appearances, you can make a muppet with a few basic materials.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Polyfoam
  • Colored felt for the puppet's skin
  • Fabric scissors
  • Hot glue and a glue gun
  • 2 thin metal rods
  • Styrofoam ball
  • T-shirt or other prepared clothing
  • 3 thin metal rods

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Instructions

    Make a Muppet-Style Puppet With a Moveable Mouth

  1. 1

    Purchase or create a pattern for your muppet-style puppet. Remember that a muppet includes both a head and a body, although you can create just an upper body if desired.

  2. 2

    Use polyfoam to shape the upper portion of the head, cutting or carving to shape the foam if necessary. You are creating your own muppet, so be creative with the shape of the head.

  3. 3

    Cover the head frame in felt using hot glue. Stretch the felt over curved areas, cutting slits to accommodate curves if necessary. Decorate the head using other colors of felt or additional materials to create facial features and accessories.

  4. 4

    Shape the bottom jaw of the puppet, cover with felt and attach to the rest of the head. Make sure that you can move the jaw with your hand inside of the puppet, and fix any structural problems with the head before moving on.

  5. 5

    Follow the directions in Section 2 for making the puppet body.

    Make a Muppet-Style Puppet With a Closed Mouth

  1. 1

    Cover the Styrofoam ball with felt to form the head. Use hot glue to affix the felt, cutting slits to accommodate curves where necessary. Stick the ball on the tip of one of the metal rods.

  2. 2

    Attach a t-shirt or other clothing fashioned for the puppet below the head. If you are using a closed-mouth head, attach the neck of the shirt around the metal rod so that you can reach inside the shirt and hold on to it. If you are making a movable-mouth head, make sure you leave room to reach your hand up into the head.

  3. 3

    Create the arms of the muppet using felt or other fabric, making the arms as simple or as detailed as you like. After you affix the arms to the body, glue or sew down the tip of a metal rod behind each hand.

  4. 4

    Decorate the body and add accessories to create a character for your muppet-style puppet. Mimic or parody an existing character, or create a new one for your audience.

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