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Make Your Own Felt Animal Hand Puppets (FREE template included)

Make Your Own Felt Puppets (From One Common Template!)

 

Hi, it’s Jill from Snugglebug University, and I’m so excited to be back here today to show you how to make your own felt puppets!

 

I think puppets are the perfect summer boredom buster, and I have so many fond memories of putting on “shows” growing up.  So when my 5 year old begged me to make her some puppets (and came to me with a drawing with 10 design ideas), I was happy to oblige.  I LOVE sewing for kids!

 

Make Your Own Felt Animal Hand Puppets (FREE template included) | via Make It and Love It

 

 

The puppets are all from the same basic template with just a few variations for each animal. I’m going to walk you through how to make each variation, but I hope you’ll be able to use the template to make even more animals!  Maybe even people puppets too!

 

Make Your Own Felt Animal Hand Puppets (FREE template included) | via Make It and Love It

 

Ever since I made my kids a candy shop/flower store from an old flower box, I’ve been dreaming of turning it into a puppet theater.  I’m so glad we finally took the time to make these puppets happen.  The best part about puppets though is that you don’t need a fancy theater to have a show.  Use the back of a couch, table, a cardboard box, or even a sheet and voila! You have a theater!

 

Make Your Own Felt Animal Hand Puppets (FREE template included) | via Make It and Love It

 

When I get started making things for kids I just can’t seem to stop (or sleep really, I’m kind of crazy that way).  So these little felt puppets led to “no sew” marionettes, whose tutorial you can find on my blog today.  They make a great complement to this scary felt dragon!

 

Make Your Own Felt Animal Hand Puppets (FREE template included) | via Make It and Love It

 

But I’ve got to warn you!  Once you get start making one puppet it’s going to be hard to just stop there!

 

Alright, let’s make some felt puppets!

 

Supplies:

  • Felt or fleece  (1/4 yard is more than enough for one puppet, or buy a few acrylic felt sheets)
  • Big googly eyes
  • Pom-Pom ball for the nose of the fox
  • Template pieces (Note: 1/4 seam allowances are included as needed. Print out the template on 8.5 x 11 paper, so that it fills the entire page.  Don’t zoom.  I’ve included a ruler guide so that you can make sure it printed out the same size.)
  • Poly-Fil
  • Basic sewing supplies (here’s a great list of common sewing supplies, in case you need a few ideas) 

 

-In general, I like wool blend felt better than acrylic felt because it seems to last longer and not pill.  I used acrylic felt though for this project, mainly because it’s cheaper and works well enough.  If you’re looking to make a family heirloom though, go with the good stuff.

 

-The puppets themselves are small and thus perfect for kid-sized hands. (The puppets do fit my small adult hands, but they are a bit of a tight squeeze for anyone with larger hand sizes).

 

-These puppets might be made for kids, but they aren’t super easy to sew.  You’ll need to sew in some tight spaces, and you’ll need to turn lots of fabric pieces into a 3D shape (which can be difficult to visualize).  Don’t worry though, I’ll walk you through all the steps (and don’t hesitate to check out the Sewing 101 post for more help).

 

 

Ready to get started?  I’m going to walk you through how to make the frog and then I’ll show you how to make some small changes to make the dragon, fox, and duck.

 

First, cut out all of your pieces.

make your own felt animal hand puppets (39)

 

Next we’re going to sew up the front of the head. The front of the head consists of three pieces. Place two right sides together and sew. Then place the the third on, right sides together and sew.

make your own felt animal hand puppets (7) make your own felt animal hand puppets (8)

 

Set the forehead aside.  Double up the ears and sew them together.  The reason I use two pieces for each ear is to make the ears stronger so that they stand up better on their own.

make your own felt animal hand puppets (37)

 

Baste on the ears.

make your own felt animal hand puppets (40)

 

Pin the “top of the mouth” to the forehead and sew together.

make your own felt animal hand puppets (41)

make your own felt animal hand puppets (11)

 

Sew the bottom lip to the mouth inside.make your own felt animal hand puppets (38)

 

Next, putting the right sides together, pin the inside of the mouth to the mouth upper lip. Sew.

make your own felt animal hand puppets (13)

make your own felt animal hand puppets (17)

 

Making sure your ears are tucked inside, pin the head back to the head front and sew.

make your own felt animal hand puppets (2) make your own felt animal hand puppets (16)

 

When you are finished sewing up the head, your puppet should look like this:

make your own felt animal hand puppets (18) make your own felt animal hand puppets (15) make your own felt animal hand puppets (14)

 

