Halloween Pop-Up Cone Puppet Tutorial

After finishing up my witch doll cone puppet over the weekend, the girls were eager to make their own.

Guess what we did yesterday after school?

Here is what you'll need for this simple, fun, seasonal project:
- Paper mache cones - I found the ones we used in the Christmas section at Michael's. If you can't find the paper mache kind (don't forget to check online!), you can make your own out of poster-board.
- Wooden dowel sticks
- Styrofoam balls or wooden balls - These are for the heads. You can also make a Waldorf or cloth doll head (like I used for my puppet), or even just some stuffing, depending on the type of puppet you're making.
- White/black/green socks or tights (or orange if you're making a pumpkin!) - This is a great project for those lone socks you may have laying around. Or for tights that have a hole or snag. Just make sure the socks are large enough. Adult socks work best. FYI, we used child-sized white tights for the ghost(s) below.
- Various craft supplies/Halloween decorations - You name it...paint, pom-pom trims, ribbons, stickers, felt, glitter, etc.

Here is some of what we had on hand (minus the socks/tights and paints).

And here is what we did...
1. Saw off the end of the cone(s) to make a snug opening for the dowel and decorate! My girls wanted to paint their cones. You/your child could also use paper, fabric**, felt...whatever you'd like!

2. Glue dowel stick into Styrofoam head. If you and your child are using a wooden head, paint it first (I'll explain why below***). In the picture below, my daughter is using the dowel to hold the wooden head...nothing has been glued yet.

For the ghost and cat:
3. Cover the head with the sock (we used old white tights for the ghost(s) and a stray black sock for the cat) and tie/secure around neck.

For the witch***:
3. Insert wooden dowel into black sock and then glue to the wooden head. Make sure the hole drilled into the wooden head is large enough for the sock and dowel.

Once the glue has set, for all three puppets:
4. Fit the sock around the top of the cone, deciding on the approximate height of the puppet when fully extended. Cut the sock so that 3/4 - 1 inch remains below the top of the cone.

5. Glue the bottom edge of the sock to the upper outside ridge of the cone.

6. Glue a trim around the upper edge of the cone to partially hide the edge of the sock.

7. Keep on decorating!

8. Add faces and features! Eyes. Ears. Hair. A witch's hat. My girls helped each other with this part. Mainly, my oldest daughter helped the other two.

And there you go!

**Earlier in the day, I made this ghost pop-up cone puppet with my youngest daughter (she's 2 1/2). I wasn't sure how engaged she'd be with this project. So initially, I used fabric backed with Heat-and-Bond Lite and we glued that to the cone (over the tights) and then added the trim. My oldest later finished the ghost's face.

Simple enough!

But, it turns out, my youngest was really into painting with her sisters and wanted to do another puppet. Pink and purple paint, of course.

And she's pretty happy with the result.

Little Witch Doll Puppet

Here is a little witch doll cone puppet I finished up over the weekend. My daughters all made their own yesterday afternoon (kid tutorial coming!).

The girls (mostly my 5 year-old) really wanted this doll to have black eyes. "Black as night Mom, Black as niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight!" They also wanted her to have purple hair, but I overruled them because bulky black yarn (I have no bulky purple) = quick ponytails on a teeny tiny doll head.

With black eyes and black hair and a black velvet cape, this doll was looking incredibly somber. I tried my best to make her NOT SCARY. That was my goal. But she looks so sad. So I gave her a purple hat.

Not that the hat helped at all. I just had to throw another color in there besides black.

I don't think she looks scary. In fact, I think she looks scared.

I've actually been having a lot of fun playing with this puppet. My 2 1/2 year old is mesmerized by it. The way the puppet moves, turns from side to side, up and down. My youngest giggles and smiles and laughs. I wish I had four hands so I could capture a picture of it.

I could have spent days on this project. Easily. I had originally planned to devote more time to the cone part of the puppet - a few cute Halloween wool felt appliques, maybe some cool embroidery, etc. Then my oldest daughter suggested making the cone a giant candy corn and I jumped on the idea. Excellent!


Good Morning!

The light in the house is hard to find these days. It's definitely starting to feel a bit like Fall. I couldn't take pictures in my usual spot :).

Here is the completed Project # 5 from the Mary Frances Sewing Book. We skipped over/changed a few things (#1. the eyelet loops, I'll have her practice on a dress that needs one. #2. instead of a cord for the waist, she just made a simple belt).

I cut, ironed, basted, and tied off loose ends. She sewed, as you can see :).

She is extremely pleased with herself. And now we get to bring out MaChine! A kimono is up next. A few more projects, and then she'll be working on some dresses. I may make a little pair of slippers for her doll in the meantime.

And as of last week, all three girls are now in school! I'm hoping to have a bit more time to work on some projects. My youngest is only in school twice a week (and I work at her school one of those two days). But I'll have one morning. That's something!

I'd like to cut and sew a few regular dolls this week and try and keep track of how long they actually take me to make. I also have a few fun projects in the works. Something Halloween-themed...and maybe a tutorial in October. Stay tuned.

Here are some BTS pictures, mostly for the girls' Grandmas that lurk here :). Sorry, I forgot to email these to both of you!

And on the little one's first day...

I never got around to making her a dress to wear on her first day and last day of preschool. Instead, I pulled this from my 5-year old's wardrobe. I figure this one will work on the youngest one's last day of preschool, in May 2013 :)!

It's hard to get a normal picture of her these days. She's goofy.