with light and love

Posts tagged ‘puppets’

Spring has sprung

The weather has given us a slow march to spring, so we have had to create a little of the spring magic on our own this year.  We begin with the shedding of the beard.  Ivie gets to help cut the first layer. 


After working on her outdoor fairy garden, Ivie left out some treats (dried fruit and pink lemonade) for the fairies to enjoy on the Spring Equinox. 


They showed their gratitude by leaving a sweet pendant in her shoe for her to find the next morning. 


 The easter bunny’s helpers worked so very hard making bunnies for baskets this year. 


The hand puppets are based on the tutorial by Purlbee.  The sachets are from Craft Passion.   The knit bunnies are from Little Cotton Rabbits.   The plush bunny is based on the pattern from Chez Beeper Bebe.   The applique on the t-shirt is just the simplest  bunny silhouette that I could find on google images. 


We were even prepared for the cold snap in late March with new fleece ponchos.   What fun at Fabric World!


Inspired by the lovely eggs I saw at Blue Girl, I made some egg pouches for Grade 3.   While they do look cute on their own, all piled together gives them what I call the ‘Enchantment Shop effect’.  If you make 25 of most anything, it looks good! 


The final school event before Spring Break is the annual Grandparents and Loved Ones Day.  Ivie proudly shows off her main lesson books to her Grandma. 

gplod 2013

Spring also gave time for me to make my first and ninth bib for Craft Hope’s project 20: Hope for China


So now the Nature Table Spring flower fairies are enjoying a bright spring break bounty!



© rw 2013

our holiday season 2012

St. Nicholas left a little lavender doll and a clementine.


Santa’s helpers busy sewing ornaments.  I found a great santa pattern at revoluzzza


My angel in the grade 3 class play at the Waldorf School of Atlanta.

grade 3 class play

 The sun greeted us as we celebrated the winter Solstice. 

2012 winter solstice morning

We so appreciated all the hard work that went into making our nativity characters last year. 


A cold and windy day on Arabia Mountain.


 The wise men followed a star, we followed a line of cars to the ABG Holiday Lights. 

ivie fred and rhonda at abg lights jan 2 2013

And as soon as school started back, I finished my contribution to the Craft Hope Project 19. 

craft hope 19

I had initially thought of writing this post about all the things we missed having the flu/cough over the holidays, but after looking through these photos, I realize that we indeed had a full holiday season!  I’m grateful! 

©rw 2013

Marionette puppets in my mailbox

 I’m a little slow in posting, but I have had a busy mailbox recently.   I was fortunate to swap marionette puppets with 2 lovely puppet makers. 

I received the one on the left from Glori.  See her tutorial at  http://stracciepupazzi.blogspot.it/2012/08/jeremy-mouse-la-nascita.html?m=1 .  And the needle felted head one from Kelly in PA. 

These Jeremy (and possibly a Jemima Mouse) puppets are a part of the Puppet Swap I co-hosted over the summer with Margaret at We Bloom Here

These 2 mice will join a Tiptoes marionette for my little puppet loving Tiptoes fan for a holiday gift.  Hmmm, with 3 puppets, maybe we should make one of those cool racks on pg 130 of Toymaking With Children for what I’m certain will be a growing collection. 

©rw 2012

Knitted Finger Puppets

I’ve gotten a little hooked on knitted finger puppets.  I remember thumbing through The Children’s Year, which was my first Waldorfy craft book.   I never imagined that I could be able to master making these much less that they would become one of my go-to items.

I made some to swap

I made some for the Easter Basket

I made some for birthday gifts

I am making some now on vacation

What a great little project that fits easily into a small basket.  I can start & stop without losing my place because there is really nothing to count.  OK, if you really space out and make a 3″ tall head, you might be in trouble or have to get creative with a hat. 


©rw 2012

Last Day to Join Puppet Swap

The last day to sign up for our Puppet Swap is Tuesday, July 24th.  All the details and a timeline are listed at the Swap Invitation.   We hope you will join in the fun and look forward to seeing your interpretations of these characters! 