Put your head aside for a minute and sew up the side of the puppet body.

make your own felt animal hand puppets (3)

 

Place the head piece INSIDE of the tube.  Making sure that the mouth is tucked inside, line up the outer edges with the rim of the tube.  I try to line of the body seam with the center of the back of the head.

make your own felt animal hand puppets (19)

make your own felt animal hand puppets (1)

 

It’s a bit of sewing acrobatics to sew, so take your time and readjust as necessary. Make sure that you don’t catch the opposite side of the tube in your seam as you sew around. Turn right side out.make your own felt animal hand puppets (20)

 

Stuff a little Poly-Fil into the top of the head (leave the mouth open so that there is room for your hands.)make your own felt animal hand puppets (21)

 

Hot glue on the eyes.make your own felt animal hand puppets (22)

 

Make Your Own Felt Animal Hand Puppets (FREE template included) | via Make It and Love It

 

And tada!  You’re finished!

 

Fox Variation:

 

The fox is basically the same thing as the frog, except that the ears are a different shape, and you need need to add the white accent pieces to the top of the mouth and ears.  Just sew them on and the proceed as you did above.make your own felt animal hand puppets (6)

 

Finally, just hot glue on a pom-pom puff ball for the nose:Make Your Own Felt Animal Hand Puppets (FREE template included) | via Make It and Love It

 

Dragon Variation:

 

For the dragon, use the template for the dragon ears (instead of the frog ears):make your own felt animal hand puppets (24)

 

Just baste (or hot glue) on the tongue. make your own felt animal hand puppets (25)

 

Finally, the tricky part.

 

First, double up your wings and spike and sew the two layers together (just like you did for the ears).  Next you need to include the dragon wings and back spikes in your seams. You do this by making a sandwich, like this:make your own felt animal hand puppets (26)

 

Here’s a side view.  Sew through all of the layers:make your own felt animal hand puppets (27)

 

When you turn it right side out, your dragon puppet body should look as shown below.  Proceed with attaching the head as described for the frog.  make your own felt animal hand puppets (28)

 

Duck Variation:

 

The duck is probably the simplest of all the puppets to make.  Omit the ears, and instead include the “hair” pieces when you’re sewing up the forehead.  Just be careful to only catch the ends of the hair in your seams, and not the sides. Not too hard, right?make your own felt animal hand puppets (4) make your own felt animal hand puppets (5)

 

That’s it!  I’ve shown you how to make all four puppets.  Not I challenge you to come up with your own adaptions.  What about a cat?  or a dog?  or maybe even a unicorn?  Oh yes…my kids would especially love a unicorn!!!

 

 

Make Your Own Felt Animal Hand Puppets (FREE template included) | via Make It and Love It

 

 

Make Your Own Felt Animal Hand Puppets (FREE template included) | via Make It and Love It

 

 

That was super fun right?

 

Until next time, you can find more of my projects on my blog or in my pattern shop!  Don’t forget to check out my no sew marionettes too for more puppet fun.

 

Thanks so much for having me as a guest contributor on Make it and Love it!

 

-Jill

 

blog contributor Jill

Check out Jill’s blog here and her darling shop here.

 

 

. . . . .

 

We love these hand puppets, don’t you?

Give Santa a run for his money by making a bunch of toys for your little ones.

 

Check out some of these toy tutorials:

DIY Stuffed Fabric Turtles...pattern pieces included | via Make It and Love It

DIY Toy Fishing Pole (that actually reels in) with Magnetic Fabric Fish --- Make It and Love It

 
Thanks for checking out my Make Your Own Felt Animal Hand Puppets (FREE template included) post. Check out my full collection of DIY Sewing articles. Find even more sewing projects, patterns, and tips for beginners and advanced sewists by Liz Call, Mariah Leeson, Randi Dukes and Tauni Everett.
 

Comments

  1. Lydia says:

    I am loving these so much- ive made. them all today! this is only my second sewing project- has anyone managed to adapt these into people puppets? My brain isnt capable of adapting the pattern yet!

  2. sally says:

    i can't seem to find the template
    sally at quiltersally@gmail.com

  3. Anonymous says:

    The directions on here are pretty terrible, there is no instruction to flip inside out at any point, for the mouth you dont show where to sew exactly, I spent more time seem ripping when I realized what wasnt told to me properly. I'm sure this works fine for someone that already knows what to do, but this is an instruction blog. Also the frog look like a green monkey.

