Marionettes are puppets with strings attached to them. To construct a basic marionette, you need a puppet form with at least two strings attached to it. The puppeteer holds a cross of wood (for easy construction, nail or glue two wooden rulers together) attached to strings, and the other ends of the strings are tied to the puppet. By moving the wooden cross, the puppeteer makes the puppet move.
You can make marionettes out of anything. Consider the following household items:
Styrofoam Cups. String together two styrofoam cups with their bottoms touching. The top cup is the head, the bottom cup is the skirt. Add pipe-cleaner arms and legs, and yarn for the hair. Decorate the face and dress with markers.
Metal coils. Metal coils or Slinky toys can make great arms and legs for marionettes. They provide extra bounce so you don't even have to move very much to make them dance.
Leftover Containers. Use leftover milk cartons, soap jugs, and other food containers to make your body parts. String them together or add limbs.
Craft Store Supplies
Foam balls. String three together for a human or snow-person shape. String together a few more to make a caterpillar. You can spray-paint them first to make your marionette more colourful.
Feathers. Gluing feathers to a marionette base can make a beautiful bird. Your bird will fly high with only a few movements from you. Use styrofoam for the body and head, and add feather boas for the neck, legs, and wings.
Crafting Foam Sheets. Cut a simple figure out of foam shapes. Tie arms and legs to the body using yarn, and then add the strings. This lightweight marionette will be easy to manoeuvre and inexpensive to create.
Simple additions can make all the difference in making a marionette. Try adding bells inside the body so your puppet can jingle as he dances. Or consider using sequins so he will sparkle in the light. You can use doll clothing if you can get it to fit on your marionette's body. Or sew some outfits out of fabric scraps. Little details make big changes when applied correctly.