Saturday, August 6, 2011

How to make a Puppet !

Zippy is a 38 inch marionette, you can kind of make out the eye hook on his top hat, tied to another eye hook on a stick and then again on at his shoulder.......

Here's a closeup of the two new guys I talked about, in the last post , "Zippy" and "Mr. Sparkles"respectively
Zippy can also sit independently. The sticks he can hang from are at his side.

Mr. Sparkles isn't a puppet. I mounted his carved head on a old tool box
but since I made them at the same time,
I didn't want him to feel left out

They started as a old wood fishing float and a large finial respectively, I carved them with both knives and a power carver to shape . I have some inspirational photos out.

I then started painting them a off white color. For Zippy's nose I doweled and glued in a old green handle for his nose

I put the bright white on their eyes and teeth, and fill in some red for their lips and features. I dry brush their faces leaving some of the wood expose, don't want them to look to new and loose that vintage/ creepy factor.

I audition various items from my wood scraps, in this case, table legs, baseball bats, drumsticks etc. for limbs, and figure out what will look good, just eyeballing what seems to work, not worrying to much about scale, which I think is more interesting

Having chosen a body and legs, I then carve out a niche for the legs to sit in, that way when bent he can either sit upright by himself or hang.

I keep checking to make sure the legs sit nicely and carve out till they fit in flush when sitting.

I then drill a hole through both his body and arms, a hole the same size as the wire, to thread through. I roll the ends with a pliers to hold in place.

I do the same for the legs. Drill a hole in the legs and body. Here you may notice his hat, a cut table leg, that I will stain to unify the color where the cut was.

He's starting to come together

A close up of threading the wire in the leg.

Here is Mr. Sparkles, I'm working on his accessories.

Mr. sparkles head was then but on a tool box and two staggered wood pieces

I build up the box with old moldings and if you go back to the 2ND photo I added old mirrors and wood cut stars for a little pizazz. These can currently be seen HERE @ Flutter until Sept. 9Th.

......Next up some vacay pics from Montana


  1. I would so love to be able to do this, but really, this is an amazing art and your craftsmanship and artistic eye meld so well to create something truly unique and aesthetically appealing. Awe.

  2. I appreciate all the work that goes into these and am very happy to admire the ones you make instead of making my own! You capture so much personality in them.

  3. Excellent post and such a treat to get a "behind the scenes" look at your process. You create such magical personalities.