Bess Harding contributed this great finger puppet project for the latest issue of Small. You can see more photos in small projects in this issue of Small magazine. You can also see Bess' work in her Etsy shop here
Finger Puppet Family
I’m going to make a family of mum, dad,brother, baby and pet dog, but you could vary it, maybe adding a grandparent, a different pet (cats and bunny rabbits work well), or forget the humans and do a menagerie of animals (think stripy zebra, lion with a big mane, bear, elephant etc.). Also, mine are made of card but you could follow the same steps with fabric or felt if you like.
1 Use your pencil to draw your basic shape on the thick card, using a finger as a guide but leaving plenty of room around it, then cut out.
2 Fold your medium card in two and draw around your template five times (or however many you like). Now is the time to draw on any ears/manes/tails that might stick out from your basic shape.
3 Cut out, keeping the two sides of each puppet together.
4 Next, sew a plain stitch around the curved side of each puppet, a couple of mm in from the edge, leaving the bottom edge free. If you don’t have a sewing machine you could use a stapler or masking tape around the edges (both quick but a bit ugly).
Now the fun part - decorating your puppets. I’ve used acrylic paint for the faces and clothes, and a thin black marker for the eyes. I’ve kept the faces pretty much the same and varied the hairstyles and clothes to differentiate the little characters. You could draw on some basic arms and hands, or cut out fabric clothes and use PVA glue to stick to the card. It’s up to you whether you continue the clothes onto the back (no-one will see around there anyway!)
All that’s left is to give your puppets names and pop them on your fingers to bring them to life!