Puppetry Tech Notes


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Sunday, July 07, 2002


Technote: SokSekrets

Sok Puppet Sekrets


Since Soks, the dot.com puppet is back at work, there's a renewed interest in this type of hand puppet. Most people view them as trivial and even demeaning, but sock puppets can be very versatile for comic creations.

1) Start with washed socks. New out of the package don't stretch well. Holes in the toes can be a problem; worn heels are easier to disguise.

2) There are plans around involving too much cutting and sewing. Don't start with these. Put on the sock with the heel on the back of your wrist. Make a "mouth" with your thumb and fingers and push the toe in to your palm. That's your basic puppet. The next step is to make things more convenient. Mark the spot on the toe in the cener of the mouth.

3) Get a strip of wide elastic (which can come off discarded clean underwear) and make a loop the size of you wrist. Sewing is best; safety pins will work.

4) Turn the sock inside out and locate the mark from step #2. Fasten the loop to this point on the inside of the sock, Sewing works best, etc.

5) Put your wrist through the loop and turn the sock right side out over your hand with the heel on top. The loop pulls the mouth into place.

6) You may want to reinforce the attachment of the loop by sewing an extra scrap of cloth inside the mouth to the loop of elastic. Some people have used "scrunchies" for these loops.

7) Now make a cardboard pattern of the inside of the mouth that will serve to shape it. The lower jaw can be pointed or rounded; the upper follows the curve of the fingers. The center fold goes against the palm of the hand.

8) Transfer the pattern to stiffened fabric; craft store felt, upolstery scrap,
or glue-sized heavy cloth. Cut it out oversized and trim to fit.

9) Baste this fabric to the sock inside the mouth using a running stitch. Acrylic "wool" works well. Fabric glue, such as Sobo, can also be applied sparingly to the side of the mouth against the sock. Stuff the sock with paper before doing so and wait for the glue to dry before sewing the mouth.
Also try using "mendingweb" iron in-adhesive

10) Roll up some cloth - like a really worn sock and stuff it inside in the heel region to support the eyes. Fasten in place from the outside using safety pins - carefully.

11) Take off the puppet again and turn inside out. Baste the cloth roll in place. Embroidery floss works better than thread, incidentally. Turn back, remove pins.

12) Now fasten eyes against the head bump. Craft-store "google" eyes, salvaged stuffed animal peepers, sections from ping-pong balls, even buttons. Sewing's best; hot-glue works. Ears - either flopping down or sticking up - can be fastened to the bump. Or various hair treatments. Collars, bows, ties, etc. will define the neck.

Email:Will Stackman

posted by will
5:32 PM

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