Needle Felted Halloween Puppet: The Bride of Frankenstein Tutorial

needle felted puppets
Needle felted Bride of Frankenstein and Frankenstein’s Puppets by Laura Lee Burch

Halloween is pretty much my favorite holiday, it’s creative and fun and it inspires me; this year I’ve needle felted several Halloween puppets. Most of these puppets were time intensive and they have lots of details;  I want to share some of my techniques and thoughts about needle felting faces in this post. Not all portraits have to be photo-realistic, cartoon techniques and-caricatures are also good ways to make needle felted portraits. My needle felted portraits tend to be realistic. NOTE: This is an advanced project but it can be simplified. This puppet is not a toy because of the hair and eyes which can be choking hazards for children. If you wish to make a puppet as a toy, needle felt the eyes (don’t use glass or plastic eyes or fake eye lashes) and felt the hair firmly so it can’t be pulled out.

These puppets can be used for puppet shows and they can also be conversational pieces of sculpture for your home or business.

Needle felted Bride of Frankenstein
Needle felted Bride of Frankenstein

Continue reading “Needle Felted Halloween Puppet: The Bride of Frankenstein Tutorial”

Goth Halloween

goth crown ehttps://www.etsy.com/shop/CostumeRenaissance

It’s time to talk about costumes again; one of my favorite topics! I haven’t made many full costumes lately, but a friend of mine Sara Rabinovich is a master seamstress and is creating  some wonderful Halloween/Holiday get ups! The wonderful thing about Sara’s pieces is that she designs them, makes the pattern for each piece and sews them together with finesse. I used to buy store-bought patterns for sewing, until I moved to Israel I was unfamiliar with the pattern-making process. If you can make your own patterns (as well as sew your own costumes) your creative possibilities double! Two of my favorite costume accessories are the crown and the Ruff. Sara’s black crown is based on the Gothic style: tall and pointed; this crown works well for a Halloween Goth princess but I also think it could be worn by the Evil Queen for an Alice and Wonderland themed costume. A Ruff (short for ruffle) is a piece to cover the tops of the gathered shirts worn in the 16th and 17th centuries. Sara’s Elizabethan ruff sits like a cloud around the neck;  it’s made from black organza trimmed in exquisite lace. The ruff is adorned with hand-sewn white beads and the neck band is made from satin, so as not to irritate the skin. You can see many more of Sara’s fine handmade ruffs on her Etsy site: https://www.etsy.com/shop/CostumeRenaissance?section_id=12065759.

Renaissance neck piece worn in the 16th and 17 century (western Europe)
Renaissance ruff worn in the 16th and 17th centuries (western Europe).

The rest of this handmade costume make it suitable for a Goth Princess, a masquerade ball as well as elegant Vampire attire! The skirt is made from organza with layers of tulle to give the skirt a “lift”.

See more of Sara’s creations at Costume Renaissance: https://www.etsy.com/shop/CostumeRenaissance?section_id=12065759

goth princess

Our “Epic” Halloween Party

halloween fun for kids
Zombie Elli

My daughter Elli had an “epic” Halloween party; epic is the new in word the kids are using theses days, as the word “lame” was not too long ago-FYI. The party was for the 12 year old crowd, with a few 9 year olds thrown in for good measure (Emili’s friends). It’s hard to celebrate American holidays here in Israel for a few reasons, the main one being that since American holidays aren’t celebrated here, you don’t get the day off and Halloween for example, is just another Monday. It’s difficult to have a party on a Monday night when parents have work the next day and children have school. You can’t trick or treat because Israeli’s don’t really understand what that is or really how to do it. (The American school does organize a trick or treat night in a neighboring town to Tel Aviv, but you need to be affiliated with the school or get tickets from someone in the school). About 5 or 6 years ago, some friends who had lived in America for quite a while had a children’s Halloween party. They asked a few of their neighbors to give out candy to the children in costume that would be knocking on their doors that evening. The neighbors ended up throwing the candy and pita bread at the children (?); maybe they got the whole handing out candy idea mixed up with throwing rice at a wedding! (?) Costumes are only out at Purim time in Israel and these costumes are mostly lame and poorly made and last but not least, it’s hard to find a pumpkin around here and the ones I have seen are white! Obstacles for sure, but with a little ingenuity and determination, a very scarry Halloween party can be achieved… 

horror movies
The big kids watched a horror movie and screamed and screamed and screamed