  4. Elisabeth says:

    Great puppets. I want to make them for Christmas for my Grandchildren but am confused as to which is the template. A response asap would be great as I am running out of time!!
    Thank you

    1. Jill says:

      Hi Elisabeth,
      If you go to the “Supplies” section of this post, you will see that one of the bullets says “template.” If you click on the word “template” it will open the PDF template and you can print or save it from there. Hope that helps!

      Happy sewing!
      Jill

    2. Elisabeth says:

      Thank you so much. I can’t believe I missed that in the list. I am going to have a lot of fun sewing these tomorrow.

  5. Heather says:

    This helped me so much! I’m in school to become a teacher and we had to get a puppet in a week! I had a faint idea of what animal I wanted to do but these templates and instructions you gave made it so much easier! I was able to add antlers and some legs to make a deer! Thanks so much it came out great!

  6. anna t says:

    I made five of the these. They are adorable. Used fleece because that is what was available, stretchy and washable.

    Had great difficulty sewing the body piece to the head on the first one, didn’t get any better on the second one. Then it occurred to me to do the dreaded hand baste, thread a needle, risk the tangling of the thread etc. Worked very well, using a contrasting thread showed me where to sew…there are, to me anyway, a confusing number of intersecting seams in a very small area and the numerous pins I had to use kept catching on the presser foot thingies. Taking 2 minutes to hand baste, then 1 to sew it, saved me 10 in wrangling and frustration.

    In order to keep the stuffing in place, (couldn’t see my grandchildren leaving that free floating stuffing alone) I cut out 3 1/4 inch diameter scrap knit circles, stuffed the head, turned it inside out up to the stuffing and hand sewed it to the lower forehead seam and the lower back of the head seam, leaving the mouth free and the stuffing secure. For future puppets, cuz there will be more, I would somehow mark the seams that will have the stuffing retainer sewed to, having to rip out one since I couldn’t tell which was which, having less than young eyes!

    Thank you so much for sharing this pattern and tutorial. i appreciate the time and effort that goes into producing this.

    1. Jill says:

      Great tips Anna! I love the idea of the stuffing circles. Perfect for young kids that just don’t want to leave that stuffing alone!

  7. diane sims says:

    I love these puppets and thank you for sharing them. I teach preschool and I know my little ones will love them as well. Since I had all the materials I wanted to get started right away. I started with the frog. I got the head pieces together and the ears basted. I had no problem with the inside of the mouth and the outside but after that I was completely stuck. The step I’m stuck on is ” Next, putting the right sides together, pin the inside of the mouth to the mouth upper lip. Sew.” No matter how I tried it I couldn’t get it to look like yours. I showed it to a super sewing friend and she couldn’t figure it out. The mouth piece just doesn’t fit the upper lip. So if there are any helps for me I would so greatly appreciate it. I have plans and materials to make them all and then a few more!

    1. anna t says:

      The length of the upper inside mouth is the same as the length of the mouth upper lip, but different shapes. I marked the center point on both pieces, on the edge so it wouldn’t show, pinned there (right sides together) then brought one side down to meet where the seam of the forehead and mouth upper lip meet and pinned there. Repeat for the other side. Stitch. Hope that makes sense.

    2. Jill says:

      Thanks so much Anna. You are totally correct! Diane, I’m sorry that I didn’t catch your comment sooner! I missed it somehow.

  8. Kate says:

    I KNEW my hoarding would come in handy…! :) :) I’ve needed a reason to use up some leftover felt. Thanks!

    1. Jill says:

      They are a great stash buster! Happy puppet making!

  9. Breea Heiner says:

    A Horse! and a Cat! and an Elephant! The possibilities are endless! Thank you for the work making the pattern pieces. and for sharing them.

    1. Jill says:

      Oh yes!!! I love those ideas…especially the elephant!

  10. Susan says:

    These are great for a rainy day project and so much fun with the kids! thanks for sharing so many options to make!

    1. Jill says:

      Your welcome! I hope you have a great time making them!

  11. Rachel @ Engineering a Joyful Family says:

    Thank you! Often for homeschool lessons I will be encouraged to make a puppet but I can’t stand my cheap looking paper bags. It’s nice to finally have some options!

    1. Jill says:

      Thanks Rachel! I’m glad that you can use them! Puppets are soooooo much fun!

  12. Ashley says:

    I absolutely LOVE these Jill! I’m digging through my felt now……because our summer days NEED these! :)

    Thanks!
    Ashley

    1. Jill says:

      Thanks so much for having me on your blog Ashley! It’s so much fun being here!

  13. Heather says:

    My son will love these! Thanks so much for this!

    1. Jill says:

      Awesome! Thank you for the comment Heather!

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