First of all, thanks for checking out my first instructable! I've been a lover of designing and making things for many years and since becoming a primary school teacher (currently Year 2, 6-7 year olds) I've begun designing DT projects to teach my kids new things.
Our topic at the moment is Africa, and what better to design and make with textiles than a hand puppet? So, here goes!
Tools you'll need
- Sharp scissors (especially important if you're doing this with children)
- A large needle (helps with drawing thread through holes)
- Permanent marker pen (bullet tip sharpie works well)
Materials you'll need
- 1 piece of dark brown felt (50cm x 30cm)
- 1 piece of light brown felt (20cm x 30xm)
- ~1m Dark brown embroidery thread
- Tacky glue (I found Bostik All Purpose glue worked very well)
Now you've got your tools and materials, let's get started!
Step 1: Preparing Your Templates
Step 1 is to download and cut out the paper templates below. You don't actually need to cut out 2 arms and 2 feet as you can just cut out 1 of each and flip them over for each 2nd limb.
You might find it useful to label each template for whether it's going to be dark brown (DB) or light brown (LB) as this'll help not get mixed up in the next step!
Step 2: Preparing Your Felt Pieces
Now take your dark brown template pieces and lay them out closely on the felt. No point in wasting felt!
Next, carefully hold down each template piece in turn and use your permanent marker to draw around the felt.
Using your sharp pair of scissors, take your time cutting out each of your felt pieces.
Don't worry about the black lines. We'll deal with them later.
Step 3: Sticking the Limbs
Before we get stitching, we need to attach our monkey limbs!
Take the arms, legs and tail and add just enough glue to each limb to stick them down onto 1 piece of the body. You might also want to choose where the tail is going to be. As long as it doesn't sit on top of one of the other limbs, you should find it easy enough to stitch through when you come to the body.
Surprisingly, I found you don't need to wait for the glue to dry (in fact, it's easier to stitch through while it's wet).
Now, you can go straight on to stitching the body!
Step 4: Stitching the Body
Thread your needle and either run a knot to the end of the thread or tie a shoe-lace knot in the end. This should stop your thread pulling through while stitching.
Now you've got 2 options when stitching the body together.
Overlap the body pieces on top of each other (black line sides facing towards eachother) and:
1. Pin the felt pieces in place. This helps the felt pieces to stay lined up.
2. Simply hold the pieces in place while stitching. I personally preferred this method while working with these pieces of felt, but see what works for you.
Now, as this is a hand puppet, we'll need to leave a gap between the monkey's legs for a child's hand to slip in.
Using an over-stitch (see picture), starting at the edge of the opening for the hand, run the needle around the outside of the 2 body pieces, making sure to check each piece is lined up before each stitch.
Once you've followed the body edges around to the the other edge of the hand hole, tie off the thread by knotting it through the nearest stitch a couple of times. Now, you should have a stitched monkey body!
Step 5: Adding the Body Features!
Now your body is stitched up, the only thing left is to add your features onto the body!
Take your light brown face, ear and body pieces and run a line of glue near the edge of each piece one at a time.
Using the monkey picture as a guide (in the template document), carefully press each light brown piece onto the body.
Now repeat with the dark brown eye and mouth pieces.
Congratulations, you now have a completed monkey hand puppet!