Step 1: Build the Shape
To begin you will use your styrofoam ball as your base. Build on features by pressing modeling clay onto the ball, making sure that the edges are well pressed into the styrofoam. Be creative! Just keep in mind that by the time the head is complete these features will be both bigger and less distinct, so exaggerate.
When you have created your shape, cover the entire head with aluminum foil. Press this on as tight as you can to your features, and try to do it all with one piece.
Step 2: Papier Mache It!
Support your head on something round that papier mache will not stick to. An old ceramic mug is a good choice.
Rip short sections off of your newspaper strips as you go and dip them in the liquid. Get them thoroughly wet, but slide your fingers over each strip to wring off excess (you don't want it to drip everywhere). Completely cover your shape with the wet newspaper strips. You can use broader strips for less detailed areas, but to cover those pesky curves and corners thinner strips work better. When finished let it dry a bit (it will dry faster if you point a fan at it).
Repeat about 7 times. You will need about 7 layers to make your puppet strong enough to stand up to use. An easy way to keep track of your layers is to switch back and forth between newspaper layers and paper towel layers (use the paper towels the same way you use the newspaper).
Step 3: Finish Building the Head
Next, pry the two halves off of the foil covered base, and discard the insides. Now that you have the shell of your head, fit the two pieces back together and secure them with masking tape in several places.
For the neck, you will need to cut a hole in the bottom of your head the same size as your paper towel or toilet paper roll. You will only need about an inch long section of your roll, so cut that off and place it in the bottom of the head. The majority of this neck piece should be visible on the outside. Secure this with masking tape.
Lastly, papier mache over the seam and the neck with a fairly thick layer of newspaper. Make sure to cover all masking tape.
Step 4: Time to Make the Body
Now that you have your pieces cut out, sew them together along both sides (leave the top and bottom open). If sewing is not a possibility for you, you can also glue them together along the edges with tacky glue or hot glue, but make sure that the glue is completely dry before you move on.
Using sharp scissors, cut short slits from the outside almost to the seam near the tightest curves (such as just under the amrs). This is known as "clipping curves" and will keep these areas from bunching when you turn it. Next, turn your body right side out and you are done.
Step 5: Decorate the Body
Note: Of course, if you have the ability, you can create intricate wardrobes with your sewing machine, but you can do a lot with felt and glue too.
Step 6: Decorate the Head
When the paint is dry, add other decorative elements. Google eyes, yarn, pieces of felt, etc. are all good choices. Attach them with tacky glue or hot glue (Hint: use half-circles of felt to make eye lids).
Step 7: Finish and Have Fun!
While your puppet is drying write a script for your first puppet show, your friends and family are gonna want to see your creation in action! Have fun!