July 29, 2013

History Puppet Plays

Part of next week's school work involves the kids writing a play about Moses, the pharaoh, and all of those nasty plagues.  A few weeks ago we found a fun little puppet theater on sale for 5 bucks at the university surplus store, but it got all cracked up during transport home.  I'm hoping to fix it up early in the week, but even if I can't, the kids have their hearts set on doing some puppet shows, and this Moses play seemed like the right time to go for it.

Today I pulled out the flesh toned felt that I bought a while back and finally got around to making some puppets.  I decided to make them bald and naked and place some strategic velcro dots on their bodies so that we could make a variety of different outfits and just repeatedly use the same base puppets no matter the theme of the play.  To make them, I just cut two pieces along the lines of the template and hot glued them together around all but the bottom edges.  I planned to sew them, but had no fleshy thread on hand and the template said glue.  It was like the template gave me permission to take the easy way out.  And I took it.  I used this template, but quickly realized that there's not sufficient finger room, so I just started at the arm pit and the shoulder and cut straight out to the edge of the felt and just rounded the tips.  Still, these babies are for a kid sized hand.  I have munchkin hands, and I can't fit my hands in there without risking the seams.  

After making our little bald friends, it was time for the fun part!  Clothes and hair!  I made some Egyptian dude-skirts (is there a word for the dude-skirts of ancient Egypt?  I've read kilts, but that seems too Scottish to be legit) and some robes and sashes.  I made a little bowl cut hair for one and a side-lock for another.  Oh, and of course we needed a pharaoh head thingy.  Dude-skirts and head thingies.  I'm feeling like I should have brushed up on my ancient fashion terminology before writing this post!

And then, for some reason I had some leopard print felt in my fabric stash (who even owns leopard print felt, anyway?), so I made a couple of cave person outfits.  The kids loved the movie the Croods, so I'm sure there's some good cave person fun to be had once the theater is up and running.  

Looking at these pics, I see the need for a mouth and maybe a nose.  As it stands, they look kind of like confused, ancient aliens.  Pretty sure a mouth is what they really need.  After that, I think we're good to go.  

I suppose we'll make new outfits for each little unit that we want to write a play for, and just amass all sorts of random felt fashion.  It's easy enough to make.  And just for the record, their back sides just remain naked.  I figured, why go to the effort to clothe the side of them that no one is ever going to see but the little puppet masters?  You get a lot more outfits for the felt if you only cover their front sides.  

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