Making a Christmas Puppet

MAKING A CHRISTMAS PUPPET

You will need:

a long broom stick

2 plastic coat hangers

kapok (padding)

a large dishcloth (dyed pink, brown or peach)

string

sticky tape

a pair of rubber gloves and a few strips of cloth

(same colour as the dishcloth)

one long tube of sponge (as used for pipe insulation)

extra strong nylon thread and darning needle.

2 small polystyrene balls (with small holes drilled through)

sequins, wig, an old Nativity costume etc.

Method:

1 Wrap kapok around the top 25 cm of a broom stick and secure with string and tape,

taking care to put extra padding at the very tip, in case the stick should push through.

2 Open the dishcloth at one end where the stitching is, turn it inside out and pull it over

the kapok to make the puppet's head. Tie string firmly around the dishcloth where it

meets the neck.

A couple of cms below the neck string, tie the 2 coat hangers onto the broomstick, back

and front, for the shoulders. Then cut the sponge tube in two, and fasten along the

top of the hangers, again with string and sticky tape, so they look like two arms.

Stuff the rubber gloves with kapok, and pull them onto the end of the arms. Again secure them with tape or string, and conceal the string with strips of coloured cloth.

Push a threaded needle in through the back of the puppet's head, until it comes

out through the front. Send it through a polystyrene ball, and then take it out through to

the back again. Secure it. Cut the thread, and repeat for the other eye. When both eyeballs

are in place, glue a sequin in the centre of each eye. False eyelashes can be added for

effect.

The threaded needle can be sent through the back of the head again to the front, to make the mouth and nose, only this time make a loop of running stitches on the face where the mouth and nose are to be, and pull into shape, again fastening off at the back once the needle returns.

The kapok from the head will need to be teased into the new nose shaped pocket.

All that remains now is to have fun dressing the puppet in last year's Nativity costume. Use

a wig or head-dress to hide the stitches behind the head, and add little extras. A wise man

will need rich clothing and jewellery, angels- tinsel hair, Herod -dreadlocks, moustache,

cloak and sword etc.,

Tie one of the puppet's arms into a set position. The puppeteer will hold the stick beneath the costume, and work the moving arm to wave, or beckon, or draw a sword from its sheath etc.,

Watch your Christmas Story come to life. The children will be fascinated.

To view some of these puppets see the 'Christmas Story Project ' pictures on my website. ( www. sheilahamil.co. uk )