Thursday, March 6, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Felt Monkey Finger Puppet Tutorial and Free Pattern

On Thursdays I'll repost old posts that I think are worth sharing again, many from my old blog Maman A Droit. I may make a few changes to them, primarily fixing errors and updating links. I hope you enjoy them as much this time around!

I decided to make my son some felt animal finger-puppets. He loves animals, especially monkeys, right now and we're working on learning how to pronounce all their names and make the noises they make. I thought finger puppets would be a great way to supplement the learning-about-animals we've been doing with books, Fisher-Price Little People, singing "Old McDonald", and staring & pointing at the occasional woodland creature who strays into our "backyard" (We live in an apartment, so I'm using the term pretty loosely).

I remember thinking they were fun as a kid, and also figured they were simple enough I might be able to actually make them successfully despite my limited sewing skills. The fact that felt is dirt cheap is an added bonus (20-40 cents for an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet in my neck of the woods).

So I started hunting for patterns. I fell in love with some on Etsy, but couldn't justify spending the money/

I enlisted the aid of the children's librarian and scoured through dated books on puppet-making, all to no avail.

So I took a big gulp, and made my own. And to my amazement...it worked! I used the auto-shapes in Microsoft Word for the shapes, and hand-embroidered the eyes, nose, & mouth. And here's what my completed monkey finger puppet looked like:


His neck was a bit too long & narrow, so I corrected the pattern. So if you follow this pattern, the neck will be more like this bunny (pattern coming next!):


Anyway, I want to share my patterns with you guys, for free. So click here to get to the PDF of my monkey finger puppet pattern (on Google docs) and feel free to print it, use it, customize it, & share it! And please leave me comments to let me know how it goes or if you have any questions. I'm hoping to make lots more-you can see I already made a bunny (for his Easter basket) and I'll try to post as many patterns for you as I can.

Materials needed for monkey finger puppet:
Brown felt
Light brown or white felt.
Embroidery floss in the same two colors as your felt.
Sewing needle
Scissors
Pattern

Print the PDF pattern & follow the instructions on it. For the eyes, I used satin stitch to make some rough ovals, then backstitch to outline them. I used backstitch on the nose and mouth.



2014 note: I found it easier and cuter to actually cut out the head and body all as one piece. This relieves the problem you can see where this cute little monkey had an oddly long and narrow neck. Besides correcting the pattern a bit after that, I also just didn't get his head positioned as well as I ought to have before doing my final stitching!


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