Moments before the alligator attack, Kitty and I were sitting in the kitchen minding our own business….
….and BAM, the needle felted alligator puppet jumped off the table and attacked Kitty!
…oh, I was just daydreaming! I started making some puppets the other day, I intended to make a dragon like this one:
….but at one point it started looking like an alligator, so I “followed the shapes”. The simple puppet I set out to make became more complicated, with fairly sharp fimo teeth and finger slots to put your hand so the alligators mouth can be opened and closed. This isn’t s step-by-step tutorial, but I did shoot a few of the creation stages, have a look!
I made the alligator’s top jaw first, his lower jaw second and the body sleeve last. I inserted glass doll eyes into the sides of his head. I connected the two jaws with a thick, flat piece of wool that acts as a hinge.
The tricky part of making the finger holes in the jaws is making them deep enough for your hands so you have real control over the motion of the jaws. I used a pair of scissors to cut deep holes in the top and bottom jaws, I pulled out as much wool as I could so that it was still snug when I put my hands inside the holes. I felted the holes as best as I could to make them smoother.
Here is the gator without any teeth, he looks pretty pitiful. I made the alligator teeth from off- white fimo (the photo shows an example of the teeth placement).
I shaped the alligator’s teeth so that they’re slightly rounded, those are shark’s teeth at the top of the photo, for a future project. I baked the teeth at a low temperature for about 7 minutes, then took them out to cool and harden.
With scissors, I cut deep slits in the jaws (following a photo of a real alligator with his mouth open) and glued each tooth in with fabric glue.
I needle felted a sheath to cover my arm; I wrapped the sheet of needle felted wool around the end of the alligator’s head and needle felted it on.
Now I have a fairly realistic alligator puppet with which I can use to help tell fairy tales or stories, use as a conversation piece at dinner parties or chase the cat around the house with!