It is that time of year again! The holidays are coming and if you like making Christmas gifts, you are already busy looking for ideas, planning them out and starting your projects.
Each year I like to make a few gifts for both of my kids, as well as my husband and some extended family and friends. I also help my kids to make gifts for teachers and friends. I think that we have more meaning in our homemade gifts and they are received with more meaning. With that said, I have never seen anyone not be happy with a store bought gift too, but you know what I was getting at.
This year, I decided to make some handmade hand puppets for the kids. I wanted each of them to have a holiday puppet as well as a puppet in one of their favorite animals/characters. My daughter will be receiving the fairy and gingerbread boys puppets and my son will receive the cat and snowman puppets. My son will love to use them in his Doorway Puppet Theater that I made him last year.
The supplies can be minimal and they are inexpensive. The most important supply you need is an assortment of colors of felt pieces. They can be purchased for about 25 cents a square at JoAnn’s, Michael’s or Wal-Mart. You will need 2 full size pieces to make the body of the puppet.
All other pieces can be scraps, or even from the 14-pc pack of felt that Dollar Tree has recently started selling. These pieces though are not large enough to make the body of the hand puppet, but are a cheap way to get a a bunch of colors to decorate your puppet with.
You will also need scissors, pins, thread and any other items you would like to use to decorate them. I also used buttons and glitter glue to embellish my puppets.
I planned out my handmade hand puppets my making these crude drawings (maybe some day I will take a drawing class to improve on this skill!) and help make it easier with gathering supplies and cutting out other pieces of felt. Since these are planning drawings, they don’t need to be perfect.
I wanted to say a couple things about felt what makes this an easy fabric to work with. The first is that you do not need to sew any seams if you do not want to. As long as you can cut a straight edge you are fine. Felt does not fray. The second is that it is a very easy fabric to sew on and you can sew by machine or hand very easily.
I wanted to point out that if you are looking for a hand sewn option, look at the gingerbread boy and you can see how I used DMC embroidery floss to hand sew the edges together. I think this type of hand sewing look helps add some handmade character to it.
Below I have added my pattern that I used to make each of these puppets. I made the pattern on an 8.5 x11″ sheet of construction paper. You can download and print the handmade hand puppet pattern to use. This is a basic pattern and it’s all in how you choose to decorate it.
I do want to tell you a couple things about the pattern in case you wanted to make your own. First – the measurements given are of the widest & longest part of the puppet body. Second – the puppet size is for a child or a size S/M women’s glove size. If you hand stitch it, the pattern can fit a size L women’s glove size. If you want to machine stitch the pattern for a size L women’s glove, then cut the fabric 1/2″ outside the drawing to allow for seams.
If sewing isn’t your thing, then try out these paper (no sew) puppets: Shark Paper Bag Puppet and Alligator Puppet, or this 5-Monster Puppet that uses a glove & hot glue.
Mary Jane says
Very nice idea. Your kids will cherish these puppets. Thank you for sharing.
Very cute puppets! I really like the fairy.
Dianna Thomas says
Thank you!! these are cute– an with not much to get Christmas with I know these will be under the tree for Pierce– and I’m sure he will love tham
I hope he likes them! What kind will you make?
Jan Messali says
So cute! I’m glad you mentioned the hand-sewn option. I don’t have a working sewing machine right now. Thanks for sharing this.
michelle gilliland mcafee says
I love the snowman and the kitty. I am not a seamstress but my sister is pretty good. I may have an idea. ha