I was asked to make a marionette costume for a Halloween project. This is a very easy build requiring very simple tools, cheap to obtain parts, and only takes about 30 minutes to build.
Step 1: Tools and Parts Required.
4 large craft sticks. Looks like a tongue depressor the vet would use on an elephant.
2 wood craft circles. Basically a 3in(ish) circle of balsa wood.
about 12in of rigid wire. Use a length from the bottom of a wire coat hanger.
20ft of string, yarn, twine.... your choice. (personally some cheap hemp string would give it a old time look).
A sturdy headband that fits well to the users head.
Glue. Any type of glue would work if it bonds wood together well. I used hot glue.
Electrical tape. To wrap the wire on the headband so it will not rip your hair out.
Sharp scissors. The wood circles and craft sticks cut fairly easily.
Drill. A drill is not required but you will need to make some holes somehow.
Step 2: The Build.
This really should not take more than 30min for the basic construction.
As seen in the video you need to cut the craft sticks in so they all fit in the circle and extend equal length out from it. Cut the circle to the shape of the cross section. This can be done fairly easily with scissors. Glue your craft sticks to the cut circles and put some holes in the ends of the craft sticks to insert the string.
Cut two 6ft lengths and two 4ft lengths of string. the shorter sections of the string are for your hand strings. You can adjust the size as you require. Tie knots in the ends of the strings so they will not slip out of the holes.
Drill a hole in the top of the headband and put your wire through it. Use the excess wire to wrap around the headband and secure the wire. Use some electrical tape to cover up the wire.
Drill a hole in the middle of the craft circle to mount the wire into the sticks. If you leave this connection a little bit of play the sticks can more around some and give the costume some action.
Step 3: Final Thoughts and Possible Revisions/improvements
I have thought of ways to improve this that you can try on the project.
1. Wax or seal the wooden sticks. This will make the wood grains show up better and gives a nicer look.
2. Wrap the center of the sticks. The circles that are used to hold the center together would look great with a little leather string wrapped around it.
3. Choice of string. I would recommend a cotton or hemp twine for the string for an old time look.
I really think this would make a great class project due to the cheap cost of the build..