I’m super excited to be launching my newest pattern, the Chit Chat Puppet! I’ve been interested in making open-mouthed puppets for a long time now and finally got some time to explore them over the summer. I made so many prototypes in an effort to come up with a design that would be adorable, easy to use, and also easy for anyone to make (even if you’ve never sewn something like this before).
I learned so much in the process. First, a puppet like this needs to have a foam skull in order to hold its shape. Fortunately 1/2″ foam is really easy to find at JoAnn Fabrics in the US, Fabricland in Canada, and Fabric.com if you’d like to shop online.
The foam is glued together with rubber cement (sometimes called contact cement), a glue that you can find at the office supply store or the hardware store. You apply the glue to each surface, let it dry, then stick it together. Kinda counterintuitive! If you can’t find rubber cement you can also use a hot glue gun.
Figuring out the hair was a fun challenge. I ended up deciding on a big, fluffy pompom. Leave the strands long, or trim them shorter, depending on the character you’d like to create.
That’s the great thing about a pattern like this. By tweaking the shape of the nose, the position of the eyes, and the shape of the ears you can create totally different types of characters. So many possibilities!
I tried out a lot of different ideas for puppet eyes and ended up with two options. In the pattern I show you how to make plush eyes with fleece. These are super cute and easy to make. But I also wanted to offer the instant gratification of plastic safety eye so I sourced the perfect puppet eyes to go with this pattern. I have these for sale in packs of two pairs so you can make two awesome puppets.
I also show you how to make a rod that you can slide over one of the arms to help your puppet move around (the rod is made from a wire coat hanger with a painted wooden ball on the end).
I think the best part of this whole project was watching my family come into my studio and interact with the puppets as I was making them. Without fail they put them on and began to talk, telling me funny stories and singing songs. I think puppets are kinda irresistible that way.
Want to make one yourself? Get the Chit Chat Puppet Pattern in my shop now.