I’ve just realised that I started my last post by saying that I plan to be busy making Christmas gifts and that the bed made for Sausage the Cat would be my last project before getting stuck into festive projects. So, I fibbed! THIS will be my last project before Christmas and technically it is a mini-project so maybe it doesn’t even count!
I love getting stuck into a new project, even if it means that ones that I have been planning for sometime end up getting put further on the back burner – my list of project ideas is getting longer by the day! This mini-project sprung from my offering to make some puppets for story sacks at my son’s preschool and The Three Little Pigs was the first suggested story. Sticking with the recurring theme of recycling, I first looked at what materials I already had that would be appropriate to use and found a large enough piece of flesh-coloured felt which would work well for the bodies of the three little pigs. This, with the felt and other fabric scraps given to me by preschool, meant that I had all I needed for the project without buying more materials – my kind of project.
The wolf was the first puppet that I tackled and to be honest, the fabric I used was a bit of a nightmare to work with. While I thought the grey material would be ideal for the wolf (images of a silver fox kept coming to mind) because of it being a little like brushed velvet, it was difficult to sew when against the grain. As a result, the sewing is a little rough in places but I reasoned with this by labelling the wolf as ‘rough and ready!’
I used a generic hand puppet template for all of the puppets which I just adapted to convey the different characters.
Now I was ready to make the three little pigs and the felt used was a lot easier to work with. To speed up the process, I actually fixed the facial features onto the bodies using a hot glue gun, with the ears first being attached at the back of the puppet before the tips were folded and glued down on the front. I was really pleased with how these turned out especially after consulting my son as to what he thought the puppets were of and him replying ‘the three little pigs’ – phew!
While I had been making the puppets, I also came up with the idea of making props for each of the pigs to convey the materials used to build their homes in the story – bricks, sticks and straw. I however wanted to show the puppets to the preschool staff before I made anything else as I didnt know if they had their own props already to use with the puppets. Thankfully the puppets were warmly received and the idea of props to accompany them was greeted with enthusiasm which meant more creating! As I had already given the props some thought, I knew how I would make them and so it didn’t take me long to complete this final stage of the project.
The ‘bricks’ were made using a small piece of felt and were the only part which required any further sewing. The ‘straw’ was made up of smaller pieces of brown string cut into smaller lengths and tied in the middle and the ‘sticks’ were found in my garden. I actually really enjoyed putting these bits together and like the fact that they represent different textures. Having previously worked in childcare for many years I am familiar with the types of props and materials used in story sacks and recognise the benefits of giving children a variety of sensory experiences.
All in all the ‘mini-project’ was a success and the preschool were really pleased with the result, which is the main objective. Maybe I will be asked to create some more puppets – I do hope so. In the meantime, it is definitely Project Christmas from now on…..she says!
What are you planning to make for Christmas?
Until next time,