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Winnie the Pooh Puppet

Single Rod Puppet adapted from a large Stuffed Animal

I built this puppet back at the beginning of 2020. I had built a few puppets, but it had been a few years, and I felt I needed a project to scratch my creative itch. A colleague came to me and asked if I would consider building a Winnie the Pooh puppet. I wasn't sure how long I wanted to commit to completely fabricating a puppet from scratch, so I searched for a high quality plush toy that was around the size of a professional puppet. I found a very good option on Ebay, so I took the plunge back into the world of building puppets. Adapting a stuffed animal also seemed appropriate for this project since the character of Winnie the Pooh is literally a stuffed animal come to life!

I had a lot of fun building this puppet because it was an extremely simple build and only took about 10 hours to complete. I was able to use the polyfill stuffing that was already in the body of the bear, and simply block off the body from the head with a piece of 1/2inch upholstry foam.

To build out the head, I removed all polyfill and turned the head inside out (creepy!) I then built an extremely simple mouthplate with materials I had laying around the house - 1/2 inch upholstry foam, a piece of a pool noodle, a scrap of cotton fabric for reinforcement, and hot glue. The pool noodle serves as a form for your 4 fingers to drape over and hold onto. The thumb loop was made out of upholstry foam (though I recommend leather, elastic, or something sturdier so that it doesnt break and wear down over time.) I attached the mouthplate to the inside of the mouth of the unstuffed plush toy, and turned it right side out. I then built out the inside of the skull with 1/2" upholstry foam.

Here is a test of the mouth plate movement:

For the arm rods, I sewed a small "pocket" for the curved end of the rod to fit into, and glued that pocket to a piece of leather. On one side of the leather I glued on some fleece so that I would be able to sew the piece in place inside the hand of the bear.

I attached an arm sleeve in red to match Pooh's shirt at the back of his neck. An alternate option would be to make the sleeve in black if you're going to have your puppeteer wear all black.

I presented the puppet to the puppeteer, and here is the final project brought to life!

Power in Numbers

January 2020




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