Step by step guide on how to make your own puppet, and tips on how maintain them.
Once you have decided on the shape of the character draw the profile onto a foam block, as you can see in the first photo. This will make it easier to get the shape correct while you are sculpting it. I use scissors to shape the foam , but i have used an electric knife in the past to get the basic shape first (just be careful using an electric knife because they like fingers as well as foam!)
Once you are happy with the shape you have carved, look at it from all angles to make sure it is all even and exactly what you are after - also very important to make sure that when the puppet is looking forward that you will be able to still see their eyes while they are talking, so its a good time to check this out before going to far.
Once you are happy with the shape it is time to cover the foam with fabric, for this puppet i used Antron Fleece which I dyed in a bucket of hot water. Because this puppet has a design in the antron i had to use different colours of fleece to make it look like the animal (a Numbat) I drew on the foam where i wanted the different colours to be then layed the fleece on and cut out the shapes using what i had drawn on the foam as a guide.
Once I had covered the head it was time for the features like eyes hair eyebrows etc, this is the fun part because it is totally up to your imagination as to what and where all these features go - play with it to see what works out the best.
The body was carved also by usung a block of foam and carved, then hollowed out for the puppeteers arm. then arms and a huge black bushy tail was added. the tail had wire running up the center so it could be shaped plus it swayed slightly with the movement of the puppet