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Making Animal toy puppets

Beside the silicone puppets we had to make some animal toy puppets. Most of them were made with a simple wire armature except for the big bunny, that we needed to animate more than the others, so its armature is a little more complex. Making all of them took less time than making one silicone puppet…

Making the bunny

First we did our sketches and Tom made the armature - aluminum wire with metal tubes and some components.

I covered the armature with foam straps, using UHU glue and started cutting it around with scissors until it got a curvier shape.

Then I cut some pieces of synthetic fur, fitted it to the different parts of the body and glued it with some fabric glue above the foam. The edges of the fur pieces were glued to each other facing inside.

The bunny had to look old and a little dirty. So, using acrylic paint and a lot of water I painted all the fur in a bit darker color, adding some white and black tones. When it dried the fur became stiffer and I had to comb it for a while. It remained a little stiff but it was fine for the old look we were going for.

The eyes, the nose and the mouth were made of little pieces of fabric, glued to the bunny's face, and the whiskers are some threads sewed to it.

The small bunny was made the same way as the big one, only here I used a shorter fur and sewed it to the body instead of gluing it. The armature is very simple- aluminum wire jointed with some epoxy putty.

Making other toy puppets

The elephant and the monkey were made the same way as the bunny. I made the eyes of two halves of the bead painted with acrylic paint and with a simple wire armature made of aluminum wire, jointed in some places with epoxy putty.

The giraffe, the deer and the ballerina doll were all made of paper mash. First I made their simple wire armatures and covered them with paper tape in several layers. Then I began doing the paper mash. I used some ready paper mash chips, mixed them with water and started covering the taped armature in layers, letting every layer to dry before making the next one, It took a few days, but still, not as long as making a silicone puppet. When I finished I applied a couple of wall putty layers on it, let it dry and sanded it with a fine sanding paper, until it became smooth.

These puppets make some limited movements, so I cut them around the armature wires in the areas they had to move, like around the neck and arms, using a sharp cutting knife. And finally I painted them with acrylic paint. The giraffe was covered with some fur hair that was glued to it.

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