How to Make a Muppet Style Puppet


You can make your own muppet-style puppet like the lovable characters that star on the Muppets Show and Sesame Street. A muppet-style puppet has a big foam head and a movable mouth, that opens and closes to look like it’s talking. You can create your own muppet-style puppet with some foam, fleece, felt, and glue. Soon you’ll be putting on your own Muppet show!

Part 1
Sewing the Head and the Body

Sewing the Head and the Body on How to Make a Muppet Style Puppet

1
46 meter) of fleece in half. Choose the color of fleece that you want your puppet body to be. Don’t worry about choosing a “realistic” skin color. Your puppet can be green, purple, or any other color you want![1] You can buy fleece of all different colors and patterns at your local fabric store, or online. Avoid getting “minky” fleece. Although it’s very soft, it’s trickier to sew and cut, because it is so fluffy.

Sewing the Head and the Body on How to Make a Muppet Style Puppet

2
ly/puppetpattern and cut it out. There are many puppet patterns online, but we’ll follow this one for the rest of the steps. You can print the pattern on ordinary printer paper, and cut it out thoroughly with scissors.[2]

Sewing the Head and the Body on How to Make a Muppet Style Puppet

3
Place the pattern on top of your folded fleece, close to the edge, to save fabric. Trace around the pattern in chalk. The pattern will look like a long rectangle for the neck, and a circle for the head with a triangle cut out for the open mouth. Make sure to trace the 2 little triangles going into the top of the head. [3] The little triangles in the top of the head are called darts. They should be about 1 inch (2.5cm) in height. They will help you make the head 3-dimensional later.

Sewing the Head and the Body on How to Make a Muppet Style Puppet

4
Sew with a simple running stitch through both layers of fleece, all along both sides of the neck and around the head. Skip the mouth, the darts, and the bottom of the neck. When you get to a part that you have to skip, tie off your thread, if you’re hand sewing, or run the needle back and forth a few times if you’re using the sewing machine. Then cut your thread, move over to the new place you want to sew, and start again.[4] Your hand will go in the bottom of the neck to control the puppet, so you definitely don’t want to sew it closed! It is easiest to use a sewing machine, but if you don’t have access to one, you can hand sew.

Sewing the Head and the Body on How to Make a Muppet Style Puppet

5
Don’t cut right next to your stitches. Leave a tiny rim around your stitches to make sure you don’t accidentally cut them. Do cut directly on your chalk line for the mouth, so that you can get access to the interior of the head. Also cut directly on the chalk line for the darts.[5]

Sewing the Head and the Body on How to Make a Muppet Style Puppet

6
Pick up your puppet and fold it so that the darts are not triangles but a straight line connecting the back and front of the puppet. Use a sewing machine or hand sew the two edges of each dart together. Now the puppet head will be a spherical shape.[6]

Sewing the Head and the Body on How to Make a Muppet Style Puppet

7
Now your puppet will have clean, invisible seams. All that’s left is to add a mouth plate, and decorate!

Part 2
Making the Mouth

Making the Mouth on How to Make a Muppet Style Puppet

1
Trace the biggest oval that can fit onto a 9 inch by 12 inch (23 cm by 30 cm) piece of cardboard. Position it so that if you draw a line across the short direction of the oval, that’s the same direction the cardboard is corrugated. This will help you fold a hinge in the middle of the oval so that the mouth can open and close.[7]

Making the Mouth on How to Make a Muppet Style Puppet

2
Place the rectangle of cardboard on a scratch-proof surface, like a cutting board. Hold the cardboard with one hand, and with the other, cut around the circle with a utility knife. Always cut in the direction away from your body, to avoid accidentally cutting yourself. The sharper the blade, the easier it will be to cut through the cardboard.[8] It’s possible to cut cardboard with scissors, but you’ll need heavy-duty cardboard scissors, not the ones you use for fabric or paper.[9]

Making the Mouth on How to Make a Muppet Style Puppet

3
You can lightly score the cardboard with scissors or a knife to help you fold it. Make sure you don’t cut all the way through the cardboard. The two halves of the oval should still be connected. You just want the mouth to be able to open and close.[10]

Making the Mouth on How to Make a Muppet Style Puppet

4
Apply hot glue to the cardboard and glue black felt to one side of the cardboard mouth. Fold over the edges of the felt and glue them to the back side of the cardboard so that the edges of the mouth are smooth and covered in fabric.[11] If you like, you can cut a tongue shape out of red felt and glue it on the middle of the bottom half of your mouth.

Making the Mouth on How to Make a Muppet Style Puppet

5
Put your non-dominant hand inside the puppet and, from the inside, hold the cardboard mouth in place in the mouth opening. Use your dominant hand to squeeze a line of hot glue onto the edges of the cardboard and glue it to the fleece.[12] If you’re a kid, get help from an adult with the hot glue, because it can burn your fingers. Make sure to keep all of the glue inside the puppet.[13]

Part 3
Adding Facial Features, Arms, and Hair

Adding Facial Features, Arms, and Hair on How to Make a Muppet Style Puppet

1
Cut a circle of modeling foam just a bit smaller in diameter as your puppet’s head. Cut out a triangle in the modeling foam, and then use hot glue to glue the edges of the triangle together, so that the modeling foam bunches up into the shape of the crown of a head. Insert the modeling foam into the puppet head to make the head more rigid.[14] Alternatively, you could stuff your puppet head with cotton stuffing, but then you have to make sure you leave room to put your hand in to control the puppet.

Adding Facial Features, Arms, and Hair on How to Make a Muppet Style Puppet

2
Take a rectangle of felt of about 10 inches by 5 inches (25 cm by 12 cm) and roll it lengthwise into a cylinder. Sew it closed along the long side and one short side. Repeat this with a second cylinder. Stuff both cylinders with cotton stuffing, and sew them closed on the other short side. Now you have 2 arms you can sew onto your puppet![15] You can decide how long and thick you want the arms to be, these are just suggestions.

Adding Facial Features, Arms, and Hair on How to Make a Muppet Style Puppet

3
Cut circles of colored felt, about 1 inch (2.5cm) in diameter, and glue them onto your puppet for eyes. If you want the eyes to be bigger or smaller, it’s up to you. You can use a permanent marker to draw details on the eyes, and other details on the face, like eyebrows.[16] If you want your puppet to be an animal, you can draw on whiskers, and sew on some ears.

Adding Facial Features, Arms, and Hair on How to Make a Muppet Style Puppet

4
Either way will give your puppet a cute nose! If you choose to glue on a pom pom nose, use hot glue to make sure it sticks.[17]

Adding Facial Features, Arms, and Hair on How to Make a Muppet Style Puppet

5
If you want your puppet to wear an outfit, you can try dressing it up in doll clothes. If those don’t fit right, you can sew clothes for your puppet on the sewing machine, or just use a permanent marker to draw pretend clothes on your puppet.[18] You can also glue or sew buttons down the puppet’s body to make it look like your puppet is wearing a button-down shirt.

Adding Facial Features, Arms, and Hair on How to Make a Muppet Style Puppet

6
If you want to give your puppet a head of long hair, lay yarn across the head and sew it onto the puppet. Sew the yarn down the middle of the head, where the part of the hair would be.[19] If you want to make a mostly bald puppet, with a few tufts of white hair, then just glue on some cotton fluff! If you don’t want to give your puppet hair, you could put on a hat! Buy or knit a baby beanie hat and put it on your puppet.