I'm a puppet maker with a degree in theatre. A former lighting techie, stage manager and producer. And I like to think that with puppetry, the only limit is your imagination. More...
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As mentioned in my short post about what materials to use when making a puppet, there’s no hard and fast rules as to what to use when building a puppet. However, there are some materials that are particularly favoured by puppet makers.
Finger puppets are most often made using felt - usually sheets of felt, although puppet makers like StaceyRebecca (aka Stacey Gordon) use what is known as felting or wefting wool to ’sew’ together finger puppets. Otherwise, some type of cloth material is used for finger puppets; some I’ve seen have used cotton lining and fleece for the outside; others have just cotton as the material. Crochet designs with wool can also be used and is a favourite of parents or hobbyists; and there are plenty of paper finger puppets to make as well (particularly with the rise of fantastic Japanese-style patterns that make 3D puppets).
As for materials for decoration, facial features, accessories, and so on, materials vary. Anything and everything goes: you can use thick cotton thread to create eyes, or glue circles of felt on, use sequins, feathers… whatever you have, you can use! I’ve even used paint to create realistic planet atmospheres for my finger puppet planets. Puppet eyes and noses are discussed in more detail here [link to be added].
Hey, you can even just cut the fingers off an old glove, decorate them, and have a play!
As you can see, the options are pretty limitless on this one.
History of these puppets is discussed here, how to make one of these puppets is explained here and here; free finger puppet patterns are listed here; how long does it take to make one is explained here. [links to be added]
Australians may want to buy locally. Where? I explain here.