Theatre props: Let’ssss make a Snake!

You got to love having theatre friends. I got a text from my friend M the other day, saying “Hey! We need a puppet snake in a vase on a stick… Can you help?”

Well, of course! So this morning I whipped up a little snake pal from odds and ends I had lying around my studio. It’s pretty nifty being able to create on the fly because I have all my supplies in one space. (Which looks like a hurricane has gone through recently, but you’ll have that in a working space! All I’m saying is don’t judge me by my messy working conditions. I know where everything is!)

So, to start, assemble the snake materials needed…

I had a leftover styrofoam egg from another project, as well as miscellaneous green fabric and tool. The khaki fabric I used was actually recycled from my fat pants. They no longer fit, so I washed them up, cut them off just above the knee, and cut the seams open. Ta-DAH! Reduce, reuse, recycle, folks!

I started by covering the top half of the egg with the green fabric. (I had cut a large square and started in a corner to cover the head.) I tacked the fabric to the egg with hot glue in a few places, but mostly secured it by pushing the fabric into the egg with an end of a spoon.


So after the head was covered…


I started working on the underside of the head and belly. This is the general shape I began with for the belly. Don’t worry that it looks big. We’ll trim it later.


Then drew out a basic outline of the snake belly with a tan marker on the tabs fabric.


I added a little more definition to the belly with Zentangles.


And then finished it up with some shading.


Now we need to attach the belly to the head. I used the same technique as attaching the green to the head. After attaching, I began trimming the excess fabric away.


All that’s left now is to attach some eyes and connect the tan and green pieces with some hot glue. Since this is a theatre prop that is in about 30 seconds of one scene for one show, hot gluing the seams will work fine. If it was being used in a more close up venue, I would have sewn the seams.


Attach the eyes with hot glue, do some artistic folding of the green to make a cobra good, and insert a stick into the styrofoam to hold up the head, and you’re good to go!


Photos! Latest Puppet Creations

For those of you who were worried I’m abandoning my puppets in favor of knitting, fear not! This Christmas I was a busy elf in many respects, which included not only baking and knitting but also major acts of puppeting. Seven custom puppets for seven adorable kids. 🙂 Enjoy!

First up, for K, the greatest 10 year old girl Baltimore Ravens fan that lives in North Carolina…


Not to be outdone, puppet #2 was requested for C, Ohio’s answer to the Ravens biggest 10-yr-old boy fan. He told me his puppet’s name is Rookie Monster. Love it!


Numbers 3 and 4 were requested for a family with two younger children, and they didn’t have any specific character requests. Just “something fun” for the girl and a furry blue pal for the boy 🙂



Next, my favorite “almost 8 year old” little girl M requested a puppet that would be friends with her well loved Kermit doll. As she and her parents are huge Florida Gators fans, a frog-inspired Gators cheerleader was in order!


And. Last but not least, (and I say that because I got these puppets finished and to Santa at 7:00 pm on Christmas Eve!) we have two awesome characters for two awesome guys who’s mama writes one of my favorite blogs on here, jeandayfriday. The older boy was extremely specific and asked for the blue Pikmin (which I had to research because I had no idea what he was talking about!), and the younger guy just wanted something in his school colors of red and gray. Here’s the results!


As usual, my base patterns came from Project Puppet. I cannot stress enough how amazing their patterns are! For all the football puppets, their jerseys/uniforms came courtesy of Build-a-Bear. While making puppet clothes is totally possible, the convenience of buying them pre-made is a lifesaver at crunch time! (If you just need a simple shirt for a puppet, try using 0-6 month baby clothes! Check out your local thrift store for great deals. I once found a baby tuxedo for $2: what a snazzy puppet that made!)

More tips and tricks to come! Stay tuned!

Welcome Back!

Hello, fellow readers! So sorry for the long time away, but hopefully with a new semester of classes and teaching starting, I’ll have some more wonderful posts for you!

Just wanted to share a few photos of the wonderful fur I’ve ordered from Mendel’s in California.  They are the only supplier I use to buy my puppet fur, because they are AMAZING! I have been beyond thrilled with their customer service, their quality of materials and shipping, and their vast inventory of fur textures, colors and patterns.  Plus they do so much more than just fur!! Go to their website and check it out. You won’t regret it. PLUS from now until September 5, 2012, everything in your order is 25% off!  WOOHOO!! 🙂

I ordered these furs for my advanced puppet class this fall.  They use them with the Mostro pattern from Project  The results are wonderful! (and hopefully I’ll be able to upload photos of their creations this summer as well in the next few weeks!) Again, this is the only supplier I use for my patterns, as they are wonderfully designed, easy to follow, and practically foolproof!! (To date, I’ve used all their patterns in the monster and simple series, with students aged 7 to 17, and no one has failed to finish a puppet yet!)

Enjoy the photos below, and check back soon for more updates!

Monster Hair Plug fur – lime green base with teal “plugs”

Monster Hair Plug fur – teal base with green “plugs”

Monster Hair Plug fur — Orange base, pink “plugs”