“Please don’t throw that away,” I remarked to my little daughter. “I can use it to make a puppet.”
These were common words at our house when my children were young. My family was used to hearing them. Even at age five, my son gathered boxes and scraps to be used in my creations.
Since a puppet is any object that is completely controlled by a person and used to give an illusion of life, just about anything can be a puppet. Ive confiscated everything from cereal boxes to mops and brooms to create figures that communicate my ideas. And Ive learned a lot from others who do the same.
You can easily transform socks into puppets by placing them on your hand, then moving your thumb and fingers in a yakking motion. For more ease of movement, cut a slit in the toe of the sock for the mouth and sew in an oval-shaped piece of felt. Add some eyes and hair and your new friend is complete.
For many puppets that you will make, buttons, sequins, or cut out felt will work just fine as eyes. If you want to, you can purchase eyes (the wiggly kind are popular) at a craft store for a reasonable price. Something like string, yarn, thread, or cord will be helpful for adding some hair to the puppet. Scraps of cloth, felt, ribbon, lace, or even paper can help with clothes and other finishing touches.
Grab two washcloths and sew them together like a mitten. Then embroider or glue a face on the palm of this “glove” for a clever hand puppet.
Fascinating finger puppets can be made by cutting an empty paper towel roll in thirds. Add faces and decorations with crayons and scraps of colored paper or fabric.
Using a handkerchief you can make a stick puppet. Fill the center of the handkerchief with cotton, wrap the handkerchief and us a stick of pencil to create a puppet shaped like a large lollipop shaped puppet.
How about a quick puppet from an item that everyone has around the kitchen. Draw a face on an old wooden spoon and you’ve got a puppet. Add some hair with yarn if you’d like.
Find a small table which can be tipped on its side, a chair or flannel board large enough to hide behind, or a large piece of cardboard folded into three sections, and you’ve got a handy stage.
When making puppets all you really have to do is look through the house and use your creativity. You’re almost certain to come up with some great ideas, and it doesn’t take much before you’ll have your first puppets and show for the children.
Ann Shorb is a Christian counseling provider, speaker, and writer. Her website includes several free Christian puppet scripts that can be downloaded for your own use, plus a book of scripts that can be purchased.