Skip to main content

How I plan a puppet song

I'm currently in planning mode and thought I would share a bit of the process I use to choose, plan and produce a number.

It begins with a lot of prayer actually. I am in constant prayer and asking God for direction, inspiration and a message/reason for the show or song.

Sometimes a song comes on the radio and I just see it "puppetized" in my mind.  Sometimes I have to work a little harder.  I almost always have to work a little harder. :)  I think God doesn't want me to ever take this ministry for granted .

Right now I have several projects and performance ideas in my head but I'll focus on just one song I'm working on right now.

1. Purpose/Venue

  • Annual Valentine Fund Raiser Banquet at church. We need entertainment for the banquet and our puppet team, PIT Crew, is always a big hit. 

2. Message & Style

  • Naturally, I look for a song about "love" since it's Valentine's Day.  I have several Righteous Pop Music albums and decide to look there first because they are familiar tunes to the audience and they keep it a little light for using puppetry to music. I chose "Put the Love of God in Your Heart" from RPM Vol. 4

3. Theme or "look" of the song:

  • I decide after getting some inspiration from another puppet team to go with flowers, shrubs, animals etc. as the setting for the song.

4. Props & Puppets:
  • The lead singer is a female, and I am going to use this puppet for the singer. She'll need a new dress (she's currently wearing a peasant dress from VBS ;)) and maybe some ribbons for her hair. 
  • I am going to use the bunny puppet I'm working on, and a flower puppet we have (I may make another one) as well as any other animal or nature type puppets I have.  It's time to do a little digging in the Rubbermaid tubs and a lot of painting and foam core cutting!
5. Choreographing the number:
  • I use an excel file to add the lyrics, prop list and make a column to add the entrance/exits, choreography instructions etc.  This is very helpful from practice to practice so we don't forget what we did!  I print the sheet out and make any changes with pen.  Sometimes, when I remember, I  go back and add the changes to the file so that if we use the song again we will remember it with the changes and additions and we can print out a clean copy.
Here's what the file might look like, this one's still in the works:


When it's done, all entrances and dancing moves will have been named and written down in the file.

6. Practice
  • Next comes actually working with the team to make sure what I want to do can actually be done!  This often results in change. :) You have to be willing to make adjustments or even ditch something entirely. I always go for simple and excellent rather than complicated and a mess.  Know what I mean?


7. Perform
  • After all the planning, prop making, and practice then we are ready to perform the number. There are several smaller steps in between all of this but this is the basic formula. And once a year we do a complete show with scripts and songs all strung together.  This one is just one song.  I'm still pondering adding a skit. But I'm not sure yet. 
These are the basic steps I go through in planning a puppet performance. I hope this helps you plan a performance for your team! 

Popular posts from this blog

Our Newest PVC Stage

Our team has always used a stage made of PVC for budget reasons.  I've reconfigured it a few times over the years.  The one we have now is the one I like the best so far.  Someone asked me to share it with them so I thought I would post it here in case anyone else was interested.

First of all there are 3 parts to the finished stage and one person could put it together alone, but two make it easier. There are two poles that go across the middle horizontally to hold everything together. And there is the actual stage part that folds up like an accordion.

Here it is from the side folded up.
Here it is unfolded and the two long pieces placed horizontally in the back.  One at the top and one lower.  This second bar really adds to the stability of the whole stage and keeps puppeteers from moving the back curtain as they go in and out.


Here is how we add the curtains.
Our curtains are in 4 parts.  The front, 2 wings and the back middle.  They are all doubled because the fabric was still …

Making a Prop Step-by-Step: Make a flapping butterfly

Ever need just the right prop to fill in that space in a song or skit?  The first place to go is the dollar store of course!  Sometimes you find a toy, or yard decoration that will work perfectly!  But honestly for me, it is rare that I find just what I'm looking for.  Usually I have to make my own prop.  But again the dollar store is the first place to look for materials, then I move up to "that large discount store" or hobby and fabric stores.

Today the materials I'm using came from the Dollar Tree.  I'm wanting a butterfly for my "love" song that I'm planning for the Valentine Banquet coming up and wouldn't it have been great to find one of those large butterflies they usually have around spring time in the dollar stores?  But it's not spring, it's still winter and even though I could see they were clearing out and making room for spring items, they didn't have any yard decorations yet.  So I picked up some craft foam to make my …

Puppet Making Tip: Hot Glue Gun Accessory

As a puppet maker and crafter I use the hot glue gun often. You would think I would learn not to burn myself and to keep that cup of cold water nearby but I still forget after all these years.  And no matter how hard you try, sometimes you still burn yourself on the glue that gushes out and sometimes just the heat coming through the fabric can be very painful.



I found these Thermal Thimbles on clearance at Walmart and immediately saw the potential!

They are originally for ironing but they are PERFECT for working with the hot glue gun.  I've tried them already and they work great.  The glue doesn't stick to them, it peels right off.

I wish I'd known about these years ago!

I purchased mine on clearance but they aren't very expensive at regular price and they are worth every penny.  I am grateful for them each time I work with the hot glue gun.  They allow me to pinch and put pressure in tight space that in the past I would have used a chop stick or similar tool.  I sti…