Monsters University

Monsters University Marionette Craft

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<i>Monsters University</i> Marionette Craft
Total Time 1 hour Ages 9 to 12

I've always been fascinated with all types of puppets, especially marionettes.  So when I saw a clip featuring Art, one of the newest (and funniest) characters from Disney Pixar's Monsters University, I knew I had to translate his amazing and hilarious design into a dancing puppet.  As I was considering materials I immediately realized his body lent itself to a marabou boa and fortunately I found colors that closely matched the tone of his body. My kids saw the final marionette and their eyes lit up as Art danced around. When I showed them how he could do a handstand, my performance met with uproarious applause!  Now go make your own monstrous marionette so you can impress your friends and family with your puppet dance moves too!  

Download Monsters University Marionette Craft Template

What you'll need

  • scissors
  • hot melt glue gun or craft glue
  • 1 violet or medium purple marabou boa (the small fluffy type around 2"in diameter) cut to 15"in in length.
  • 1 dark purple or dark blue marabou boa (optional*)
  • 2 two wooden dowels (3/8"in to 1/2"in in diameter and approximately 12"in in length)
  • 2 pennies
  • 2 googly eyes ( approximately 1/2"in)
  • Fishing line cut to the following lengths: 1 piece at 14"in, 2 pieces at 16"in and 2 pieces at 20"in
  • Pipe cleaners: 2 dark red, 2 dark blue, 2 purple (sparkly purple if available)
  • 2" x 4"in piece of black stiffened felt
  • 2" x 4"in piece of white felt
  • 2" x 1"in piece of purple craft foam
Variations:

You can substitute other marabou boa colors and make your own monsters as well.

How to make it

  1. step 1

    These initial 2 steps are optional, but should be done first if you desire a stripe-legged monster marionette that closely resembles the character Art from Monsters University.  If you don't want to add stripes to his legs, skip to step 3. Refer to Fig. 3 in the PDF template as reference to help you determine where you will place your stripes.  Take your 15"in violet or medium purple boa (this will be Art's body) and measure up 1"in from the end and proceed to  trim an inch of feathers above your measured line taking the feathers down to the string while taking care not to sever the cord.  Measure up 1"in more above the gap you just created and create another gap by duplicating your trim job again.

  2. step 2

    Lay a 4"in piece of the darker boa underneath and perpendicular to the exposed cord.  Add glue to the exposed cord and wrap the darker boa tightly around the gap one time.  You may need to add more glue, but be careful not to burn your finger or singe the feathers in the process.  Repeat step 1 and 2 on the other side of the violet boa and for stripes should be completed. You may find you need to trim the grafted-on boa to match the length of the original, but don't be too neat about it.  It is a monster after all!

  3. step 3

    Hot melt glue a penny to each end of the 15" violet boa.

  4. Stringing the puppet - (Refer to Fig. 1 in the PDF template) Tie the 14"in fishing line to the center of the violet boa and tie the other end to the center of of Dowel 1.  Tie each 16"in string half-way between the center line and the end as pictured. Tie the 20"in string around the penny on the bottom of each leg and attach the other end to the ends of Dowel 2 as pictured.

  5. step 5

    Creating the arms - (Refer to Fig. 1 in the PDF template) Bend the dark blue pipe cleaner to resemble the arms and hands pictured.  Wrap the purple pipe cleaner around the wrist and work your way up to the top of the arm and make a loop.  Tie fishing line through the loop and tie the other end to the body (refer to Fig 3 for placement) and leave enough slack in the fishing line so the arms dangle a little.  Repeat for the opposite arm.

  6. step 6

    Trace the mouth shape onto black stiffened felt and cut out.  Trace the teeth shape on white felt and place on the black felt mouth.

  7. step 7

    Take two dark red pipe cleaners and twist them around each other to add thickness.  Use the Lips template and copy the exact size and shape cutting off the excess pipe cleaner after twisting the end closed.  Glue this on top of the teeth and mouth.

  8. Trace the eyelid template onto the purple craft foam and cut it out.  Glue your two googly eyes underneath the eyelids so they appear half closed.

  9. step 9

    Glue the bottoms of the googly eyes on the top edge of the block mouth just behind the lips.  Now glue the face on the center of the body.

  10. step 10

    You're all done!  Tilt Dowel 1 from side to side to make Art walk.  Lift Dowel 2 up high to have Art stand on his hands.  

This craft is a part of these parties:

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