How to Build a Custom Puppet – Part 3

This is part 3 of a video series about how I build my custom puppets. It is not meant to be a tutorial or for beginners. I don’t go into a lot of details, just outlining how I currently build most of my puppets. This series is meant to be an overview of how much supplies, tools and time it takes to build a “Muppet-y” style puppet. I’m also sharing what I’ve learned in the hopes of helping out fellow puppet builders.

I love building puppets. I build my puppets as a hobby and on a tight budget.

Sewing the Fleece or “Making the Skin”


Fleece forms the “skin” of the puppet. Machine sewing the fleece works quite well and the seams can be fluffed up with velcro to hide them later. Many of the “Muppet” and “Sesame Street” puppets are built using Antron fleece. That is the best fleece to use. But it is more expensive and it also needs to be hand dyed.

Since I’m on a budget, I have found Glacier and Blizzard fleece (found at my local Hancock’s or Joann’s) to work pretty good. I prefer not to work with anti-pill fleece, it isn’t quite thick enough. With a heavier weight fleece, it is possible to gently pick the fibers out of the seams to make the seam more invisible.

Felt makes the mouth. You glue the plastic mouth created in Part 2 to the felt with contact cement. Be very careful that the glue doesn’t stain or seep through the felt.

Pull the fleece right side out keeping the mouth inside. Then push the foam skull created in Part 1 up into the puppet. The skull fits well on top of the upper lip of the mouth or you can glue in place before turning right side out.

Part 4 is How to Make Hands to Hold Things