Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summer Kid Crafts: Make a Marionette

How to Make a MarionettePuppets are always in season--kids love making them and I love how a puppet of any shape can keep my kids entertained for long periods of time.

Yesterday Lily and I made little marionette puppets and they're surprisingly easy. Just string whatever you have on hand on strings to make limbs and a body then tie the strings on a handle to make them dance.

Here are some tips:

1. Collect junk around your house that can be easily strung. We used Styrofoam balls but you could use beads, spools, old scraps of wood, pompoms, even old jars or jar lids. Look around and see what you can come up with--if it doesn't have a hole already drill or punch one through.

2. String some items for feet/legs and some items for a body. We made arms by sticking pipe cleaners into the Styrofoam torso but it helps if you use things that have a bit of weight to them, particularly on the feet.

How to Make a Marionette
3. Tie knots at the end of the strings to keep the strung items from falling off then tie the other end to a stick. We used two dowls glued into an "X" shape but you could use any old sticks you can find--even wire or a piece of plastic. Another tip: make an "X" shape with your hanger and attach the body string to one arm of the X and the two leg or feet strings to two other arms of the X. Attaching the strings onto the hanger too closely together will make it hard to tilt the feet or body into motion.

How to Make a Marionette
4. Tie the feet to the main body--this is critical or you won't be able to control the feet very well. Attaching them to the main body keeps them from flying out all over the place. Just kind of eyeball it to see how long to make the strings or use what you see here for a guide.

How to Make a Marionette
Lillian made the little girl at the top but while she was gluing and stringing I went to work on my own set of puppets using some extra polymer clay I had lying around. You see above the princess and the frog and here is the king--and they turned out kind of cute I think. Except for the princess there--she looks pretty psychotic. Kind of a retro Mr. Bill look.

How to Make a Marionette
I poked holes through the pieces with a toothpick before baking and because I forgot to provide extra holes for attaching the feet to the body I used some teeny tiny eyebolts I had and screwed them into the body. You can see them if you look carefully.

Puppets are always fun.

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7 comments:

Mrs. Ohtobe said...

You are the best Mom ever - how very crafty!!

Hannah @Cooking Manager said...

That is a wonderful idea and even someone uncrafty like myself could follow those instructions. I stumbled the post.

kitchen table said...

Those are so Cute. Indeed, You’re the best mom in the world. You are very talented and you have a very crafty hand. I love those marionettes.

cndymkr / jean said...

I think the eye bolts work better. Great job.

Doing the Mom Thing said...

This is such a clever idea! I may be making some myself a) for my 15 month old to play with and b) because they look like such fun I want to play with them. :)

Stephanie said...

I am so impressed by your artistic-ness (ha! I think I just made up that word...). :)

stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

Jacqueline said...

Interesting read. I'm new to your blog, but have enjoyed the first few posts I've read.