with light and love

Tiptoes and Jeremy Mouse marionette puppets by Rhonda Wildman 

Tiptoes marionette – Gathering Supplies:

  •  Wool stuffing – I get mine from West Earl Woolen Mill in Ephrata, Pennsylvania (fair prices and they ship quickly)
  • 1” tubular gauze – I get mine from A Child’s Dream  .
  • 17” x 17” silk handkerchief – I got mine from Dharma Trading  .
  • 100% cotton knit for skin – I used a thrifted t-shirt
  • Yarn for hair – I used some amazing merino dyed in chamomile by  Mama Jude .
  • Tulle or whatever strikes your creative fancy to make wings
  • 2 small dew-drops or stones
  • Embroidery floss
  • Strong thread for doll making and marionette strings
  • Kool Aid- I followed the instructions to get Sky Blue at this tutorial   .

Gathering Tools:

  • Needles – sewing and doll making
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Beeswax crayon & a piece of paper towel to rosy the cheeks

 Make a “Waldorf doll” style head that is 2 ½ inches tall from neckline to top of head.   See The Children’s Year, Toymaking with Children or Kinder Dolls for good instructions.  Also this Living Crafts blog post has some great photos.  For my marionette puppets, I do leave a bit longer of a neck hanging down.  I like having the extra weight below the neck string for balance.    

Cut a small X in the center of your sky blue silk handkerchief.  I have seen instructions that say to cut a circle, but I like the small X better.  I think you waste less of your material.   With a running stitch, make a circle around the X.  The circle needs to be large enough for your doll neck to fit through.   Leave the tails loose till you are sure your head is situated properly. 

From underneath the puppet, you will be able to pull down and straighten the corners of fabric made from cutting the X.   When the corners are pulled down and the silk is oriented correctly with the head, then you can pull the running stitch tight and tie in knots. 

Flip the silk over to see your puppet’s face. 

I was lucky to find these oval shaped dew drops in my daughter’s dew drop basket.  Any small dew drop or even a pea pebble would work to add a little bit of weight to the hands. 

Wrap the dew drop in a little bit of wool, cover with a scrap of your skin fabric and tie. 

Bring the side corners of the silk to the middle and connect them together and to the body with one stitch.  Place your newly made hands in line with the neck/where the silk will fold in half. 

It is possible to stitch around the hands through only the under layer of the silk (be sure to go through the wrist skin fabric too).  This will allow you to attach the hands without any stitches showing. 

Now you can rosy her cheeks and add the hair.  I used a 2 wig approach to her hair.   One gets folded in half at the seam and the other stays open and the seam becomes the middle part in her hair. 

The folded wig goes on first and is set back on her head.  Stitch down on the fold of the yarn.  Then place the open piece on top of the head and stitch down on what would be the part down the middle . 

I like this method because even using this light hair yarn, my eye and mouth ends are completely covered.   She has plenty of hair to frame her face as well as enough to cover the stitches used to attach her wings. 

The wings are made from a few layers of light pink tulle.  I whip stitched around the edge with a light yellow. 

I like a simple stringing for the marionette.  I use one string for both hands and then another for the head.  I go through the head horizontally above the ears. 

Jeremy Mouse marionette puppet tutorial

Gathering Supplies:

  • Wool stuffing – I get mine from West Earl Woolen Mill in Ephrata, Pennsylvania (fair prices and they ship quickly)
  • 1” tubular gauze – I get mine from  A Child’s Dream.
  • 17” x 17” silk handkerchief – I got mine from Dharma Trading .
  • 100% cotton knit for skin – I used a thrifted t-shirt
  • Small piece of brown felt for ears
  • 2 small dew-drops or stones
  • Embroidery floss
  • Strong thread for doll making and marionette strings
  • Kool Aid- I followed the instructions to get Dark Brown at this tutorial.  

Gathering Tools:

  • Needles – sewing and doll making
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors

Using the 1” tubular gauze, I made a mouse-shaped head.  It is about 4” long.  I made the skin to cover from a thrifted t-shirt and sewed up the end in the same way I do the top of a doll head.  I added ears with a small piece of wool felt and eyes, nose and whiskers with embroidery floss. 

Because I am silk-hem challenged, I didn’t even want to cut the handkerchief at all.   I rolled the tiny dew drop in a bit of wool and tied with strong thread to make the hands.  If you don’t have any small dewdrops, then you can use small pea-pebbles.  A little weight in the hands helps in working the hand strings. 

This stitch will be covered, so use whatever scrap of thread you have handy. 

The stitch will connect both side corners of the silk and will go through the center of the silk. 

Fold over and you have a headless Jeremy Mouse.

Sew around the neck.  Making a mouse seemed to call for an oval. 

I use one string for the hands to make presentation a little easier.  For Jeremy Mouse’s head string, running from ear to nose looked better and gave me more options for posing. 

Now it is time for pancakes!

I look forward to seeing many interpretations of the Tiptoes and Jeremy Mouse characters from participants in our puppet swap.  Signups are open till  July 24th. 

©rw 2012

Comments on: "Tiptoes and Jeremy Mouse marionette puppet tutorials" (6)

  1. I love this! I will share it with my readers on Facebook – excellent!

  2. Fabulous! I have been looking for something just like this. I’m sharing on Pinterest!

  3. [...] With just a snip and a couple of stitches, your Jeremy Mouse marionette can easily become the main character in a Kind Mousie puppet play.   (Jeremy Mouse tutorial is at http://joygrows.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/tiptoes-and-jeremy-mouse-marionette-puppet-tutorials/) [...]

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