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Puppets are cute, funny, and they're all around the world! it's really interesting to see that almost every culture has the concept of puppetry, though they vary widely. When I saw the puppet contest I decided to make traditional south Asian (Indian sub-continent) puppets. This was my first attempt in making puppets so I was a bit nervous, because I don't know much about puppetry. four friends of mine helped me and I'm really grateful to them (Can't thank you guys enough! )
This instructable will show how to make a type of south Asian puppets (a bride, a groom and a little girl). I think the attractions of these puppets are mainly their colorful dresses, hand movement and funny speeches. The puppet masters usually tell traditional stories, folklore, rhymes and much more through these puppets. Anyways, let's start making :) I hope you like it.

Step 1: Materials Needed

To make these puppets you'll need:
1) Cotton fabric (to make the puppets and their clothes)
2) Sewing machine.
3) Threads and hook.
4) Pencil, pen.
5) poster color (for drawing the puppets faces)
6) Black thread (to make puppets hair)
7) Wire or heavy thread or plastic thread(if you don't want the threads to be visible)
8) Small beads, mostly golden and red (to make jewelries for the puppets)
9) Lace (to make a traditional hat for the male puppet).

Step 2: Get Started!

First, draw the body parts of the puppets on paper. The legs of these puppets are usually straight but the hands are angled at 90-120and the body shapes are usual. Height of the puppets should be around 8-10 inches (adult puppet) and less than 6 inches for the child puppet.
Make a template for the body parts and cut them out. Use them to make the fabric cutouts. The number of fabric cutouts for each puppets are:
4 for the legs,
4 for the hands,
2 for the upper body.

When you have the fabric cutouts ready for making the puppets, sew 2 similar pieces together keeping one side open and fill it with waste fabrics or cottons. Sew all the body parts together (make sure the hands are flexible, so that you can make them move easily with the string or wire). see picture.

Step 3: Clothes and Others

When you're done making the puppets body, the next thing is to make their clothes, accessories, attach hair, draw face etc.
Use black threads to make the hair. Attach the hair by sewing with black thread and a hook (see picture). You can set the hair as you want, but I think braids look beautiful!
Clothes and accessories we made for the puppets-
Little girl : a red top, yellow skirt and a yellow scarf (all these together are known as ghagra dress), small beaded necklace.
The bride : red blouse, red petticoat (like a skirt), red saree, small beaded necklace, bangles. You can take help from the internet about dressing the puppet in a saree, simply search for 'how to wear a saree'.
The groom: a kurta, a pajama, traditional hat, a rumal (hanker-chief).
Follow the pictures to make the clothes.
(these clothes might seem unusual to many!)

Draw the faces with pencil first and then use poster colors with small paint brush (5/0 and 10/0's) over the pencil outlines. Eyes of these puppets are usually basic lens shaped, big and black, the lips are red. You can add more details if you want.


Step 4: Attach String

Tie a string on the puppets head (for keeping the body in balance) and two strings on both hands (hand movement is important).
Use one hand to control the string attached to the head and other hand to control the hands. If you're an expert I think you can control all the strings with one hand!. You can use wire instead of strings as well.
You may also tie string to the legs but I think it isn't much important (as the puppets usually hop around!). As I've already said, this is a first time, so the puppets might not be perfect but I'm glad we made'em at last! 
Enjoy!
I have also voted . Really its very difficult to operate pupppets . You have deffinatly done a lot of practice.
Cool
Muhaiminah , Its ironic. This was one of the best puppet in the puppet contest but for some reason it never caught eyes and was not featured that time. <br>Well I am glad it is now :)
Thank you sir! happy to know! it's very surprising how my old ibles are getting featured! first the cheesy potato fries and now this one!
I was surprised your puppets were never featured, too. I noticed them yesterday, and hit the feature button :). It's really a very well done I'ble!
They are trying to catch your attention ;-)
Cute!!
Great! I've seen them when i was a small child ! but it's hard to operate them in real motion!
Thanks! I've seen them on TV! yes,it's quite difficult to operate them in real motion, ohhw :O how do the puppet masters do it!?
Super!!!
Thanks!
Unique marionettes! Voted too (and I also only saw it now. Where were they?)
Voted!! they are soo cool! I think they are my favorite one <br>(I don't know why I just saw them now)
Voted :)
Thanks! :D
They are cute. You and your friends did a cool job as first timers. You have my vote as soon as you are in the contest, I am sure it will be unique. If possible post a small video of your puppet show, so that people can imagine the story :)
Thanks Tarun! that's so nice of you :) I wish I could meet a south Asian puppet master in person and know all about it, searching the internet is just not enough :( I'll try to post a video and make a theater as well!

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Bio: Hey, I'm Muhaimina! A crazy craft addict! Obsessed with swirls and polka dots... Love green craft and rustic home decors... and Instructables is pretty ... More »
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