© rw 2012

Sweet story for puppet play

My puppet swap partner just posted a sweet story at We Bloom Here using her glove puppets.  Remember the tutorial for making those lovely glove puppets is also posted on her blog

There are only 5 days left to join the fun in our puppet swap

©rw 2012

Pine Cone and Pepper Pot puppet patterns

Deep in the forest on Farmer John’s farm live two gnomes.  They have red caps with a sparkle on top, mossy green jackets, mossy green pants, and red boots with turned-up toes.  They also have beards, of course.  One is called Pepper Pot because he likes pepper.  He loves pepper!  . . . The other gnome is called Pine Cone.  He got stuck inside a pine cone when he was young.  . . .  That’s how he got his name. 

Eggs for the Hunting by Reg Down

The Pine Cone/Pepper Pot color page is at  Gnome Coloring Page

When Margaret and I were planning this puppet swap, I struggled over my story choice for the marionettes because I hated leaving out Pine Cone and Pepper Pot.  Well this post is my inclusion solution!  It also gives a way for kids to participate in making puppets for your plays at home.   Now your Tiptoes and Jeremy Mouse marionettes can have their 2 gnome friends. 

The Gnome Coloring page could be printed on card stock for a simple stick puppet or for shadow puppet plays.  If you ( or your kids) are feeling a bit more ambitious, then you can make a paper puppet with a little more wiggle. 

Gnome Stick Puppet

supplies & tools:
Gnome Puppet Pattern
construction paper or cardstock
stick glue
chopsticks (thank you, Doc Chey’s!)
small brads (2 per puppet)
small hole punch (the hole needs to match the size of your brad anchors.  if you don’t have a small hole punch you can make do with a pin or exacto knife point – adult use only)
roving- just a small bit for the beards, or you can always use colored paper

These puppets can be made from construction paper.  If you choose this method, then use the Gnome Puppet Pattern as an actual pattern that you cut out and use to trace the pieces onto your various colors of construction paper.   

They can be made on cardstock and colored with crayons.  If you choose this method, then print and color the Gnome Puppet Pattern before you cut it out.  We glued the hat on the head, the neck to the jacket, the hands to the sleeves and the boots to the pants.  It is a bit easier if you glue the beard on the chin after you have attached the arms & legs with the brads.  We chose to use our stick glue so we could control the amount (it only takes a little).  You want to make sure you don’t get any glue in your “joints.” 

Two happy stick puppet gnomes ready for adventure! 

Stick puppets made by Ivie Wildman (8yo)

Add chop stick so the puppet is held from above or below.  I was thinking about marionettes when making the puppet with construction paper, so I attached mine to be held from above.  My daughter wanted to hold hers from below and so she taped the chop stick to the back of the head with the handle coming down. 

You can reference the Gnome Coloring Page when you are positioning the arms, hands, legs and boots on the stick puppets. 

The use of the Pine Cone and Pepper Pot images is done with the permission and blessing of Reg Down, the author of the Tiptoes books and more!    (Sir Gillygad is wonderful and waits in my closet for the 9th birthday) 

Remember, our puppet swap sign-ups end July 24th.  All the specifics on joining are waiting for you at this invitation. 

©rw 2012

Supporting cast of paper puppets

As promised, this week we will share adult and kid-friendly tutorials and patterns to expand your puppet play cast of characters.   Visit We Bloom Here today for the how-to on these sweet paper puppets. 

Remember, our puppet swap sign-ups end July 24th.  All the specifics on joining are waiting for you at this invitation

© rw 2012

Tiptoes and Jeremy Mouse marionette puppet tutorials

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

Visit We Bloom Here for a glove puppet tutorial

Click on over to Margaret’s blog, We Bloom Here to see her glove puppet tutorial today.   I will have a marionette tutorial up on Thursday, July 12.   You still have 2 weeks till the swap sign-up period closes on July 24 to fall in love with puppet making and join us in this swap!  

Root Children glove puppet by Margaret of We Bloom Here

©rw 2012