Silly Bird Marionette Tutorial!




About: Hi! My name is Natalie! I have an awesome husband that lets me be a Play-at-home mom of 3! We homeschool and do projects daily! Check out my blog Doodlecraft for more awesomeness!

Make a super simple marionette!
Fun for kids to use and the perfect size!

I think this silly bird looks similar to Kevin from UP.
You could do the colors to match!

Walks and pecks with simple controls and small enough for little hands!
Great for dexterity practice!

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Step 1: Supplies!

Here's what you will need:

6 Pom poms:  1 large, 3 medium, 2 small (contrast color)
1 mardi gras bead chain
2 craft sticks
yellow felt
2 wiggly eyes
2 metal washers
2 feathers
fishing line.

Tools: hot glue/gun, a big needle and scissors

Step 2: Putting It Together!

Hot glue your sticks together like a cross...or an x

Cut your bead chain into 3 pieces.
I didn't use all the beads, just 9 beads on each string.
Just eyeball it.

Basically, here's the layout...

Step 3: Feet, Shoes and Leggies!

Take the small pom pom and glue it to the medium pompom.

Put hot glue on a washer, and stick it to the pom pom foot!

It will automatically land on the washer every time it steps...
plus it makes a clicky sound when they step like tap shoes!

Take a bead chain and hot glue it to the small pom pom.

Repeat for the second leg and foot.

Hot glue those legs to the large pom pom body!

Step 4: Give It Personality!

Cut a diamond shape out of the yellow felt.

Put a dot of hot glue on it and pinch the top to form a beak shape.
Hot glue the beak on the last remaining medium size pom pom...
Add your wiggly eyes!

Hot glue a plume to the top of the head...and the remaining bead
chain to the head of the bird to the body, forming the neck!

Like glue the last feather into the backside for the tail feather!

Step 5: Attaching the Strings!!!

Now for the string attachments.
The feet will attach on either side of the cross. 
The body to the center and the head to the front of the x.
The back of the cross will be left free for your hand!

fishing line to the bead chain on the ankles and to either
side of the craft sticks "cross".
For the head, tie fishing line to the top bead of the neck...
Take a needle and thread it on the fishing line and stab it through his head...
from the neck to the top of the head...that string ties of the front of the cross piece
for maximum head pecking control!

For the body, I tied the fishing line on one of the legs right near the body pom pom...
Then stabbed the needle through his tummy up to the top of the back...for great body control!

Body line ties off on the center of the sticks.
For the other 3, I cut a slit in the stick, wrapped and tied the string and then snugged it in the little slit.
And hot glued it in place for maximum stay-put-ness.

Step 6: Ready for Center Stage!

There he is, totally finished!
Kevin's a girl???
Here she is finished!  And ready for dancing!!!

Step 7: In the Spotlight!

She walks with funny, silly movements,
pecks her beak around...and tap dances!

Thanks to my 9 year old marionette manipulator!

I love those little feet!
You can make yours any color you pick!
I of course, went for purple! 

Please vote for me in the PURPLE and PUPPET contests!
Check out my blog for more of my creativity at Doodlecraft!
Thanks!  :)

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The Contest Purple

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The Contest Purple

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19 Discussions


Question 1 year ago on Step 4

How much does it cost to buy all of the materials?


2 years ago

I looked at yours and created my own version with what I have:)


5 years ago

My aunt used to make and sell these yeeears ago at arts and craft shows. Many different sizes, colors-much plummage. Cool to see people still make them and they have evolved.


6 years ago

This is so cute! :D


6 years ago on Introduction

This bird is so stinkin cute! I wouldn't expect anything less from you!!

I am going to try this one with my boys!

3 replies

Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

Thanks! You are so sweet! I am sure your boys will love them, as long as there's a color change up! :)


Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

So, here are our birds! The boys picked their own colors. Thanks so much for this instructable. The boys are loving dancing around their birds!!


6 years ago on Introduction

I had to chuckle when I saw this one! I bought something like this years ago for my nieces and they had so much fun! Thanks for sharing!


6 years ago

haven't seen one of these since I was little, many years ago. made two for my kids now and they love them! thanks for the post and a trip down memory lane!

1 reply

Reply 6 years ago

Oh thank you! Glad your kids are enjoying them! :)

Thanks! My mom made puppet birds like this when we were little...we did the play "are you my mother?" and she had a huge mommy bird like this that the baby would find at the end of the "production"! I've been wanting to do it for a long time, and the puppet contest seemed like the perfect motivation! :) And it would be fun in primary too! :)