June 23, 2014

3 Little Pig Finger Puppet Tutorial

Several years ago I made the children a set of "Three Little Pig" finger puppets.  We enjoyed it until we lost a little pig puppet.  Knowing the joy puppets bring to Little Sister (age 2 1/2), I decided to make a replacement puppet and take photos of the process to show you in a little tutorial how to make your own finger puppets. 

Can you tell which of the little pigs is new?  Yeah, I like him best, too, after the wolf.  I still remember the fun I had designing the wolf.  I wanted him to be the Big, Bad Wolf...without scaring little children.  (No fangs!)
When you make puppets (of Star Wars peg dolls), be sure to research what the actual animals (or people) look like before copying someone else's puppets.  You'll be glad you did.  I use Google Images to do this.  These "Three Little Pig" finger puppets are my own unique design, but I did look at others for inspiration.  (I made them in 2009, so I don't know which sites inspired me.)

Finger Puppet Tip #1: You can create most animals from a basic n-shaped body.  Add a specific nose and ears to make it look like the animal.


How to Make a Finger Puppet Pig

Materials Needed:

felt in various colors, including pink
embroidery or sewing thread in various colors
scissors
sewing needle

1. Research and sketch what you want your puppet to look like.
2. Cut two rectangles of the pink felt to the same size.  I prefer 2 1/2" x 1 1/2".  You can make them as large as 3 x 1 3/4".
3. Round the two top corners of one rectangle.  You can fold it in half to keep it symmetrical.  Match the second rectangle to the first, and trim two corners to match.
4. Cut two ears in your desired shape.  Begin with a rectangle and create an off-center point as seen in the photo below with the pale pink felt.  Be sure the ears are a little long so you can attach them by sewing.
5. Cut two inner ears.  Begin by cutting a contrasting felt piece in a rectangle the same size as the ear.  Place the outer (pale pink) ear and inner ear together and trim excess contrasting felt so they match.  Once they match, trip a little from the sides.  A little light pink (of the outer ear) should show on all sides except the bottom where it will be attached to the body.  See below.  (Please note...the dark pink is not actually a rectangle...but it's close.)
6. Cut nose.  Consider using the contrasting color you used in the inner ear.  Begin by cutting a small rectangle and then round the corners.
7. Cut out additional details.  For the "Three Little Pigs" story, each pig has a pocket on its belly to hold the building materials it used to build its house.  Each pocket is a different color and shape.

Finger Puppet Tip #2: Use two strands (of the six) when sewing a finger puppet with embroidery floss.

 8. Sew details on the front body of the pig.

  • Sew inner ear to out ear.
  • Add eyes to the front body.  I used a french knot for the older puppets.  I didn't like how they looked, so this time I just used a few tiny stitches.
  • Add nostrils to the nose.  You can use french knots or tiny stitches.
  • Sew nose to front body.
  • Place building material (straw, sticks, or bricks) in the colored pocket.  Stitch around the pocket, taking care to sew on each of the items in the pocket.  

9. Tack the ears in place with a single stitch.  Leave a long beginning and ending tale so it can be removed later.
10. Connect the front and back of the body using stitch of your choice.  The blanket stitch worked well for me.  (Google it if you are not familiar with it.)

How to Make a Big Bad Wolf Finger Puppet

Follow the directions above with a few changes.  Use pointy triangles for ears.  The entire face is a rounded triangle.  Stitch slanted eyes on the face/snout to make the wolf look menacing.  (Take a look at a photograph.  The wolf eyes ARE menacingly slanted.)  To make the face stand out, use black contrasting felt behind the face.  I used black embroidery floss to stitch around the wolf.  I think it makes it look a bit like fur.

Finger Puppet Tip #3: Use better quality felt to make finger puppets last longer.  The 23¢ sheets of felt from Walmart may do the job, but you will find the sheets for a craft store to be of better quality.  For the best quality, purchase felt from a fabric store by the yard (or quarter yard).

Finger Puppet Tip #4: Did you know Amazon sells sets of 10 finger puppets for as little as $3?  Wow!

Finger puppets are time-consuming to make, but they are a great story-telling tool for young children.  What other tools do you suggest for story-telling?

Sign up for weekly or daily emails from This Simple Home.

~ Annette {This Simple Mom}
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, I earn a small percentage at no cost to you. Thank you!

10 comments:

  1. Now I need some little ones to play finger puppets with!..or maybe I'll just have an a dinner party and have them at the table to entertain the guests....too cute Annette!

    ReplyDelete
  2. These are so cute Annette! I think my boys would enjoy making them.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My son would LOVE these!! I need to make these asap. Thanks for the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  4. How adorable is this?! Pinning now!

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's adorable. Annette you always come up with such creative ideas.

    ReplyDelete
  6. These are so cute and creative! What a great project to share with little ones.

    ReplyDelete
  7. So cute and look so easy to make. This would make a great church project for my toddlers.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!