How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

This tutorial demonstrates the process for sewing and assembling a professional, Muppet-style puppet. If you don’t know how to sew, it’s not hard to learn. If you have access to a machine and a mature individual to teach you, politely insist on lessons. And if you don’t have access to a machine, you can still make this puppet by hand. It will take a little longer but you’ll grow so much during the process.

If you are just joining us, you will want to start with our previous tutorial, ‘How to Make a Puppet: Pattern and Materials for a Gnu’.

Sewing the Head

Let’s begin with the head. Sandwich both pieces with the right-side in, then pin and sew.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu  How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Next, pin and sew the head to the mouth.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Sewing the Body

Now let’s sew the body. The chest piece is an oblong. Line-up the “shoulder” with the top of the back piece, as shown below. Pin the pieces together along this length, then bend the back piece to meet the chest piece and continue pinning to create a straight line.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Repeat the above procedure on the opposite side.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Sewing the Ears

Let’s move on to the ears. Layer the ear pieces on top of one another so that the rights-side are facing inward. Then pin and sew, leaving the flat segment that attaches to the head open.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Then turn the ears inside-out.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

These are great little socks, but they’re not ears yet. To achieve proper ear-effect, hold the ear at its base and slightly fold the top of the ear over to the bottom and pinch it with your fingers. Then pin and sew. Repeat for the opposite side.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu  How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Sew the ears to the head. Insert them into the slit in the top of the head and line up the bottom, flat edge with the edge of the slit, as pictured. Be sure that the white of your ears will face forward. Using a needle and thread, sew the ears to the head.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Assembling the Head

Glue the stiffened felt mouth plate to the mouth foam. You may find it easier to trace the stiffened felt mouth plate on the foam to create a guide for gluing.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Then glue the head to the mouth.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Sewing the Nostrils

While the glue dries, pick your nose. Fold the nostril pieces in half so that the right-side is inside.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Pin the ears and sew, starting from the wider end, about a 2″ seam, leaving an opening at the tapered end.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Turn the nostrils inside-out. You may need to use a stick or pen to help.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Stuff the nostrils.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu    How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Using needle and thread, sew the nostrils closed. You may need to pin the opening closed.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

When the glue is dry, turn the head inside-out.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Attaching the Nostrils

Sewing the nostrils to the head can be tricky. Start by folding the nostril over on itself, as pictured below. Move it about until you are happy, then pin the ends in place.
How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Using needle and thread, sew nostrils to the head.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Sewing and Assembling the Arms

Trace and cut the rod pocket pieces. You will need four pieces.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Set up the arms as pictured below, aligning the flat edge of the “hand” with the a short edge of the arm with the right-side facing inward. Pin and sew the aligned edges.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu  How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Next, fold the arms in half, right-side in.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Position the rod pockets pieces on the outside of the arm so that they are aligned.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Pin the rod pocket pieces to the arm and sew.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Now fold the arm over on itself again, pin it together and sew.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Now stuff the arms, but not too tightly. Leave them a bit loose so they will appear to move naturally.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Attaching the Arms to the Body

Position the arms on the body at the “shoulder”.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Make a point on either side of the arm, marking the top corners.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Cut a slit between the two points.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Repeat on the other side.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Flatten the arms so that the seam is in the center of one side.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Insert the arms into the should slits and pin.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Using needle and thread, sew the arms to the body.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Sewing the Head to the Body

Lay the head and body out as picture. Then insert the head into the body through the neck hole.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Align the edges of the head and the body, then pin and sew.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Turn the puppet inside-out.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Dying and Attaching the Horns

If you used marker to trace the horn patterns, you will want to trim off the ink.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Dye the horns.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

With your strong adhesive, glue the ears to the head, just behind the ears.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Adding Hair

Using a very big needle and yarn, add hair by sewing from the inside of the puppet and pulling the yarn out. Tie a knot in the end of each piece of yarn to prevent it from pulling out.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Adding Glasses

If you want to, bend the wire into a glasses.

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu

Your puppet is finished! Now go start an educational web series.

About the Author

How to Make a Puppet: Sewing and Assembling a Gnu was posted by on . Jared is one half of the creative force behind Dototot. In addition to writing scripts and tutorials, he draws and animates both the digital and the analog.

Discuss this article in the Comments below, or and it with your friends. Learn more about our creative process by subscribing to the New Moon Newsletter .

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Join the discussion
  • Louis-Philippe Breton

    Well made tutorial, excellent picture quality, it shows that you’ve put a lot of work on it, thanks for sharing!

  • Thanks! Be sure to check out our other puppet tutorials, too.

  • Louis-Philippe Breton

    Sure, I did and I can tell you that all of your tutorial are extremely well done. Here’s two suggestions for future tutorials maybe:
    -How to bring a puppet to life, from an idea or drawing to the design of the pattern
    -How to take quality tutorial pictures (well lit without shadows) like to ones in you Puppet tutorials.

    I also want to thank you for your generosity, the fact that you and your brother spent all this time writing these tutorials, doing kickass puppets and filming top notch videos for the common good and with pure altruism is quite a feat that deserves a mention!

  • Thanks for the suggestions. As it happens, we’re planning tutorials on both those topics. Stay tuned!

    Thanks again for your kind words. Cheers!

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