How To Make Simple Marionettes

There are plenty of interesting toys that can be made at home. One of these is the paper marionette. If you have ever seen a real marionette, you will know that these are quite difficult to make, because real marionettes are usually very detailed, and are made from special woods and are fully decorated not just with paint, but with fake hair, with glass eyeballs, and even real cloth. With some cardboard or an illustration board, however, you should be able to make your very own simple marionette. Here’s how.

  • Sketch. First of all, take a piece of illustration board or cardboard that is roughly as large as the marionette that you want to make. For starters, a marionette that is around 25 inches in height is usually enough. Otherwise, it will be too heavy and may be difficult to move without the wind distorting the motions of the marionette. On the board, draw out the rough sketches of the marionette, which should include the head, the torso, the arms, and the limbs. The limbs should be a bit detailed, with each section separated from each other. This way, the marionette will be easy to move. For instance, the upper arm should be separated from the lower arm. The thighs should be separated from the calves.
  • Cut. After you have drawn out the rough outlines of the marionette, the next step is to cut these using a box cutter. Most cardboard or illustration boards are too thick to be cut by plain scissors, so it is better to use box cutters. Also, the box cutter will allow you to work into the details of the figure that you are cutting with better ease and precision than other tools.
  • Decorate. After you have cut out the cardboard, the next step is to use some acrylic paint to decorate the marionettes. The real marionettes made from wood are usually decorated with real clothes that have been sewn just for the marionette. For simple paper marionettes, however, it is usually enough for you to just paint the clothes and the details of the body on with some acrylic paint. After all, the paper marionette will not last very long and you do not need to add too many details.
  • Assemble. After the paint has dried, take a puncher and create holes on the ends of parts of the marionette, so that there will be a hole where you can tie the wire together and connect the marionette together. Use a piece of wire to connect and assemble the pieces of the marionette together.
  • Handle. After assembling the marionette, take four chopsticks. Put one chopstick on top of the other and use glue to connect them so that they form a cross. Afterwards, use strings to connect the limbs of the marionette to the four edges of the handle. The left arm and left leg should be connected to one handle, while the right arm and legs should be connected to the other handle.

With these steps, you should be able to create your very own simple marionette. This marionette can be used for simple puppet plays, or simply as toys that your children can play with.


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