Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Song 2014

Our PIT Crew performed a song last Sunday called "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" but it was set to a 60's girl band sound.  Super fun and cute!

I made everything here except the puppet in the middle.  We've had her a long time. :)

One fun thing I did was on the angel props, if you look closely you can see that the Joseph, Mary, Jesus sign is the same shape as the angel with wings.  There is an identical angel on the other side! and on the other side of the angel shown here are two shepherds and a sheep.  It was a fun way to keep props at a minimum. 0:)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Black Light Frog Pupppets

This is what I finished today.
 I started these a month or so ago, but just now finished them up.  I'm thinking of adding some details but at least they are ready to practice with!

I used the melonhead pattern  from projectpuppet adapted to the size I wanted for the heads, the body pattern is my own and the arms and legs are adapted from a stuffed animal frog I had!

They glow in black light and well be featured in this year's show.  On to the next puppet!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

I love these bunraku trees!

I saw this song performed live several years ago and had the opportunity to see these bunraku type puppets up close at a workshop.  Joe Bruce and his family are an amazing and talented bunch.  I've been wanting to make some trees like this ever since I first saw them and I am finally doing it this year!  I'll be posting soon my progress on this project.  My trees will be swamp trees and  will glow in black light.  I am only making two.  They are going to be so much fun! 

Interview with Frank Oz

I love learning about the Muppets and how it all began.  I can't get enough.   I came across this video yesterday and I want to share it here. It's long but if you have time it's very interesting.

I admire Frank Oz and his character.  Great guy!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Puppety Bargains

I went shopping at Hobby Lobby and yard sales this weekend and wound up with a few goodies for good prices!

First: Side opening Easter eggs. I got these at Hobby Lobby for 40% off:

photo 2I will use these to make puppet eyes after sanding and spray painting. I’d had been looking high and low for these and a few friends looking too and no one seemed to have any. I was happy when I found these and bought all they had.  I’ll be sure to show how I make eyes from them as soon as I can.

Next: The usual suspects. Not on sale but something I buy often:

  • Neon paint for black light props.  I tested them in the store with my trusty mini-black light flash light I carry in my purse.  Doesn’t everybody? Now to test them under dark black light conditions for opaqueness.
  • Floral pins.  This was a “duh” moment for me the day I realized they would work on sheet insulation foam and ever since that day they have changed my life. Really!
  • Doll joints.  I use these in puppet arms and other times I need to join something together.

photo 3

This is probably the cutest find of the day.  A tiny “puppet sized” McDonald’s cup and clip light.  Now I just need to write a puppet script where the puppet needs a soda! The clip light is small and would take a night-light sized bulb.  I hope it works.


Now I really hope this stapler will do the job.  I have a larger heavy-duty staple gun in my travel tool kit and I’m hoping to replace it with this smaller one.  It weighs much less and will take up less room.  The wire is probably for jewelry making, but I use it for wiring things up in props and puppets when I need, well, to wire something up. Smile I got them for $1 each!

photo 4

Now I saved the best for last because this one has a story.  A heavy-duty keyboard stand for $0.

photo 1

So here’s the story on the keyboard stand.  It was at the first place we stopped.  My sister-in-law was with me and we looked around, there was nothing really of interest.  I spotted this as we were about to leave and thought, “You know, those are useful, I bet we could always use another one.”

So I asked, “How much?”

The owner replied, “Make me an offer.” 

I really wasn’t sure how much it was worth, it was still in the plastic wrapper, although the box was crumpled.  So I said, “How about $5?”

She said, “Can you do $10?”

Which is the first number that I’d though of actually, so I told her yes I could do $10.  I asked if we could pick it up when we came back around and she said yes.  Then my sister-in-law asks why I wanted it, and I told her I thought it could be useful at church sometime or other.  Then my SIL says, “Wait, didn’t you have a keyboard in your black light show?”

I said yes, but not this big.  Then she proceeds to tell the owner about the show and the puppets I make.  She was genuinely interested.  She ended up giving me back my $10 saying she wanted to donate to us.  What  blessing!  She really blessed me with her sweet and encouraging attitude.  I smiled every time I thought of her and I will be praying for her often. Smile

Blessings aren’t always huge but they are always personal.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Meet Jack Lumber

I took this puppet from choir member...

 to lumberjack in just a few minutes...

