Children and adults alike love hand puppets. With the economy in such a fiasco, make a hand puppet as a gift that will be treasured for years. Hand puppets can be made for free with scraps found around the home.
You will need paper, fabric or felt, scissors, glue, pen, thread and needle to sew by hand or a sewing machine. Optional items that can be used are plastic eyes, yarn, buttons and junk drawer and jewelry box findings.
- Create a pattern using a simple sheet of 8 1/2" x 11" paper. This can be copy paper, loose leaf paper or newspaper. Put your hand down on the paper and trace the size of your hand from your fingertips down to your wrist.
- Cut out the pattern you just created, but cut it about 2” larger all around.
- Lay the paper pattern onto two layers of your fabric or felt.
- Cut along the lines you drew. You should end up with something that looks like a mitten with no thumb. You will have two of those. Lay both down with the wrong sides facing and sew along three sides, leaving the bottom open, as that is where you put your hand inside the puppet. You can sew this by hand or on a sewing machine. When done sewing, turn the puppet body right side out.
That basic puppet shape can become a dog with spots, a human character or just about anything that you can imagine.
- For a spotted dog cut out small round circles from a piece of felt. You can use any color that contrasts with the body of the puppet. If you don't have felt you can use fabric or paper. Glue the spots onto the body.
- Give your puppet eyes by using either buttons, fabric, felt or plastic eyes available at craft stores.
- For people puppets cut some yarn and sew or glue it on. It can be long and flowing or just tiny short pieces.
- Check junk drawers and jewelry boxes for earrings that have lost their mate and use these as adornments for the puppet. For a pirate puppet use a pierced earring and simply push it through the fabric or felt at the place where an ear would be.
- If your character is supposed to be a super hero, cut out a simple shape to become a cape and glue or sew it to the back of the puppet. The puppet becomes an angel by attaching simple wings to the back of the puppet. Position the wings so they extend beyond the sides.
Don't be afraid of making mistakes. A silly puppet can be a lot of fun and quite entertaining. If you can make someone laugh with your puppet you have succeeded.