There are a lot of materials you can find in the hardware and supplies stores. These include plastic and stainless steel molding, plastic piping for the faces, silicone rubber for the eyes, styrofoam for the feet, a metal rod that holds the plastic on the body, and maybe some glue. Here are some examples of materials you can include for making easy puppets.
The best materials to use for the hands, feet, and head are the molding made from plastic and a silicone rubber. They come in a variety of styles you can choose from. I prefer the more intricate style of the two hands I made this morning. The arms and legs in each hand were molded after the other, and made up of layers of plastic. The head and hands were molded after the body using styrofoam. The face and feet were also molded with styrofoam to give all the figures a sturdy look. You can also make a mold of just one hand from some dental paper and make a mold of a whole hand. I made mine with a clear plastic tube that I cut out of foamboard. It was hard to make my hands too small without the plastic tubes, but with them I managed to get them just a little too large so I went back to the dental print and found a pair of white medical tubing for the head. They also give you a lot of flexibility with how you can position the hand. Once you get the head and arms right, you can make the hands even more complex with the help of plastic tubing, but it’s a bit more work once they’re done.
The same two hands that were molded are pictured below. The most difficult part of making the head was finding the right shapes to make using styrofoam and the dental paper for the plastic tubes. It’s a lot of fun to see every part of a puppet as it’s made!
My first print made with these molds is shown below. This was my first attempt to make a full puppet, and it made an excellent attempt, but some of the pieces needed to be reshaped and trimmed to fit. I was going to use this as a template for making more prints, but I thought I would just paint an original picture instead so I wouldn’t have to deal with it.
Using this template you can quickly make these pieces. Then, if you’re more of a hand sculptor, you can use it as a template to make your own simple hands
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