21 August 2013

Mixed Media Paper Puppets

Here's another new blog feature - Tutorial Tuesdays! I'll be posting new tutorials on Tuesdays (maybe not every Tuesdays, but on some Tuesdays).

This week's tutorial is inspired by palm leaf "Dancing Man" puppets from India. I recreated the puppet using bristol board, paint, stamps, and more.

Materials List:
  • Bristol Board (I used a sheet 9" x 12" and had enough to cut two puppets)
  • Acrylic paint
  • Acrylic glazing medium (optional)
  • Foam brush
  • Commercial stamp or a marshmallow stamp and an X-acto knife
  • Pattern (*below)
  • Smooch pearlescent ink or other pearlescent ink or paint and a tiny paintbrush
  • 10" bamboo skewer
  • Scissors for cutting paper
  • Embroidery floss
  • Chenille or tapestry needle
  • 1/8" hole punch, awl, or large needle
  • Glue

Step 1:
Mix acrylic paint and glazing medium in equal parts. The glazing medium makes the paint more transparent and allows the texture of the paper to show through. 

Using a foam brush, apply the paint and glaze mixture all over the surface of the bristol board. Set aside to dry.

Step 2:
Create a small circular stamp design on a foam marshmallow or use a commercial stamp. If creating a marshmallow stamp, use an X-acto knife to carefully cut a design or pattern into the foam, testing the stamp with a stamp pad on scrap paper to determine when it is complete.

A cut and uncut foam marshmallow

Step 3:
Use a stamp pad in a color a shade lighter or darker than the painted bristol board. Cover the bristol board with stamped images.

Don't re-ink the stamp after every stamping. Instead continue to stamp it 2-3 times for progressively lighter impressions. This adds depth to the overall design.

Step 4:
Cut out the pattern pieces from the PDF provided. Flip the painted and stamped bristol board over and trace the patterns on the reverse side with a pencil. Trace one body, two arms, and two legs, remembering to reverse one arm and one leg.

Step 5:
Using scissors meant for paper, cut out the pattern pieces from the painted and stamped bristol board.

Step 6:
Fold the body in half along the dotted line, as shown.

Step 7:
Using the Smooch pearlescent ink (which has an applicator brush in the cap) or another pearlescent and a small paintbrush, add the face to one side of the body piece, following the diagram on the pattern.

Even slight variations in line when drawing the face results in different facial expressions. Fun!

Step 8:
Paint the bamboo skewer with acrylic paint and set aside to dry.

Step 9:
Punch holes in the body, arm, and leg pieces, following the markings on the pattern, using an 1/8" hole punch, an awl, or a large needle.

Step 10:
Thread a large-eyed needle with three strands of embroidery floss. Tie a large knot in the doubled floss. Starting at the back of the body piece, sew each arm and leg in position with the arm or leg sandwiched inside the folded body piece. End with a large knot on the front of the body piece.

Step 11:
Apply glue to one end of the painted bamboo skewer and slide it up the center of the folded body piece. Set aside to dry.

Step 12:
Play or decorate with the completed Mixed-Media Paper Puppet!

*The pattern for the Mixed Media Paper Puppet:
Click on this image to embiggen and then print out at original size (8 1/2" x 11")

NOTE: Yes, it's Wednesday and not Tuesday. I had two more photos to shoot and ran out of daylight on Tuesday. And Tutorial Wednesday didn't have the same ring to it...