Currently, our theatre company, Merely Players, is producing Disney's Little Mermaid in Durango, Colorado.
I am the technical theatre designer and builder. During meetings with the director, we decided that the "Kiss the Girl" scene should be done with puppets. We also decided that many of the young actors (middle and high school) would look great if they had head pieces of various sea animals. So for the last week I have been up to my gills in polyfoam creating a batch of puppet performers.
Time is at a premium now, so I may not have time to go through all of the steps for each puppet. Instead, I will give ideas about the various puppets I am very rapidly assembling for use in this week's rehearsal.
Actually, I think it is better that you just look over what I am doing and come up with your own ideas. You may discover materials and methods that you otherwise wouldn't think of if you just use this as a cookbook.
Step 1: Materials
Super 77 by 3M - excellent spray adhesive
Hi-Strength 90 by 3M - much thicker spray which I don't like as much as the 77
staple pliers - available from hardware stores, an indispensable tool
gaffer tape - not duct tape which turns to a gummy mess
foam core - I ask local frame shops to keep any scrap for me. I usually get enough pieces to make all the puppets.
open weave fabric- black - for inside the mouth
polyfoam - 1/2" 1/4" 1" thicknesses - I just bought large sheets from The Foam Factory
closed cell foam -
"landau" foam - used for automotive upholstery
plastic Christmas balls
clear craft Christmas ornament balls
large newsprint for making patterns
sharp, good scissors
The Foam Book: an easy guide to building polyfoam puppets by Drew Allison & Donald Devet at Amazon