How to Build a Custom Puppet – Part 6

This is part 6 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.

How to Make a Foam Torso

A Torso for all Types

The puppet “body” from Project Puppet patterns is made from fleece. I wanted a firmer body or chest for a puppet that I was building. I also wanted something firmer than the fleece so that my puppet’s clothes wouldn’t fall off. I’ve also sewn a dollar store bra onto a torso to give it a fuller shape. That is how I created the shape for Tempest Du Jour.

There’s an awesome free pattern for a torso created by Puppet Lady. I do a few alterations to it to make my torsos.

Cut the torso pattern out of foam. Glue together with contact cement.

Cut and sew the fleece cover. Pull it over the foam torso and hot glue the fleece around the neck and bottom of the torso to secure the fleece.

Sew the neck of the puppet head to the neck hole of the torso to secure the head. Hand sew the arms to the shoulders of the torso. Now the puppet is taking shape.

Support Your Local Recycled Clothing Stores

What I love about this torso is that it is a child size 3. Which means you can buy clothing off the rack to dress your puppet! Depending on the manufacturer and cut of the clothing, I’ve purchased size 18 months up to toddler size 4 years clothing. I’m continually shopping at second hand and thrift stores looking for appropriate kid’s clothes that just might work for a puppet.

Part 7 covers Facial Features.