Saturday, November 19, 2005

Puppet Eyes: Ping Pong Balls

pingpongballs

Using ping pong balls for puppet eyes was popularized by the Muppets - even though they don't use them any more. Most of us have heard the story of the first Kermit the Frog being made from Jim Henson's mother's spring coat, and two halves of a ping pong ball. They really are ready made puppet eyes - round, white and light weight. Additionally, they are easy to come by - most sports stores sell them in packages of six or more. Use an indelible marker or paint to make eye balls, an exacto knife to cut them (or use them whole), and contact cement to glue them in place (don't use hot glue, they will melt). Ping pong balls were used to make eyes for a variety of puppets in the Swazzle puppet show, Prairie Dog Pete and the Magic Buffalo, including Jack Rabbit, Prairie Dog Pete, and the Buffalo.

2 comments:

Jesse Edward Thom said...

hi there - I am building puppets and I'm finding that the acrylic paint doesn't stick well to the ping pong balls - it chips off easily once dried.

Do you have any suggestions for fixing this? If so, please email me --> jessethevessel@hotmail.com

Thanks!

John O'Sullivan said...

Have you tried a coat of clear laquer over them once the pupil is put on?