Introduction: Sock Puppet!
Making puppets is beyond fun because no two ever turn out the exact same. They have their own unique personalities (just like us!) and can provide endless entertainment. This particular pattern isn't super difficult, but if you take your time with it, you will have a fun puppet to work with AND I bet you'll want to make a million more in a million different ways. Puppets are always fun when SHARED, so be sure to ask someone to make a puppet with you and/or be sure to introduce your puppet to everyone!
Here's everything you will need to make your fuzzy new sock puppet friend!
- hot glue gun (BE CAREFUL!)
- extra glue sticks ready to go
- sharpie and/or pen
- socks (pretty important)
- various felt (I seem to always have a lot of different colored scraps around...)
- pom poms of various colors if you wish
- googely eyes (not NECESSARY, but I love 'em)
- mouth template (or draw your own!)
- scrap piece of cardboard the mouth template will fit on
Step 1: EXTRA Supplies and Stuff!
These are some things you do NOT need to create this puppet, but could be helpful and fun as you become familiar with the process.
- quick drying glue
- sharp blade (X-Acto knife)
- sewing kit (as you get comfortable with making puppets, sewing them 1) can be very fun and challenging 2) will give you more options as you add bits and pieces to your puppets!
- pickles?! (actually, I use the jar to stretch out the puppet for adding on features so my hand isn't in the puppet as I am HOT GLUING things to it!)
- feather boa
- more felt
- ping pong balls
- ANYTHING you want to add to your puppet!
Step 2: Making the Mouthplate
Before all of this, be sure to plug in your hot glue gun and get it nice and warmed up. Mine is a high temperature gun, but no matter what you use, BE CAREFUL! That glue is hot, and the gun gets hot, so remember where it is at all times! Also remember to put something underneath it as glue likes to dribble out.
You can use the provided MOUTH TEMPLATE or draw one of your own! Whatever shape of mouth you would like, the world is yours. For the size of my hand (and depending on how big your sock is) I tend to shoot for something that is about 3.5" x 5". Whatever you decide, always start with a paper pattern first so you can test it out before cutting into your materials. Once you have one that you like, trace that pattern onto the cardboard! You can use your scissors to cut it out OR if you have an X-Acto knife or other blade and you are VERY careful, that is a good method as well.
Something else you can do (but don't have to) is to score where you would like the mouth to bend...it can be directly down the middle if you want an even mouth, or feel free to experiment and explore with the paper template how the mouth will move and open, and then decide where you'd like the mouth to be folded. You CAN just fold it, it works too!!
Step 3: Covering the Mouthplate
Using the same paper template you used to make the mouthplate, trace and cut TWO pieces of felt! This will be the inside of your puppet's mouth.
I don't usually use hot glue for this part, but you can and it will work just fine! Be sure to use it a bit sparingly though so you don't create bumps and ridges. On the INSIDE of the mouthplate, flip your felt over so any pen parks are toward the cardboard, and glue away!
Do the same to the back side of the mouthplate (where your hand will be when inside the sock) and follow the same process. This time, though, only lightly press the felt down onto the cardboard at first. Bend the mouthplate so it is shut, and THEN fully glue the felt down. This makes sure it still fits over the bend!
Step 4: Give Your Puppet a Mouth!
This is another step you can do a couple different ways:
1) Place your hand inside the sock with your knuckles about where the heel is. Push the toe of the sock into your hand and you will see the beginnings of a puppet mouth! You CAN just glue the mouthplate into place without altering the sock, BUT...
2) Take the sock off your hand and make sure the heel is UP (this way, you'll always know which direction your mouth needs to go while we work on securing it), and cut about a third of the toe OFF the sock. The sock I used left little fuzzies all over the place, so be prepared. You can put your hand back into the sock and see how the mouthplate fits in; if you need a bit more space, cut a bit more. We can trim up in a bit as well.
Step 5: And Lips!
This is probably the trickiest part of the process: gluing the mouthplate into the hole you've just cut.
Once again, make sure the heel is UP and place your mouthplate into the toe hole with the side you'd like to be the top of the mouth...at the top. I like to fold the edges of the cut sock over just a bit as I glue them...it cleans up the edges a bit. But guess what? You don't have to! It looks just fine if you glue them down! If you want to roll them over though, I suggest practicing a bit before gluing so you get an idea of what it looks like.
Here is something I learned very fast: DON'T try and glue all the way around the mouth in one shot! I start at the top (heel side) and do about a third. You don't have to use a lot of glue, but be sure to use enough that it will stay. And REMEMBER, IT IS HOT GLUE!! Don't press down on the edge you are trying to glue and burn yourself!
