How to make finger puppets at home

How to make finger puppets at home

The easiest way to make finger puppets is to find some old gloves. If you don’t have any at home, try rummaging around in thrift stores or garage sales. Work gloves, gardening gloves, dress gloves or winter gloves will do nicely, even if they are too large for the child. Take your old gloves and snip off the fingers at the base instant finger puppet bodies!

Some other materials you can use to make finger puppets are old film canisters or pill bottles (take off the top and turn them upside-down), small, rolled-up paper tubes that are taped closed, and, for small children, large, round pasta, such as ziti or rigatoni.

Now that your finger puppets have bodies, you will probably want to give them more pronounced features and dress them up. A great way to work on them is to slip them over the end of a dowel. The wood will fill them out so that it is easy to press items onto them with glue, without them collapsing. It also makes them easy to hold up as you are working on them. You can even set the dowel between your knees to hold it up if you need both hands. Wrap wax paper or parchment around the dowel first when working on glove finger tips, so that if any glue bleeds through the fabric it won’t make the puppet stick to the dowel.

There are tons of craft materials you probably have lying around the house you can use to bring your little finger puppets to life. With a few markers, your child can make some wonderful faces and designs on the puppet.

Try gluing beads, small stones, or small beans to make features. Cotton works well for hair, beards or fur. Cut out scraps of felt or material to make little outfits for your finger puppets. Pipe cleaners can be wrapped around them and arranged to make arms, legs or antennae. A bag of feathers is great for decorating heads or making bird wings and tails. A bit of yarn glued onto a puppet can make a smiling mouth or bows, or bunched up can make a head of flowing hair.

Want a hat for your finger puppet? Try bottle caps. Another great way to make decorative hats for finger puppets is to place some styrofoam drinking cups upside-down on a cookie sheet covered with a piece of parchment paper. Place them in the oven on a low setting (about 150 to 200 degrees) and keep an eye on them. Within 15 or 20 minutes, the styrofoam will begin to shrink and shrivel. When the cups come out, they will look like small hats. Allow them to cool completely before touching. When cool, they will harden and be almost like plastic. Let the children paint and decorate them before putting them onto the finger puppet.

If your child becomes a serious finger puppeteer, you may want to take a visit to your local arts and craft store and browse the isle where doll and puppet craft supplies are housed for some googly eyes or silky hair.

When you are done with your puppet designing, leave the finger puppet on the dowel to dry. Stand it up in a sturdy cup, jar or vase and come back when the glue is completely dry. Your little finger puppets will be ready to put on a great show.

When you are done

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