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How to Make a Big Head

O.K. Here's some helpful hints for making Big Heads. First of all, you need to buy the puppet pattern from One Way Street. (Link to their web page is on the Links Page). It costs $8.00 American. Then when you get it, put the pieces on the photocopier and enlarge them 200%.

Material needed are:

Skin: I use Velux blanket material, which is usually purchased at fabric stores as "end of bolt remnants" for a very low price. It's about $3.00 Canadian, so it would be less for American prices (if that's where you are from). If Velux is not available, another material that is good to use is Fleece, the same stuff as jogging pants material. You will need 1.5 - 2 yards of material to make one head.

Eyes: 2 metal jar lid rings from Mason Jar type jars.
3 sheets of black plastic canvas, or plastic mesh (found at Walmart, or Craft stores) (aprox. 30 cents per sheet)
This will also be enough mesh to cover the mouth.

Mouth: The mouth is made using black felt, plastic mesh, and black screen. (the same screen that is on your windows.)
You will need 1/2 a yard of black felt, and the same amount of screening.

Hair: The pattern suggests to use "fun fur" for the hair, but I found that yarn looked much better. You will need one large ball of yarn for boys hair, and at least 2 large balls of yarn for girls hair, depending on how long you want to make her hair.

Foam Inserts: The pattern "skull" is made from 3/4 inch foam. You will need about 4 feet of this.

Helpful Instructions:

Cut out all the pieces for the head. You will not need the body or the arms to make a big head. Cut out all the foam pieces too. You will not need the foam pattern piece that would be put in the "roof of the mouth". This will be replaced with plastic mesh, and screening. The pattern suggests to glue the foam together using rubber cement, but I used a glue gun, and found it worked just as well. Use clothes pins to help hold the pieces together until it dries.

Follow all the directions that come with the people puppet pattern. A few adjustments may need to be made because you will have a much larger "seam allowance" due to the enlarging on the photocopier.

When you get to Foam Head Assembly Step #4 - Mouth Insert, do not put the foam mouth insert in. It needs to be left open.

Continue to follow the instructions to the puppet pattern. When you get to the "Mouth Assembly" Section, some adjustments will need to be made. Using the "Mouth" pattern piece, cut it out of black felt, but you will only need half of it, to fit the bottom part of the mouth. Use the pattern piece to make the top half out of plastic canvas. You may need to use 2 pieces of plastic canvas, and the best way to join them is to hand sew them with black yarn. Join the top of the mouth to the bottom of the mouth at the center fold, using black yarn. From the black screen, cut out a mouth using the "mouth" pattern piece. It does NOT need to be cut in half. Place the screen over the felt and plastic canvas piece, right sides together, and sew in place making sure the screen is kept tight across the plastic canvas and the felt. This whole piece replaces the "mouth" piece cut entirely from felt, as suggested in the instructions. Sew this whole piece to the rest of the skin as the directions indicate. It will probably work best if done by hand using embroidery thread. Be sure that the plastic canvas part of the mouth is up! (in the roof of the mouth) This is where the person can see out of!

Cut only one piece of formica using the pattern piece marked "mouth support". This will be placed in the bottom of the mouth only. In the instructions, Mouth Assembly, Step 3 - Formica, Omit section C.

Omit the entire Section #1 of "Joining the head fabric and mouth with the foam inserts."

The foam will not be securely attached to the skin because the roof of the mouth is missing. Unfortunately, I have not yet figured out how to fix this problem. But by cutting out the eyes, and glue the skin to the foam around them, this will help to hold the foam in place. Then turn the entire thing right side out. You do not need any more of the puppet instructions that came with the pattern.

They eyes are made by putting glue around the flat edge (top or lid if placed right side up) of the jar ring, and placing it on the plastic canvas. When the glue dries, cut off the excess plastic canvas so that you will have a perfect fit of a plastic canvas circle glued to the jar lid ring. Make 2 of these.

Then, using an exacto knife, cut out 2 small circles where you would like the eyes to be placed. MAKE SURE YOU CUT THE CIRCLES AT LEAST HALF THE SIZE OF THE JAR RINGS! This tight fit will help hold the eyes in. Be sure to cut through the skin, and the foam. Put the eyes in, plastic mesh side out. Glue them there if you like. Also, put glue on the underside of the skin so that it stays in place against the foam. This is the black part of the eye. The white part is cut from white felt, with a hole cut in the center to see the black plastic canvas part of the eye showing through. (see the pictures of the big heads on my web page for a visual help.) Glue the white felt onto the skin. Add things like plastic eye lashes to girls to fancy them up!

The hair can be glued or sewn on. If you need instructions for that, email me, and I'll type them out for you. I think you might be tired of reading by now!

I hope this helps! If you have any questions, please feel free to email me. I don't mind helping. It's kind of hard to write the instructions without being there to Show you how to do it. I'll help you out any way I can! Happy Sewing!!!