Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Stop-motion Puppet: how to create on a dime.

This is a stop-motion puppet I built last week.  He has an aluminum wire armature and simple paper mouths and eyes for lip sync and acting.  I'll probably put a test up here at a later date. 

All in all the materials for this little guy were less then $50.  What I love about stop-motion is that if you don't have the money you can make up for with hard work and a bit of creativity.

After the jump I give you a short step-by-step on how I built this guy.

First I took some trusty alluminum wire.

Then twisted a few strands together and bent it to fit my design. That little nut is called A T-nut.  I use it for tie downs in the feet because the metal it thin enough for a Dremel to easily trim it down.

Put the t-nut in the loop of the foot, and epoxy the t-nut in place

 I made the "hip bone" out of Paperclay.  It is an air hardening paper clay.  This is the first time I've used it.  It seems light weight and strong enough to be good in puppets.  The only draw back is it takes a day or two to fully dry.
 FOAM! Usually I would put some sort of epoxy to act as bones on the armature, but with this guy I wanted to get some pretty cartoon-y movement out of him so I left out his bones.
 I use Platinum Web Spray 150.  It forms a permanent bond between foam with minimal seams.  It is great for stop-motion puppetry.
 Cutting down the foam, and gluing (JB Kwik) on the head.
 I had some old balloon rubber laying around so I decided to try some latex build up technique.  It was my first go at it, but it seemed to work out. Here I started on the boots here.
 Getting the hands ready.
 I bit of colored balloon rubber on foam.  I'm putting on the first of many layers.
 I just mixed acrylic paint into the balloon rubber.  It seems to have worked out fine.


I forgot to document me putting his close together.  It was very simple I used felt and the foam spray adhesive.  then I took a felting needle to the seams of the pants and sweater.  This way the seams were hidden.

Do you have anymore questions?  I'd love to try to answer them. 

I'm always looking for new ways to make a puppet, so please let me hear your tips and tricks.

Hit me up on TWITTER if you want to chat.


  1. Love seeing your work. Keep it coming.

  2. "sugru"is a product- hand moldable silicon rubber that air cures over night- might be useful too

  3. i like your work. can you give me more details?