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Puppet Making From Found Materials with Rachel

To make a puppet you will need:

  • 1 found object for the body of the puppet. This could be a book an old bottle, a box an interesting shaped piece of wood and many more ideas. 
  • 1 stick I used dowel but you could use an old pencil 
  • Masking tape
  • Newspaper 
  • Pva glue mixed with a little bit of water 
  • String
  • Strong glue eg hot glue gun or superglue

I make the head, form balls of newspaper and use making tape to loosely join them around the wooden stick so that the rod is at the back of the head. Add more balls and forms to the front in shapes that resemble the head of the character.

E.g. it may have a long nose so you may want a long ball for that part. 

Use a mixture of water and pva glue to papier-mâché with small squares of ripped newspaper over this structure as tightly as possible to fill any gaps.

Do two layers of the papier-mâché to make it strong.

Turn to the found object and attach a loop of string to the dried papier-mâché part with the strong glue to attach it to the found object.

Off this loop tie two lengths of string for the arms. Use the lengths of string to make long arms or really short ones!

Make hands and feet the same way you made the head. The body doesn’t have to be in proportion. It often gives more character if it isn’t all one size. Play about with scale.

Again papier-mâché them with two layers. 

Use the strong glue to attach two lengths for legs to the bottom of the found object.  And attach the feet with the glue too. 

Once dry, paint onto the parts with acrylic paint and add any accessories or maybe even make clothes for it! 

The rod at the back of the head will move the puppet and help bring it to life and the string will allow free movement of the limbs. 

Rachel Davy

We hope you enjoy this activity. As always if you have any questions or queries please just drop us an email to hello@insideoutcommunity.com 

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