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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
-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.
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.
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.
Baste on the ears.
Pin the “top of the mouth” to the forehead and sew together.
Sew the bottom lip to the mouth inside.
Next, putting the right sides together, pin the inside of the mouth to the mouth upper lip. Sew.
Making sure your ears are tucked inside, pin the head back to the head front and sew.
When you are finished sewing up the head, your puppet should look like this:
Put your head aside for a minute and sew up the side of the puppet body.
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.
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.
Stuff a little Poly-Fil into the top of the head (leave the mouth open so that there is room for your hands.)
And tada! You’re finished!
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.
Finally, just hot glue on a pom-pom puff ball for the nose:
For the dragon, use the template for the dragon ears (instead of the frog ears):
Just baste (or hot glue) on the tongue.
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:
Here’s a side view. Sew through all of the layers:
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.
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?
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!!!
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!
Check out Jill’s blog here and her darling shop here.
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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: