Introduction: Finger Monsters
Do you need something creative to keep your younglings (or yourself) occupied in a long school break, or on a wet weekend? In this instructable, I'll show you one way to design and make your own finger puppets from scraps of felt, using a cheap sewing kit - you'll be able to fit everything you need for this project into a small tin or pocket in your luggage, just in case you need it on holiday.
If you don't already have a sewing kit, you'll need an emergency sewing kit (the kind of thing you can buy from a "dollar" store, plus some scraps of felt and a pen. A fine marker pen or even a pencil is best, but a ballpoint pen will do the job in a pinch. Having a pencil and paper to hand makes the design stages easier.
You might find the scissors in the sewing kit are a bit feeble, so you probably want to add a pair of small scissors, such as straight nail scissors, to your kit.
(I made the mistake of using a thicker marker while writing this instructable, so that it showed up in the photos. Unfortunately, it left marks in the felt - don't worry, you should be OK.)
(Shout out to my local craft store, Craftopia, where I got my rather nice pieces of pure-wool felt!)
Step 1: Design
First, sketch out your ideas - keep them simple, and bear in mind the colours of felt & thread you have available, but don't forget to add arms (or claws, or tentacles...) and some sort of face.
From your sketch, work out the pieces of felt you will need to cut.
The parts for the arms (tentacles etc) can be cut out exactly as you drew them, but the body needs to be twice as wide as the finger the puppet is meant to go on.
Step 2: Patterns
Once you're happy with the parts of your finger puppet, cut them out of the paper, lay them on your felt, then draw around them with the marker.
Step 3: Cutting
Cut out your pieces of felt.
Step 4: Face First
Before you assemble the puppet as a whole, you need to add the face, sewing the pieces of felt in place using the smallest possible stitches of back-stitch that you can.
If your younglings really can't sew small enough to sew on the pieces of the face, then small dabs of PVA glue will work, but (a) you'll have to wait for the glue to dry and (b) isn't that cheating? Have a go at sewing small first - all it takes is a little practice. If it goes wrong, just start again; you'll be better the next time around.
I added pupils to the eyes using the "French knot" stitch (again, Jessy comes to the rescue if you don't know how to do this stitch).
Step 5: Sandwich
Once the face is finished, it is time to prepare to sew the whole finger puppet together.
Ready your parts by making an inside-out sandwich.
Lay the body with the face upwards.
Across the body, lay the arms, but pointing inwards.
Add the second half of the body - you should just be able to see the ends of the arms sticking out at the edges.
Step 6: Sew
Again using your smallest, neatest back-stitch, Sew all around the edge of the sandwich you made.
Important: make sure you put at least two stitches through the fabric of the arms, otherwise they'll fall out.
Step 7: Turn Inside Out
Once you've finished the sewing, you need to turn the puppet inside out.
The easiest way to do that is to push the top of the puppet inwards with a fingertip or the blunt end of a pencil.
Step 8: Play Away!
That's it, you're done - time to play with your little monster!
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