Making sock puppets is usually reserved for little kids and their grannies using up orphaned socks and mismatched buttons, and while I have done that as a little kid and intend to do that as a granny, really sock puppet making is all about creating little characters. It’s so neat to see the personalities come out of these guys as they are being made. You could probably just gather all your favorite crafty gear and easily make sassy puppets from that, but for these guys I was going for a specific kind of feeling.
I used; dark, fuzzy socks, felt, foam, ping pong balls, fun fur yarn and hot glue.
You really can just wing it from what you have, but you might want to have a general idea of what you want your puppet to look like. I made a few for fun and I made one for a friend who needed it for a project, and he needed it to be a slightly shady character. I knew I wanted him to have big, black rimmed eyes and different sized pupils and I knew his hair needed to be really bright. The details, and the execution, happen in the moment. This first puppet was my practice guy and he turned out awesome.
I would recommend though, that you do the inside of the mouth first, just to claim the center. I say claim, because really, it’s a sock and you can make the middle of it be where ever you want. I put the sock on, with the heel part on the back of my wrist for comfort when using it, and opened the area where the mouth would be.
I cut out a long oval from black felt and hot glued it to the sock there to be the inside of the mouth. Then I put the sock back on my hand and dabbed a little hot glue on a ping pong ball. I attached the ping pong ball eye to the sock while it was on my hand to make sure I had it positioned right – just be careful because the heat from the glue sucks on your knuckles through the sock, but it’s worth it. I added the pupils right away.
I cut a small oval from red felt for his tongue and glued that in his mouth, not sticking out, mostly centered. I eyeballed it, it doesn’t have to be perfect but I didn’t want it to be too off center. For his hair, I knitted a little swatch-size piece from fun fur yarn. For this guy I decided to go with green. Once it was knitted up, I placed it on him like a toupee and hot glued it in place.
For this second guy, I still wanted ping pong eyes, but I wanted them to be a little different. A little sleepier, creepier, weirder. So I cut the ping pong balls in half and glued them on in basically the same position as the full ping pong balls on the first puppet. To really make him look creepier than the first one, who looked really friendly, I cut small strips of black felt and rimmed his eyes with them, then I added mis-matched pupils. I knitted up a few toupees in different colors and this blue seemed to look the best with the black sock I used.
I attacked his mouth earlier, but added the tongue and teeth at this point. The tongue was red felt and the teeth were yellow and white foam. I was a little nervous about adding the teeth because I didn’t want to wreck him at this point in the process but I just went for it and I’m so glad I did! All you really need is a sock, a box of rando craft supplies and a hot glue gun – and an imagination! The kids made a bunch too, even one with square pupils and one with heart shaped pupils! So silly, I love it!