Introduction: Popsicle Pete, Your Pocket Puppet Pal

About: I'm all about Making and Mental Health. Reach out if you need a chat .
My favourite Muppet characters are Rizzo the Rat and Pepe the King Prawn.

I love their attitude, but I also love them as puppets.

Unlike most other Muppet characters, you can't fit a hand inside their tiny heads. I'd been noodling a mechanism for working a Pepe-like puppet, and on the way I came up with this; a simple puppet you can work with one hand.

Step 1: Tools and Materials.

The main materials you need to make a Popsicle Puppet are;
  • A wide popsicle stick, the kind sold for craft projects
  • A narrow rubber band.
  • Sewing thread.
  • A bead.
  • Glue
  • Decorative materials, such a googly eyes, markers or paints.
For tools, you'll need;
  • A sewing needle
  • A very thin drill
  • Scissors
  • Tools to deal with your craft materials
  • A crochet hook

Step 2: Make the Mouth

Decide where you want your mouth to be, then drill two small holes, of a size to match the bands. For me, that meant a 2mm bit.

Be safe in your drilling - for such small holes, it's tempting to hold everything in your hands, but you end up leaning on your knee. Far safer to lean on a piece of scrap wood.

Thread the rubber band through the holes, and tie knots a the back. If you are shirt of fingernails,  as I am at the moment, you may find it easier to use a crochet hook to tie the knots (for the scouts among you, I tied s simple pike hitch around the hook, then used the hook to pull the bight through into an overhand knot).

Step 3: Animate the Mouth

A couple of centimetres below the mouth, drill the smallest hole you cthreadshave a 1mm bit, but it is too small to be gripped by my drill's chuck. I had to twist the bit through by hand, which was annoying,  but it worked. 

With the needle and thread, put a loop around one part of the band (the lower lip), and through the hole you just drilled.

Around the back of the popsicle stick, tie a bead onto the end of the thread. 

Step 4: Finishing.

To finish Pete, all you need is eyes - I glued on a couple of googly eyes I, er, acquired from Kitewife's craft stash.

You could any details you fancy,  such as woolen hair or adding pipe cleaner arms, but I like Pete as he is.

Step 5: Using Pete

Using Pete is simple - you use your thumb to pull the bead down and open his mouth. Relax, and the elasticity of his lips pulls his mouth closed.

Popsicle puppets like this are a great craft activity to do with your own kids or a class - once they've made their puppets, they can give them character and voices, and then spend an hour or three putting together a performance or an act, giving you the afternoon to yourself - win!

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