How to Make a Marionette

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How to Make a Marionette
Total Time 2 to 3 hours Ages school-age

With a little practice, you can make this goofy bird waddle, bob, and dance at your command.

What you'll need

  • Hot glue gun (for step 1 only)
  • 2 chopsticks
  • Pieces of yellow and green craft foam
  • 2 yellow wooden beads
  • Sharp pencil
  • 3-inch styrofoam ball
  • 2 1/2-inch styrofoam ball
  • 1 yard of 7/32-inch-wide cotton cord or clothesline
  • Tape
  • Tacky Glue
  • 1 yard marabou feather boa
  • Embroidery floss
  • Skewer
  • Feathers
  • 15 mm googly eyes

How to make it

  1. How to Make a Marionette: Step 1

    Hot-glue two chopsticks together in an X. For feet, cut two 1O-inch circles out of yellow craft foam, then cut a wedge from each. Hot-glue a bead to each circle. With a sharp pencil, poke a hole through the larger ball, then make one 3/4-inch-deep hole in each ball as shown.

  2. How to Make a Marionette: Step 2

    For legs, cut a 20-inch piece of cord and wrap one end with tape. Thread it through the leg hole in the larger ball. Make sure the legs are even, then squeeze a bit of glue into the hole to secure the cord. For the neck, add glue to the remaining holes in the two balls and insert the ends of a 7-inch piece of cord. Allow the glue to dry.

  3. How to Make a Marionette: Step 3

    Working on one half of the larger ball at a time, cover it with glue, then coil the boa around it. Trim any excess, then lightly press the boa to the body so it adheres well.

  4. How to Make a Marionette: Step 4

    Cut two 3/4-inch circles of blue craft foam. Glue googly eyes to them, then glue the circles to the head. Use the side of a skewer to press a groove into the front of the head as shown. Cut two yellow craft-foam triangles and glue them in the groove. Squeeze glue inside the yellow beads and insert the leg cords into them. Dot the ends of several feathers with glue and insert them into the head and body as shown.

  5. How to Make a Marionette: Step 5

    Cut four 2-foot lengths of embroidery floss. Double-knot a strand to each knee. Tie triple knots in the ends of the other two strands. With a skewer, poke a small hole in the top of the head and the top of the body. Dot the holes with glue, then use the skewer to poke the knots into them. Tie the head and body strings to the ends of one chopstick, then tie the leg strings to the ends of the other chopstick. Wrap the strings around the sticks to adjust their length. When everything is just right, add glue to secure the wrapped strings.

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