You can’t really find Halloween decorations here,   but we did found a few skulls, bones, skelatons and spiders in a junky toy shop in Florentine. We ordered a few special things from America and had my sister send them to us; we ordered cookie molds for witch fingers and bones and a jello mold for a brain. And as usual, we made many of our decorations; I made the girls’ costumes and ratty, tattered curtains that we hung on the windows and used to cover walls. I drug home several big tree branches that I found along the side of the road and put them around the front door and we scattered leaves in the front garden around the cardboard tombstones that Elli made. I spread my needle felting wool over lights and in corners and put spiders all over them, I spread white sheets over everything, dimmed the lights and played spooky music…

We had tasty treats…

halloeen decoration
Brains, Severed Heads and eerie skulls
halloween cookies
Finger and bone cookies
children's halloween party
Ghoulish candy
Horror on Halloween
Putrid Punch
halloween treats
Crunchy rat snacks

We had Ghoulish guests…

haunted house
Ghoulish guest Michal

We had an evil hostess…

halloween party for kids
Would you like a slice of brain?

And most importantly, we had horrible ambiance…

spider decorations
Creepy, crawly spiders
Halloween ambiance
haunted living room
haunted house curtains
Haunted House Curtains
skull decorations
skull lights

The kids danced in the basement (dungeon) but adults and their cameras were banned from this part of the haunted house, thus I don’t have any dancing photos:( Don’t worry, we knew what was going on down there the whole time because the 9 year old guests tattled on the 12 year old guests every chance they got!

And in one rare moment when I wasn’t cleaning, serving or monitoring the kids, Doron and I boogied to the horror of our children, then someone broke a whole glass bottle of orange juice and I had to go back to clean up duty.

halloween fun
Doron and Laura boogie

All in all, the kids rated this party a success!

Needle Felted Halloween Masks

lauraleeburch
Needle Felted Rooster Mask

I don’t know what it is about costumes and masks that get my imagination going! Emili has brought this rooster mask to life (after much complaining about having to model it); from this costume I’ve thought to make angry birds, a punk mohawk headpiece, a gladiator helmet and an owl mask-alas, there’s just not enough time.

Laura Lee Burch needle felting
Vogue Elephant

This mask and pose make Elli look like a young celebrity elephant posing for a photo shoot in Elephants Today.

masks
Needle felted Rat Mask-Where's my cheese?

  The Rat Masks were made as an ode to my girls’ pet rats: Bibbl and Harry. Check out the fimo teeth!

Hallowee, Purim, Theater masks
Rat teeth detail

And last but not least, the very pink lounge singer, the elegant Ms. Flamingo…

Halloween masks
Ms. Flamingo

See last years needle felted masks here: http://www.lauraleeburch.com/blog/2010/10/playing-and-teaching-with-needle-felted-masks/ and

 http://www.lauraleeburch.com/blog/2010/10/needle-felted-halloween-masks/

You can find this year’s mask in my shop:  here

Waldorf Costumes: It’s Not Easy Being A Carrot!

rabbits like carrots
Everybody, especially rabbits, like carrots.

Emili the carrot dosen’t know it yet, but she is being admired by the hungry bunny, carrots and bunnies are of course, natural enemies. As I was needle felting the carrot hat, I had a vision of the carrot being chased by a rabbit, is that wrong?

carrots don't like rabbits
The carrot notices an unwanted admirer.

I think my warped sense of humor took over during this photo shoot of my Waldorf inspired costumes. Elli really got into role of the over enthusiastic rabbit; I love the leering look the rabbit gives the carrot. Of course you don’t have to promote the predatory idea like I did, but it made me laugh. Carrots should be hanging out with their fruit and veggie friends, it’s much more wholesome!

fruity friends
Emili the carrot and her fruity friends, Lili the strawberry and Helen the apple.