Easy Sewing: Finger Puppet Pattern Shapes

Ideas and shapes for easy-to-sew finger puppets.

Finger puppets are fun and easy to make. Either create them for your children or make them together for a family craft project.

BASIC PUPPET SHAPE

You can make nearly any type of animal or person finger puppet using a basic finger shape as the base for your puppet.

1. Cut two pieces of fabric into rectangles the length of your finger plus one inch and three times the width of your finger. Fabric cut to 4 inches by 3 inches will make a puppet that fits most adults.

2. Turn the fabric over ½ an inch at one of the short ends of one of the fabric pieces and hem it. Repeat with the second piece of fabric.

3. Place the right sides of the fabric together, aligning all of the edges and placing the two hemmed edges against one another. Sew the three unhemmed sides of the two pieces together, leaving the hemmed edge unstitched. At the corners of the fabric, curve the stitching so there is a smooth arc instead of a sharp corner. Reinforce the stitches at each end.

4. Turn your basic puppet shape wrong side out.

Note: as alternatives, snip the fingers off of some old gloves and hem them to use as the puppet bases, or use felt and fabric glue for a no-sew option.



PUPPET VARIATIONS

You can make nearly any puppet you can imagine using the basic finger shape as a puppet base and scraps of cloth, felt, chenille stems, coated wire, buttons and other craft supplies. Here are a few favorites:

Caterpillar puppet:

Start with a green or yellow finger puppet base. Attach 6 thin strips of felt or short pieces of chenille stem to make legs up the caterpillar's body. Craft wire or chenille stem can be used to make antennae. For eyes use small buttons, googly eyes or make eyes from black and white felt circles.

Butterfly puppet:

Start with a white, green or yellow finger puppet base. Use two toile circles to create the wings. Fold each toile circle in half, then in quarters to make a wedge. Sew or glue the point of the wedge one third of the way up the base. To make antennae, attach small pieces of craft wire or chenille stem to the top of the base. For eyes use small buttons, googly eyes or make eyes from black and white felt circles.

Lion puppet:

Start with a yellow or gold puppet base. Cut a two-inch circle from yellow or gold felt. Attach snips of orange yarn or thin strips of felt to the outer edge of the circle to create a mane. Use a triangle of felt for the lion's nose, two triangles for the ears and small buttons for the eyes. Cut four oblongs with curved corners of approximately two inches by one half inch. Attach these for the lion's legs. For a tail, attach a three-inch piece of yarn or thin strip of felt with a pom-pom at the end.

Little girl puppet:

Start with a puppet base of any skin tone you like. For long hair, glue a half inch wide by three inch long strip of felt to the top of the puppet's head. Add small bows as ornaments. Draw a face on the puppet with small tipped permanent markers or embroider eyes, nose and mouth onto your little girl. Cut two oblongs with curved corners of approximately one and a half inch by one half inch and attach them to the sides of the base for her arms.

For her dress, cut two four-inch triangles of brightly colored felt. Clip one corner off of the triangles; this will be the neck of the dress. Attach the triangles to the puppet base at the neck and to each other at the sides, leaving the arms sticking out and the base open.

Bear puppet

Attach small curved pieces of felt to the top of the puppet base for the bear's ears. Embroider eyes, nose and a mouth for a puppet face. Cut four oblongs with curved corners of approximately one and a half inches by one half inch and them as the bears arms and legs. Tie a small ribbon bow around the bear's neck.

PUPPET FUN

Use different combinations of the puppets to perform your own stories or classic fairy tales. For example, with one little girl puppet and three bear puppets, you have the makings of a "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" puppet show! A cardboard box can easily be converted into a puppet stage to complete your performance.

© High Speed Ventures 2011