My Own Puppet Show

This post is way overdue: it’s actually something I wanted to share almost a year ago but somehow I just didn’t get around it. But it is worth sharing, so here it is!

As most of you know, I live in Germany but am from Hungary. With a couple of other Hungarian families we organized a play/craft group for our kids and it has been running over a year now. It is a platform where we teach our kids about our Hungarian cultural heritage, do craft projects etc.

In this group a fellow mother came to me one day and said that she would be happy if we could make a puppet show for our little ones and this got me to think how it could be done. A few months later (last summer) I started to watch tutorials on youtube on how are those puppets actually made and one day I stumbled upon Adam Kreutinger and his puppet building videos. I watched them hundreds of times, and eventually started to buy all the supplies I needed. When I felt I knew enough, I started to build my very first puppet. This was about August 2017. And it went so well, that I decided to make enough for a whole puppet show!

Deadlines are good for projects, so I came up with the idea of directing the nativity story: it had to be done before Christmas. I phoned almost everybody I knew in town and asked around if they wanted to participate and surprisingly they all did! So by September I had enough people for my puppet show, but not just for that, I even found four great musicians who eventually played a couple of songs before, during and after the puppet show!

The only thing was for me to finish all the puppets in time to start practicing. Barely, but I did it!

I looked up the text from the internet and at the end I mixed two nativity stories and my own ideas together, so it was enjoyable and understandable for our kids.

By October the whole group came together which was about fifteen people and we started working. What I loved about working with these people was, that everybody came up with little ideas and made this project even better! I think they enjoyed it as much as I did. It was a great challenge but we faced it together and at the end it was a great success!

Take a look at my puppets:

The three shepherds

The Angel

The three Wise Men

Have you noticed how their presents can be attached to their hands with a little piece of velcro?

My favorite puppet is this wise man. I just love how the character is made by his beard. It was the first time I ever sewn furry fabric and it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. Although I had to watch a couple of youtube videos on this topic, as well…

The mouth piece is made up from two little PET-plastic piece, glued together with duct-tape and elastic is added on both sides allowing the fingers to properly move the lips.

Then this was covered with felt and glued into the foam head. This was very tricky because the glue dried very fast and it was hard to place this into the mouth-gap.

The body  and the head of the puppets is made from foam, cut out after a self drafted pattern, glued together (this is the tricky part!) and covered with stretchy fabric. And then I hand sewn the nose, beard, mustache etc. onto the face and the hair to the haed. After that came usually the crown or other hear wear. Final step was to make the dress of the puppet. It was also the easiest step, let me just say that!

I even got some fabric donations from my local fabric store when they heard what I was planning. For example the dress of the wise man with the beard is made from a couch cover scrap.

Joseph

Mary

Other then the puppets, I also hade to make the background lambrequin for the stage. For the front we just used our old green curtains!

(Thank you kissadrienn for this picture!)

At last let me show you a short video from our performance:

The next couple of weeks we are moving which meant that this year I will not have the time to repeat this great puppet show but I rented out the whole set to the Hungarian parish in Cologne and I am very interested in their interpretation and will go and check out their performance!

This was a huge challenge and I enjoyed every step of it. I’m very glad that I was able to learn new skills and do a bit more hand stitching again! And of course serving my community is the biggest joy of all!

At last here is picture of me introducing our puppet show to the crowd. I was very nervous!

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DIY Dragon Costume

The idea, to make a dragon costume for our one year old son, came from his big brother (4,5). He was going to be a knight for carnival and I guess he needed a dragon that he could defeat. But at the same time he got a new book about a dragon who is called “Süsü” in Hungarian. He is the main character of a puppet show, very famous in Hungary and everybody loves Süsü.

His story goes like this:

He lives in dragonland with his parents who are the king and queen there. The dragons in dragonland are dangerous and mean creatures except Süsü: he is kind and loving. One time he event tries to cure the wounded enemy of his father and because of that he is forced to leave dragonland. After leaving, he is chasing butterflies and searching for his favorite food (wild pears) and meats a prince. They become very good friends and their exciting and sweet adventure goes on.

Here is the intro of the puppet show:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07MZjctmv7A

So after all, we decided to make a costume for our son nr2. just like Süsü. Check out how I made it!

Last year I made a few very cute bonnet hats and I wanted to combine that pattern with a sweater and make a hoody. So I started this project with the hood and added the dragon-ears to the seam.

DSC_1825Cutting out the parts: I added a 3cm wide collar, so I could attach the hood later to the sweater.

DSC_1831When I turned the hood inside out, it looked like this:

DSC_1838As you can see, I sewed one more seam on the right side with a 1cm seam allowance to make the hood look even more beautiful.

Then I made the head of the dragon separately and I attached it later to the hood by hand-stitching.

DSC_1835These two green pieces were cut out for  the head and the white ones for the teeth. (For which I used felt)

DSC_1839Then I used some white cotton fabric, batting and unused bobbins to make the eyes of the dragon:

DSC_1865Finished them up with black felt and more green fleece around the eyes and finally attached them to the head like this:

DSC_1866When the eyes were done, I hand-stitched again the nose and some yellow felt to make his hear:

DSC_1867When its face was done, I pinned together the two green fleece right sides facing together with the teeth and sewed them together but not completely:

DSC_1868I left a hole on the back of the head so I could turn it inside out and to add the filling:

DSC_1874After stuffing the head with the filling, I closed the seams on the back once again by hand-stitching it. As the head of Süsü was done, I only needed to attach it to the hood! But first I made the sweater. For that I used one of his existing hoody as pattern. I added a short zipper on front and a couple of yellow and green dots on the back and sides:

DSC_2014Adding those dots was pretty time-consuming but it was worth the effort at the end! There was one more thing missing: the wings! I had beautiful dark green felt left from my advent calendar project and I was glad to use it again! I added those yellow seams to make the wings look like the original ones and they turned out to be very beautiful!

DSC_2016The hoody was done so I added the head of the dragon on top of the hood:

DSC_2194And here is the back:

DSC_2192I was already very happy with what I had done but I did not stop here because I made matching pants and even a dragon tail which had a belt with velcro on it:

DSC_2195And when this one week project was done, I realized that my son is going to wear it only for a couple of hours but if you take a look at him, you’ll most likely agree with me when I say: It was totally worth it!

DSC_2054

DSC_2057He was so cute in this dragon costume! When he first tried it on, he started to chase his tail like a dog, it was hilarious…

And here is one more picture with his dad, the king:

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Thanks for the picture to kissadri!

What do you think? Do you celebrate carnival in your country or do you rather dress up for Halloween? What was you favorite costume so far? Mine were definitely these!