Friday, March 17, 2006

Puppet Building Tutorial: Ratchet


There are many steps to building a puppet. This tutorial will give you detailed instructions on how I built Ratchet for the Swazzle puppet show, B.A.R.K. The Robot Dog. Click on the links below to read each step.

Part 1: Starting Out

Part 2: Puppet Head Construction
Step 1, The Basic Shapes
Step 2, The Patterns
Step 3, Cutting Foam
Step 4, Putting the Shapes Together

Part 3: The Mouth
Foam Pallet
The Grip, Step 1, Making the Finger Grips
The Grip, Step 2, Covering the Gasket Rubber
The Finished Grip

Part 4: The Muzzle
The Bottom Jaw, Step 1, gluing the Foam
The Bottom Jaw, Step 2, Attaching the Foam
The Top Jaw, Step 1, Foam Construction
The Top Jaw, Step 2, Refining the Shape
The Top Jaw, Step 3, Refining the Shape
Attaching the Muzzle

Part 5: Fabrication
Terry Cloth
Dying Fabric
The Bottom Jaw, Step 1, gluing the Material
The Bottom Jaw, Step 2, Gathering the Material
The Bottom Jaw, Step 3, Cutting the Material
The Bottom Jaw, Step 4, The Stitch
The Bottom Jaw, Step 5, gluing the Material
The Top Jaw
The Head, Step 1, Terry Cloth
The Head, Step 2, Pinning the Material
The Head, Step 3, Cutting Around the Muzzle
The Head, Step 4, Sewing to the Muzzle
The Head, Step 5, gluing the Material
The Head, Step 6, Pinning the Material
The Head, Step 7, Cutting the Material
The Head, Step 8, Sewing the Cuts
Craft Fur, Part 1, Hair
Craft Fur, Part 2 Cheeks

Part 6: Puppet Eyes (Part 1)
Step 1, Positioning the Eyes
Step 2, Cutting the Eye Holes
Step 3, gluing the Eye
Step 4, Attaching the Eyes

Part 7: The Nose
Step 1, Cutting the Nose
Step 2, Rounding the Nose
Step 3, Positioning the Nose
Step 4, Attaching the Nose

Part 8 & 9: Ears and Tongue
Step 1, Cutting Foam
Step 2, Cutting Material
Step 3, Rounding the Ears
Step 4, sewing the Tongue
Step 5, Attaching the Tongue
Step 6, Sewing the Inside of the Ear
Step 7, Attaching the Ears

Part 10: Arms
Step 1, Making the Liner
Step 2, Stuffing the Liner
Step 3, Terry Cloth Arms
Step 4, inserting the Liner

Part 11: Hands
Step 1, The Pattern
Step 2, Foam Pieces
Step 3, Armature Wire
Step 4, Attaching Armature Wire to the Palm
Step 5, Attaching Armature Wire
Step 6, Rounding the Fingers
Step 7, Attaching the Fingers
Step 8, Cutting the Fingers
Step 9, Rounding the Fingers
Step 10, gluing the Fabric, Part 1
Step 11, gluing the Fabric Part 2
Step 12, gluing the Fabric Part 3
Step 13, Cutting the excess Material
Step 14, Attaching the Hands

Part 12: The Neck
Step 1, Cutting the Fabric
Step 2, Sewing the Liner
Step 3, Attaching the Head

Part 13: The Body
Step 1, Foam Construction
Step 2, Attaching the Body
Step 3, Fur
Step 4, Attaching the Arms

Part 14: Puppet Eyes (Part 2)
Step 1, Drawing the Iris
Step 2, Painting the Iris
Step 3, Drawing and Painting the Pupils
Step 4, Painting Highlights

Part 15: Whiskers
Step 1

Part 16: Arm Rods
Arm Rod Tutorial

Meet Ratchet


Matt said...

Once again, thanks so much for a wonderful tutorial!


Sean Johnson said...


I'm glad you enjoyed it. Stay tuned there is more to come.


Christian said...

Matt, I love your website. The tutorials are so informative and inspiring. Thank you for sharing all this information. On that note, I've been inspired to attempt puppet making on my own and I have a question. I live in LA and I was interested in buying some reticulated foam. Do you know of any local suppliers, or do I need to order from far away? Again, thank you, and I'll be sure to stay tuned for more puppet stuff.

dylan said...

I was wondering if you had considered making this tutorial a little easier to navigate so that you don't have to keep jumping back to the front page to move on to the next step.

That being said I was so happy to finally find a good puppet tutorial that showed the process and explained it well. Most of the other tutorials that I have read where for making a specific puppet.

Sparky said...

Seems like I've found this blog a bit later than everyone else but I figured I should still thank you for all of it's awesome!
I've been a big fan of puppets starting with the Muppet Show and I've always fancied making my own rod puppet but never knew where to start. I've also recently been introduced to Avenue Q and that really reinforced the greatness that is the puppet.

Thank you again, VERY much and hopefully I'll follow through with making my own puppet when I get some free time from College.

Betty Felon, The Pretty Villain said...

Do you happen to have a flat list of all supplies/quantities needed to make a puppet such as yours? It would be really helpful when I go out to make my own puppet! If it's on here already, forgive me, as I can't seem to locate it. Thanks a lot!

Matt M said...

Thank you for the great tutorial! It inspired me to make myself some new puppets.