Let that top edge cool a bit, then do the same to the bottom third. Doing a little on the top and a little on the bottom helps to ensure the mouth will be as even as possible. After the bottom cools, go ahead and do the remaining edges a bit at a time; glue, roll, glue, roll, etc... When you are done, try the puppet back on and see how the mouth works! Now that the mouthplate is in, be sure you put your hand in as far as you can so the mouth is easier to control (if your knuckles don't quite line up with the heel anymore, that is okay).
Step 6: And a Tongue!
One of my favorite parts! Use the paper mouth template as a guide so you know how bit to make the tongue. I always freehand draw this shape, so you can make it look however you want! Cut it out with your scissors, and keep the side that might have tracing marks UP. I once again use the NON hot glue, but hot glue will work great as well. Just like before, be sure to try and get your glue (whatever you use!) not to make bumps and blobs. Put on some glue, flip it over, and press it into your puppet's mouth. I also like to add the tongue line with a sharpie as well.
Step 7: Now Eyeballs!
Puppet eyes are a BLAST to make, and they can be INCREDIBLY expressive no matter how you decide to tackle this part. We are using pom poms to create these specific eyes, but you can easily cut shapes out of felt, use ping pong balls, Styrofoam...ANYTHING that looks like eyes!
Start by taking a larger pom pom (any color you want!) and flattening out opposite sides. Use your scissors, and BE CAREFUL!! Your fingers will be close to the cutting blades, so go slow! You don't want to cut into the middle of the pom, so you aren't taking off a lot.
Using a bit smaller pom (any color you want!), we do the same as we did with the larger pom, BUT this time, think of making it look like a wheel. You WILL probably cut into the hard center of the pom this time, and be even MORE CAREFUL as it is harder to cut AND your fingers will be close to the scissors! REMEMBER it is TOTALLY okay to ask for help!
The last item we are using this time around are googely eyes. Any size, any google will work. Once you have them picked out, I like to stack a pom slice onto a flat side of the big pom, and then a googely eye on top of the pom slice, just to see how it all fits and looks. If you feel like you need to trim some more flat surface, go ahead! Thinner slice? Sure! JUST BE CAREFUL! Once you are happy with how they stack up...it's glue time! As always, use enough glue but watch out for going overboard...your puppet will be crying molten glue tears! Blob of glue on the big pom and press the slice into it. Blob of glue on the slice and press the googely eye on. DONE!
Go ahead and put the sock back on your hand and either ask a friend/family member for a quick hand (if you haven't done so already!) or be prepared to breathe and focus. Hold your newly made eyeballs onto the sock about where you would like them; they can be closer to the "nose", farther back, uneven, whatever you like! Once you have them in a great place, do your best to use a pen or sharpie to make a mark where you held them. After marking the sock, take it off, and you guessed it, glue those eyeballs on! WATCH OUT though, that you don't glue all the way through the sock and glue it together! If you have a little extra cardboard you can slide it inside the sock (you can tear away the cardboard a bit easier than the back of your hand!) or be sure to pull everything apart right away.
Step 8: Suddenly...a Puppet!
Once the eyes have cooled, put the sock on and... PUPPET! That's the basic form of a fuzzy sock puppet! Give it a name, a voice, and HAVE FUN!
Step 9: EXTRA Stuff! Make Your Puppet Even MORE Unique!
But wait! There can be more! MUCH more!
Now, only your imagination is the limit! Add big ears, a nose, legs, a tail, trunk, teeth, scales, wings...whatever you want! You can make them out of felt (be sure to layer when you can as it adds a cool look and feel to the puppet), poms, Popsicle sticks...whatever you might have around! YOU now have the skills to decide how to attach them all, just always remember to BE CAREFUL when using sharp scissors and hot glue.
What I would like to cover here, is attaching "fur" to the puppet! I happened to have a feather boa in all my stuff...not one with BIG feathers, but light wispy ones. I drew a short line from the corner of the puppet's mouth back toward the heel of the sock. I also loosely measured out lines about every inch down the sock, starting just off the edge of the lips. Remember that pickle jar from the beginning?? Now's the time to snack on a pickle AND use the jar as a holder for the puppet (you can use anything that is bigger than your hand/arm and it won't burn or hurt the object if it gets hot glue on it): Slide the puppet over the jar, and starting up the short line by the puppet's mouth, start gluing on the feather boa. If you feel the boa, its core is rope, so solid lines (maybe 3" at a time?) of hot glue work best. Careful when pressing down that you don't burn your fingers! Go around and around and around your puppet, using your marks as guides, until you have covered your puppet in boa! You can do the lines closer if you wish, or farther apart if you want to be able to see the sock show through. Let the glue cool really well before trying the puppet back on! You may hear some crinkling and crackling as the glue tries to stretch and that is okay... you can always re-glue if needed!
Look at how different the SAME puppet looks!! What do you think the name of my furry new friend should be??
THANK YOU for hanging out and making a puppet with me!