Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Funky Finger Puppets!

It's funny to me how some posts get so many views, and some have almost never been seen. I think Pinterest plays a huge part in this.  So in my next few posts, I'm going to show you stuff from old posts that many of you have probably never seen, and have had very few views.  I think you will like them!  The finger puppets in this post, were previously posted in May 2010 and June 2012.  By the way, the sun above had a companion moon  finger puppet that unfortunately went home before it was photographed.  (And by the way, the stuff that looks like dirt on the sunshine's face is actually gold glitter-glue.)  So - above, the sun, and Mickey and Minnie Mouse; below, a chef and a waitress!
 The finger puppets were a popular 6th grade project.  Students spent one class making casts of their pointer finger.  First students greased their finger with Vaseline, and then wrapped with plaster bandage.  I love the speed of working with plaster bandage.  Most students were able to create two finger casts in one art class.  If they wanted more, they did them during study hall or lunchtime time.

Below, an astronaut (he had an alien companion that I missed photographing) and the Easter Bunny.
In the subsequent art classes, structural features were added with materials such as cereal box cardboard, Styrofoam balls, tin fol, and pipe cleaners, temporarily being attached with a low-temp hot glue gun.  The astronaut's tank was an old marker cap.  Legs and arms were added with a pipe-cleaner wrapped around the back, where it was attached.  After features were glued on, they were covered with plaster bandage (though we sometimes left the pipe-cleaners uncovered as bendable arms). 
 Above is a skateboarder kid, and SpongeBob, and below are a 'disco bunny' and skateboarder Shawn White, in mid-jump. 
 Unfortunately, the Mad Hatter to the right below wasn't finished when I took this picture. 
 After the structures were complete, the puppets were painted with acrylics, and embellished with wiggle eyes, fabric, ribbons, lace, feathers, and more.  The kids were very creative about building 'props' for their puppets.  Kids often made puppets in groups - a whole rock band complete with instruments, characters from the Harry Potter movies, Star Wars, or favorite cartoons.  I bet if I was making them now, their would be characters from The Hunger Games, Twilight, and Angry Birds, among other things.  One year, pre-digital photography, a group of kids built a whole wedding, complete with bridal party!  Then they built a little wedding stage for them too.  Somewhere I have photos prints. 
  Below are an unfinished Elvis, and the 5th grade teacher who claims to be his wife! 
Below is an EMT.  Other puppets made but un-photographed over the years include Abe Lincoln, birds, fish, sharks, robots, cheerleaders, all sorts of sports athletes, a king and queen, various Disney princesses, Smurfs, ballerinas, aliens, monsters, penguins, etc.
 Below is a view of a box full of my sample puppets, including professor Dumbledore, an eagle, an elephant, a teddy bear, a cat, a frog, a band, and more more more not visible in this photo!
   Below is a mummy case, complete with hieroglyphics and a mummy inside.  The kids were studying Egypt when this one was built. 

Such fun!!!  


  1. I can see how kids would be mesmerized in the process and adding the details! This would be a terrific way for regular classroom teachers to integrate art into their various curricular units. I can envision a whole cast of characters that might go with Abe LIncoln or California Gold Rush folks!!!

  2. Hi Phyl

    Love these! I also love plaster bandage. These little guys show such personality and these have such a small footprint they won't take up much drying space. Thanks for re posting!