Marionnette Puppets – Big Fluffy Bird Craft

Marionnette Puppets – Big Fluffy Bird Craft

marrionette puppet in diy project for scouts
marionette hanging on a prop the girls made for the parade

Marionette Puppets on Parade

My girl scout troop was invited to participate in a Christmas Parade this year, along with all of the other girl scout troops in Long Beach, as one big group.  The theme we had to work with was Christmas Around the World. After some research, since we had berets from the cultural fair, we decided to represent France.  One tradition we kept reading about was the popularity of puppets and puppet shows for Christmas. When we priced out how much ready made large puppets would cost the troop, it was significantly more than our budget would allow. We decided to make our own fluffy marionette bird puppets.

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Making the puppets

The troop has some very artistic girls that love to craft, so I thought they would be up for the challenge of making marionette bird puppets.  I designed this puppet after examining how a store-bought vintage furry puppet was assembled that my husband had purchased back in the 1990s.  From start to finish I can make one of these myself in about 30 minutes.  However, when the 4th grade girls worked on them, it took more than 1 hour to do everything. I ended up doing the wiring for them due to the difficultly of balancing it all out.  Our sister troop of 7th grade cadet scouts were able to do the entire project, including wiring. Their leader said it took them a little more than 2 hours to complete each marionette bird puppet.

Needed Materials:

Updated Note: We are blessed (or cursed?) to live near the port of Los Angeles and in 2012, I was able to buy the items in person in bulk from an import craft store, called Fabric Barn. However, the links above are to where the items are available on Amazon. The one item that may be difficult to find is the floral pins/ greening pins.

supplies to make homemade marionette puppets
Some of the materials needed to make the string puppet

To assemble the marionette bird puppet project:

  1. cut 2 shapes out to form the beak, and form into a cone.
  2. Glue beak on ball #1
  3. Hot glue Turkey feather Boa around the beak and ball where they meet.
  4. Continue to cover ball with feather boa
  5. Pin part of boa to fasten it as neck meeting the head
  6. Leave 10 inches between ball #1 and Ball #2, then glue and pin bottom of “neck” to ball #2
  7. glue remaining boa around ball #2
  8. cut maribu boa in 4 equal pieces
  9. glue and pin two maribu pieces for legs on either side of ball #2
  10. cut remaining ball #3 in two halves
  11. glue 1 piece of maribu on each half of ball #3
  12. pin and glue each maribu leg to back side maribu covered ball feet
  13. glue washer on bottom of feet
  14. glue two wooden pieces in a cross shape like a small letter “t”
  15. attach the clips to each end of the wooden “t”
  16. attach 1 piece of fishing line to each clip
  17. tie other end of each piece of fishing line to a florist pin
  18. insert and glue pins in 4 points on the puppet: one centered on the top of each foot, one in head, one in tail.

I hope you enjoy your big fluffy marionette bird puppets! Check out more of my craft posts.

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