Making Blinking Puppet EyesBy rob3rt on January 23, 2011 — Leave a comment
How to Make Blinking Puppet Eyes
For this tutorial I’m writing about how to make blinking puppet eyes. Making your puppet’s eyes blink is a very easy task and I’ve tried to illustrate the job step by step in the PDF . (Blink Puppet Eye Schematic PDF.) Another great resource is the tutorial located at Puppeteers Unite. I actually simplified the way I do blinking puppet eyes after I saw his video. So when you’re done here you can check him out. http://puppeteersunite.com.
First Make the Puppet’s Eyes Center
For materials, I’m using basic ping pong balls for the puppet’s eyes, a wire coat hanger and doll eyes. First, you’re going to pick a center point for your puppet’s eyes. If you want the puppet’s eyes to bulge out crooked on each side, just adjust where you insert the wire. It’s a good idea if you have a seam in your ping pong ball to try and hide it now by keeping it on the side. Details like that will show up on video and photographs, and will make your puppet’s eyeball look like a ping pong ball and ruin the illusion. When sticking the wire through the puppet’s eye, I suggest heating up the wire with a lighter or heating up a large metal pin. This will make it easy to poke the ping pong ball through without denting it.
Making the Puppet’s Blinking Eyelid Frame
In these pictures you’ll notice I inserted the dolls’ eyes into the ping pong balls. This is a basic step that I don’t think anyone really needs me to explain, but a quick tip would be to heat up the wire just like you did to poke the main center rod through. This will give you a good guide hole to glue your doll eye into. So you should have the wire through the puppet’s eyes and you need to bend the center for your finger to have something to flick around. You need to consider that if you’re using a thick foam, you’ll need to make the wire longer. In my illustrated PDF for making the blinking puppet eye you’ll notice I did not twist the metal. For the example you’re seeing in the photos showing the blinking puppet eyes, I twisted the metal for a stronger support. It’s up to you. Do whatever fits your project. Then take the two ends and flip them around the puppet’s eyes to meet in the center.
Covering the Blinking Puppet Eyelids
So now that you’ve clipped the wires down, you’re basically ready to go. Now it’s time to glue or sew your fabric over the puppet’s lids and glue the bottom of the eyes into the puppet’s foam face eye holes. I prefer to use the same fabric for the puppet’s eyelids as the puppet’s skin, but it’s up to you. I also recommend adding details like small feathers for eyelashes. The example you are seeing in this tutorial is a simple blinking puppet. The puppet’s blinking eyes are mounted to a straight piece of sheet foam so I could easily show the front and the back.
Other Projects By Scott Marino
Great Scott Designs
Mr Dr Mad.