Here's what it took:

You don't need more puppets, just change up what you've already got!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Karate Puppet

I redressed a puppet for a skit tonight that needed a karate character.

My name is Chung Lu. Hi-ya!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Rabbit Puppet DONE!

I started almost a year ago on this puppet! I can't believe it's been that long but I finally finished him.

Let's do a little re-cap shall we?

(Note: This is not a step-by-step I didn't take enough pictures along the way for that.) 

I sketched out the basic shape and idea of the head and mouth.  And cut it out of foam.

Glued and pinned all the foam together and it looked like this.

I cut out and glued together the body.

I covered the head with antron fleece and added the eyes (purchased at creativemin.com, nose (just a pom pom ball), ear lining (polar fleece)  and teeth (made of craft foam).
Head with covering a some features
 Then I cut out the body covering from the antron fleece and cut the lining from an old t-shirt! Don't worry, the lining will never show. ;)
Body cover and lining.
 This is the body cover and lining stitched together and turned right side out.

Here is one of the hands being sewn.

Here he is looking cute and almost done.  Still needs whiskers, but his personality is starting to emerge!

Here he is with arms wide open ready for a hug. :)
bunny puppet

 I used florist wire for the whiskers.  It was green, but I spray painted them black.
bunny puppet

He's finally done and I can't wait to see him in action!

Friday, January 10, 2014

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 own.

After purchasing my craft foam at Dollar Tree and opening the package I was a little disappointed at the thinness of the sheets, but as you'll see at the end of this post, it actually worked out!

Supplies Needed:

  • Computer
  • Scrap Paper
  • Pencil
  • Craft foam
  • Scissors
  • White glue
  • Cotton swabs
  • Coat hanger or heavy wire

First start with a pattern. I usually use clip art or coloring pages as a start if I can't draw my own. And in this case I used clip art. I just pulled it right up on my computer screen.

Then lightly trace it with a pencil.  You don't want to scratch or puncture your computer screen so be careful. Now, I realize you could just print it out if you'd like but I was out of ink for my printer, plus I can resize it easily and just trace it right onto some scrap paper.

Next I cut out all the pattern pieces and labeled them so that I wouldn't get confused when putting the prop together later. Then I laid the pattern on the foam, traced it and cut it out.

Cut two of everything. Make sure you add a little tab on the wings where it will attach to the body. You'll see this tab on the wings in a minute when we get ready to glue.

I chose yellow for the wings, pink for the accents and green for the body of the butterfly.
For the body, I didn't cut two rather I cut one on the fold.  That is going to eventually be folded down the middle lengthwise and glued together to hold the wings in place.

Lay out the wings and you are ready to begin working on the placement of the accent pieces.
(Note the "tab" in the center of the wings to use for gluing on the body later)

I didn't have any foam glue. No worries, school glue will work.  You just have to give it time to dry.  I used a cotton swab for application, but a small paintbrush or your finger would work.  The key is to just use a thin layer of glue from edge to edge. There is no stress on this part of the butterfly so just a little glue does the trick.

Glue all the pieces on one side, let dry and glue the other side matching placement. Let dry. Now we are ready to add the body.  Apply a thin layer of glue on the

Now we are ready to connect the wings to the body. IMPORTANT: Do not glue the wings inside yet!
We still need to glue the wire inside.  Right now we are only putting glue on the outside of the wings where it will connect to the body.  Fold the body in half and glue onto the wings.

Set something kind of heavy on it to keep it folded while it dries.  Here I used the glue bottle and my water cup. :)

Now we are ready to attach the wire.  I just used a wire coat hanger, cut it apart, straightened it into a long stick then bent one end into this shape with pliers.

Now open up the wings after the glue has dried on the body.  Apply lots of glue inside and insert the bent area of the wire.

Apply as much glue as necessary and fold the body closed over the wire.  Let dry.  And that's it!

Check out how the butterfly works.

This was my first tutorial but I hope to make more.  If you liked it or have any questions please leave a comment.  I'd love to hear from you!


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