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How Do I Make Finger Puppets?

Finger puppets may be made out of space pieces of fabric.
Finger puppets are an inexpensive craft project for both children and adults.
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  • Written By: Alex Tree
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2014
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Making finger puppets is a simple and inexpensive craft project for children and adults alike. These toys can be crafted from colorful paper or felt, clean socks, or other materials around the house. Once the base is formed, finger puppets can be decorated with drawings, pieces of felt or paper, or thread. Generally, decoration involves either sewing, gluing on pieces, or directly drawing on the puppet base. Making a finger puppet also usually requires scissors, so children should be monitored and assisted during the project.

Some people make custom hand puppets based on their own imagination, but others get ideas from books or websites. If you find yourself with little idea of what to make, there are templates for both felt and paper hand puppets around the web. Remember that you are not limited to humans and animals; flowers, inanimate household objects, and celestial bodies can also be characters in a finger puppet story.

First, decide what materials the hand puppets will be crafted from and gather them up. You will also need scissors, needle and thread or glue, and accessories to decorate the base with. Regular glue is unreliable when working with felt finger puppets. Tacky glue can be substituted with hot glue, but this is not necessary and can be expensive if you do not already own a hot glue gun. If working from a template found on the Internet, print it and keep it nearby.

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The second step is to make a base for your puppet. Take two pieces of paper or felt and glue or sew them together, leaving enough room to fit a finger inside. If you are creating a felt finger puppet, turn the newly crafted base inside out to hide the seam. For sock finger puppets, a small children’s sock is needed. You can tie off the tip of the sock with a rubber band to create a head or leave it as is to keep things simple.

Once the base is finished, it is time to decorate your finger puppet. You can stitch, draw, or glue on the face and hair of a finger puppet. Some people even purchase pre-made accessories like googly eyes, felt mouths, or animal parts. If using glue, give the finger puppet time to dry before playing with it. Finally, fit the puppet on your finger and determine if any final additions should be made before putting away the leftover crafting materials.

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Mae82
Post 7

Does anyone know some great finger puppets for toddlers? Any characters or animals you would recommend?

I am looking for puppets that would really appeal to a little girl who is 3 years old, as my niece is really big into puppets right now and I just bought her a book on how to make finger puppets that she loves. The book mostly covers things like fairytale characters so I would really like to branch out a bit for her.

Also, has anyone had experience with taking a child to a art workshop? There are some workshops going on in town that focus on things like making puppets which may be fun.

Sara007
Post 6

My kids have their own finger puppet theatre that they made and they love nothing more than putting on shows for the family. We actually all learned to make knitted finger puppets together after my mother suggested the idea to us.

You can actually buy simple pattern books that are filled with finger puppet patterns. You can knit pretty much anything imaginable once you are handy enough with the needles.

My kids now have monster finger puppets, animal finger puppets, and a huge array of finger puppets modeled after their favorite cartoon characters. Creativity is pretty much our only limit.

summing
Post 5

I like to make finger puppets out of the little boxes that raisins come in. You can just paint them white or cover them with white paper and then you have a blank canvas to make any kind of character that you would like.

Honestly, these don't work so well for adults. A lot of grown up fingers don't fit very well into the little raisin boxes. But they work great for kids and they are so easy and inexpensive that you can make lots of them.

lighth0se33
Post 4

I like to give my finger puppets texture. I have used sequins, sand, and even candy sprinkles to create clothes for the puppets, and my kids love it.

I used an old blue sock to make the body of a girl, and I glued blue sequins on in the shape of an evening gown with a V-neckline. I even made her a blond wig out of hair that I saved from when my daughter had four inches cut off of her hair. This puppet is special to her.

Another puppet has khaki pants made from sand and a colorful shirt made of sprinkles. His wig is made from my son's hair, so this is his favorite.

One of my friends told me it was weird to use my kids' hair on puppets. I disagree with her. I think that it's a good way to recycle it and make it into something they treasure.

shell4life
Post 3

@OeKc05 – I'm into recycling things around the house to make finger puppets, too. Anytime I have hooks, buttons, or zippers break, I use them on my finger puppets.

I have two toddlers that are very entertained by my finger puppet theater, so I like to make new ones from time to time to keep things interesting. I have a roll of fabric that I use to make the base, and I tie a rubber band around it where the tip of my finger ends to make a head, which I stuff with cotton.

Because I only use what I already have on hand, I have some puppets with zipper mouths, some with hook eyes, and others with button noses. I make them colorful by using egg dye to stain the fabric, and if necessary, I will paint the plastic or metal parts to match.

wavy58
Post 2

I teach an after school art class for elementary school students whose parents can't pick them up until after work, and I always incorporate finger puppets into the program. In October, we make Halloween finger puppets from canvas.

I like using canvas, because you can wiggle it around easily. Also, it is meant to be painted on, so that works out great.

I showed the students how to make a candy corn finger puppet by painting stripes of white, orange, and yellow on the canvas. Ghost puppets are even easier – we just leave the canvas blank!

Of course, we add eyes and other facial features to animate them. The kids love it because it's something so easy, even they can do it.

OeKc05
Post 1

I have tried making paper finger puppets before, but I always ended up with paper cuts. I prefer to stick to soft material.

Whenever dishcloths or washrags wear out, I keep them to use in arts and crafts projects. I had a soft microfiber one that started to get holes in it, so I turned it into a finger puppet.

It was red, so I decided to make a shrimp puppet. I glued on two tiny white breath mints for eyes, and I used black twist ties for antennae. I painted lines around its body to correspond with the joints in my fingers, so when I bent the puppet, it would look like its own joints were bending.

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