Making People puppets

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Dylan came home on Friday with more homework (god, I miss summer) anyways, his homework this weekend was to make a puppet of the person he wrote his speech about, the basketball player, Yao Ming. Now tell, me how would you go about doing this???
We decided that it would be easiest to use a picture, and print it out onto fabric, then iron it on…
So, step number one was to find a picture of Yao Ming standing up straight, with his arms to his side. Well, let me tell you that finding a picture of 7 foot 5 inch basketball player from head to toe standing up straight is almost impossible! So, we ended up using three different pictures, and cut and pasted them together on an app called, “pic collage” on my iPad.

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We made his head a little bigger to make it look a little animated. Then I thought, since we are going one puppet, we might as well make three. So I took photos of the kids and made their heads a little bigger on the “pic collage” app.

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Apparently, according to Pinterest, the easiest way to get photos onto fabric is to use a photo transfer paper you can buy at Walmart, or michaels. You have to buy this special transfer or iron on paper and then print out your pictures onto the paper using an inkjet printer. Apparently a lazer printer or photocopier will not work because they get too hot and will melt inside the printer.

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After the figures were printed onto the transfer paper, We cut out all three puppets, as close to the outline as we could..

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Then, we placed the picture side down on a piece of plain white cotton fabric, and ironed for about 30-45 seconds…

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We did Dylan’s first, and learned that you should wait until it has totally cooled before you try to peel the paper off. If you try to peel it off before it has cooled, you will peel part of the transfer off too, and it will look blotchy, so wait until it has cooled!

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So, here was the tough part…I was planning on sewing around Yao and leaving the legs open at the bottom enough to fit Dylan’s hand in. But, I realized that the arms are pointed downwards. So, we had to adjust our design and cut the puppet so that the opening would be at the top. If I was going to try to make another puppet like this, i would angle the arms up next time.
But because we had already gotten this far, we decided to work with what we had. We measured to see if an opening at the head would work…

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The next step was to sew around the perimeter. I actually found a plain white knitted cotton that had a bit of stretch to use on the back. I thought this would make it easier to get the puppet on and off. I put the right sides of the fabric together before sewing. Dylan and Sam decided that they just wanted themselves stuffed, so we didn’t have to worry about an opening for theirs. (I did leave a couple inches open at the side to use to turn it back right side out, and to stuff it) After sewing around the perimeter, I made little snips towards all of the seams. This helps make a smoother curve when you turn it right side out.

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Then we turned them right side out, and then the kids had to stuff themselves…

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Then, I hand stitched the openings closed. Here are the children finished…

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And here is Yao, ready for the big show…

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