Today’s exercise comes from The Writer’s Devotional (365 Inspirational Exercises, Ideas, Tips & Motivations on Writing) by Amy Peters.
“Create instructions for making a sock puppet.”
To make a sock puppet, you’ll of course need a sock. Choose a large, loose sock that your hand will easily slide into. Any color or pattern will do. Make sure it doesn’t have any holes.
Next, gather together an assortment of other materials. This is not a hard and fast list. Features can be stitched on or glued in place. Use what is available to you. Some suggestions:
- Fabric or felt scraps
- Sturdy board, as from cereal or detergent boxes
- Yarn in various colors
- Scraps of ribbon
- Embroidery floss
- Buttons and beads
- Plastic googly eyes
- Raffia, string or twine
- Wire, steel wool
- Artificial flowers in small sizes, pompoms, baubles, badges or pins for embellishment
Finally, you’ll need a means of putting it all together. For this, have a good pair of scissors handy, an embroidery needle and possibly some strong white glue.
Start by putting the sock on your hand. Play with it a bit. Does it take on a personality? Does it want to be a boy or a girl puppet? A dog or a bunny? Take a section and pinch it between your fingers and thumb. That’s the mouth. Practice making the puppet “talk.” Note how the mouth opens and closes, and the different expressions you can create.
Make note of the location of the mouth as you remove the sock from your hand. You may want to make a tongue of red felt, and stitch it to the back of the mouth so that it will waggle when your puppet talks. You could stitch teeth around the edges with white yarn; you could glue faux pearls in place for shiny teeth. Lips could be painted in place, or embroidered, or formed from pieces of fabric or felt.
Once the mouth is complete, location of hair, clothes and other facial features becomes easier. Eyes can be large and protruding, or simple stitched slits. A pompom could make a nose; so could a bead, or a triangle of fabric. Hair could be raffia, twine or yarn, or a wild mane of gray steel wool.
A neckerchief, bow tie or string of beads will help to define the neck. A simple hat can be made by cutting a doughnut shape – a circle with a hole in the middle – from sturdy cardboard. It can stand alone or be covered in felt, yarn or fabric. Pull a bit of the sock, at the top of the head area, through the hole to hold the hat in place. Decorate it further with artificial flowers, ribbons and bows if you wish. Scraps of fabric and yarn, and other embellishments can be added, now, to give your sock puppet more personality. Some ideas:
- A movie star, with painted lips and cheeks, a tiara resting on top of golden curls, and gathered tulle and ribbons for the “gown.”
- A bunny rabbit, with tall felt ears, black button eyes and a big bow tie.
- A dog, with long droopy ears and a big tongue, with a collar around his neck.
- A hippie, with long hair of raffia, and little glasses formed of bent wire.
- A deputy sheriff, with a ten-gallon hat, a big steel wool mustache, a felt vest and a tin star.