Introduction: Ask an Engineer Despicable Me Minions Style Puppets

Want more Powerpuff Engineers? How about Ask an Engineer Despicable Me Minions puppets?

A favorite webshow is Adafruit's Ask an Engineer hosted by Limor "Ladyada" Fried and Phil Torrone. And working behind the scenes is Johngineer.

So why not do a mashup of Despicable Me minions and the awesome gang at Ask an Engineer. In Adafruit black, of course.

Disclaimer: All characters appearing in this work are fabric. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is, well, purely intentional.

Step 1: If Geppetto Went Dumpster Diving...

These puppets are made from scraps around the house.

You need some cardboard

fabric, fleecy for the body, something else for the overalls and hands/shoes

googly eyes or just paint your own

elastic band

a bit of fiberfill stuffing

glue and hot glue

sewing machine and/or serger for quick assembly and prototyping

fabric paint or other method to make the logo imprint on the overalls

CAUTION: No lasers here but there could have been.  Learn how to operate a sewing machine and serger safely.  Hot glue guns are hot, even the cooler low-temp ones, I know.  

Step 2: I Do Eyes, Just Eyes...

Lay out your googly eyes.

Sketch out how big you want them.

Use that as a pattern to stiffen up with a couple of glued laminations of thin cardboard.

Build up a ring of cardboard around the eyes to form a set of goggles.

Papier mache or just glue paper over the exposed cardboard seams and laminations.

When dry, I used 3D fabric paint to add some details like rivets and the elastic band holder.

Paint with white acrylic or craft paint.  You may need two coats with one as the base primer.

When dry, paint  frame with metallic silver.  Drybrush with black paint if you want dark goggles.

Hot glue in the googly eyes.

Step 3: Does This Make Me Look Big...

Once the eyes are set, figure out how big the bodies should be.

Roll up a tube of cardboard that is cut to the height of the each minion.

Glue the middle section and tape together.

On the ends, fringe cut around the entire end.

Bend over and glue to form a dome shape for the ends.

Layer with tape to form a rounded shape and cover any exposed seams.

Step 4: Put a Sock on It...

Cut a piece of material a bit larger that fits around the minion body.

Sew or serge into a tube.

Test fit that you can get it on the body.  If not, adjust accordingly.  The serger is great for running and clipping a new seam.

Close up one end by sewing an arc to give the rounded shape.

In the center of that arc, cut out a small V-section or pie shape radiating outward.  This gets rid of the excess fabric which causes a bump in the rounded shape.

Pinch that seam together and sew the arc perpendicular to the other one.

You have probably seen this done in your winter knit caps.

Flip the whole thing inside out and cover your minion body form.  The open end at the bottom is just taped closed and covered by the overalls.

Step 5: Hands, Shoulders, Knees and Toes...

Plushies seem to reduce the number of components for the final assembly so different colored parts are merged into one envelope or surface.

Mate the material gray for shoes with the black for the legs.

Sew into booties and the connected leg.

I haven't figured out how to sew the shoe yet but I think there needs to be a sole piece to be added.

Flip inside out to hide the seams and stuff lightly with fiberfill.

The hands and arms are done with the same technique.

Sew in two definition lines for the fingers.

Step 6: Get Pantsed...

Making overalls the same way we did the yellow body covering.

But first, embed the two legs inside in the arc seam.  When you flip it inside out, the legs will be attached to the pant bottoms.

Test fit to get the height of the overalls.

Run a seam around the top of the overalls to finish that edge.

Make two horizontal cuts on each side to define the top and bottom of the opening for the arms.

Cut a portion vertically off the new flap that is created.  Fold the excess fabric back inside to finish the arm opening.

I went all around the arm hole with a zigzag stitch to finish and reinforce the arm opening.

Make a small patch pocket to sew on the front of the overalls.

I used some Glow-in-the-dark fabric paint to put on the Adafruit logo.  You use paint, white-out correction pen, nail polish, printed sticker, glue-on print, etc...

Position the pants and tack with hot glue.

Position the arms and hot glue in place.

Hot glue on the goggles to the elastic bands that were cut and sewn to fit.

Hot glue on strands of yarn for the hair.

I was trying to do an effect for the beard and stubble but I think I will need a felting needle and pull off some yarn fibers to do that. Next time.

All that, not necessarily in that order...

Step 7: Add Some Imagination...

And there ya go.

Ask an Engineer Despicable Me Minions.

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