How To Make a Marionette: Learn About Making Puppets

Get Tips to Make Your Own Marionettes


Making a marionette can be rather easy to do. A marionette is really just a puppet that can be moved from strings attached to two pieces of wood that form a cross. The strings are then attached to the limbs of the puppet, from which the puppeteer is able to make the marionette perform a host of functions, such as dance, walk, take a bow, etc. From the simplest of marionettes to the most complicated, they can be fashioned from household objects or items readily available in any craft store. Making a string puppet doesn't have to be costly. These tips will help you make your own.

Just about anything that has arms and legs can be turned into a marionette, from stuffed animals to plastic dolls. Some everyday objects that you can use are pipe cleaners, cardboard boxes, pieces of scrap wood or metal, appliance parts, paper bags, socks, pillow cases or telephone cords. You can also utilize nature with pine cones or acorns. 

Once the objects are assembled, use them in any way possible to make your puppet. Styrofoam balls can be stacked on top of each other to make a body, and pipe cleaners can be used for limbs, or scrap wood can be glued together to make a stick figure, and then joints added later. You can always finish off your puppet's features by using yarn for hair or painting features onto the face. It doesn't matter what materials you use, as long as it is recognizable as a puppet.

Once your puppet is ready to go, it's time to make it into a marionette by articulating the limbs. To do this, you need to make joints that are able to be moved freely from the strings attached. The easiest way is to hammer a small nail or screw into two pieces of the limb to make them move, if you're using heavier materials like wood or metal. If you're using something small and light, such as paper, try using metal brads or small scraps of paper to join the limbs.

To make the puppeteer's cross, simply nail two pieces of scrap wood or wooden dowels together in a basic cross shape. Attach lightweight string or fishing line to the end of each corner, which are then in turn fastened or tied to the limbs of the puppet. Congratulations - you've made a marionette.

Now that you can make your own marionettes, you can put on puppet shows for the family to enjoy.


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