Monday, October 4, 2010

Paper Mache Puppets

Aren't these great.  I especially love Jeff's (age 7) mutant one eyed attack chicken........

and Ryan's (age 10) blue lizard man!

It's great when a project gets done.  This one took a few days so the kids were glad to get it completed.

I first did paper mache puppets with my daughter's Grade 3 class for Halloween. ( that was 5 years ago)  We made spooky monsters and creatures, because it's Halloween I find the kids can just let their imagination soar when coming up with ideas.

Materials Required:

- sticks
- paper towels
- foil
- white glue
- Kleenex
- recycled container to hold glue mixture
- paint
- mod podge (optional)
- string
- scrap fabric
- odds and ends to embellish with

Take a stick, about pencil length and wrap a ball of foil on the end.

Mix up a glue/water solution at a 1 to 1 ratio.

Using paper towel strips dipped in the mixture start wrapping the head.  You want to cross over strips randomly, smooth it down and make it tight, and wrap some strips down onto the stick to hold the head in place.

Every once and a while use a dry will soak up the excess glue.

Put some Kleenex in the glue mixture and use this to mold your facial details.

Set your heads aside to dry for a few days and turn them once and a while.

Paint with acrylic or tempera paint.

If you want you can add a coat of mod podge for a nice shine.

All our puppet heads ready to go!

Tie a length of string around the neck for the arms, you could use yarn, anything flexible.

Cut a rectangle from some scrap cloth. you want it to be twice as long as you want the puppet's body to be and as wide as you want it's arms to be.

Take your length of fabric and fold in middle, then fold lengthwise and cut a notch in the center of your fabric.

This is where the head will go.

Slide stick into hole and pull in string, lay it out like this.

Wrap stick with some stuffing, scrap fabric, whatever is around to add some bulk to your body.

You can trim your fabric a bit too at this time getting a triangular type shape.

Now you want to add some glue at the neck, under the hands, and down the sides.  You can use tacky glue, I used hot glue.

Alternatively you could also sew the fabric in these places.

I thought I took pictures of "making the hands" but I guess I forgot.  Cut out 4 hands, use felt, craft foam, fabric.  Lay one down, add a drop of glue, place end of one string arm in the glue and then place another hand on top sandwiching in the string.  Repeat for other hand.

You can add feathers, hair, and embellishments at this point.

This is the back of Jeff's chicken puppet.

Attach a string, I'm using fishing line, around the neck of the puppet.

Find 2 sticks from outside that are about 6 inches or so and cross them in the middle, wind some pipe cleaner around them and then secure in place with hockey tape or duct tape.

Near the end  of one of the sticks tie on a small loop made from pipe cleaner, tape down.

Now attach string from your head to the center cross of your sticks.

Measure out a length of string that is double the length from where your puppet's hand is to the sticks, an extra hand comes in handy here, someone to hold the puppet upright while you are measuring.

Tie one end of your string on one hand, here I threaded one end onto a big needle and feed it thru the felt hand, knot it tightly a few times.

Feed the other end of the string thru the loop you made on your stick and down to the other hand, attach in same manner.

Now your puppets are ready.

Here Mutant Chicken and Lizard Man
battle for world domination!

See you next time.


  1. I like this idea. I might adapt it for apple head dolls. (If I do, I will definitely credit you).

  2. what a cute ide, they look great!

  3. These are cool - can't wait to give it a try!

  4. I kind of struck out on my own rather than use your technique but your idea was certainly inspiration: