So the idea to make a bead person puppet came from a coupla different places. I was thinking about doing puppets for one of my summer camp classes but ended up pushing the idea to the side. And then last week I was looking for an activity to do at the Grand Bazaar Market I was going to be vending at.
So I used my bead doll DIY as inspiration. I made a coupla changes to my original design and voila, I got my bead person marionette. Initially I made some samples using just cording and it left me with just a floppy person. I decided that the upper body needed to to have stability and hold itself up and the only way to get that was to make the torso, arms and head with wire and then make the legs using cording to allow the legs movement.
Check out the DIY below.
Supplies: 17 1/4 inch beads, thin cording or string, 24 gauge silver wire, craft stick with 3 holes drilled, large wooden 1/2 wide, 2 metal nuts or washers, pair of scissors, round nose pliers, markers, ruler, hot glue gun, metal scissors
Cut off a 13 inch long wire as well as the following pieces of cording: 2 pieces 10 inches long, 1 piece 8 inches long and 1 piece 6 inches long.
Line up the ends of the wire and fold it in half to create a loop on one side.
Take the 8 inch cording and loop it through through the wire.
Over lap the wire as shown above, as tightly as possible.
Twist the wire 3 times.
Make a double knot on the cording. Pull tight.
Thread both wires through two beads and pull down to the cording. These will be the tummy and chest areas.
Separate the wires as shown above. Then thread 3 beads onto one of the wires. You are creating the arms.
Place the round nose pliers close to last bead placed.
Wrap the wire around the bottom jaw and bring it up until it meets the other wire. Create a 3 strand coil and remove the round nose plier. You will have created the hand.
Re-insert the end of the wire back through the 3 arm beads to bring it back to its starting point.
Once the wire comes back through the first arm bead, you may have to use the pliers to pull the wire through.
Repeat on the other side.
Pull the two wires togethers and insert the neck bead.
Grab the wooden bead and draw the face features using your markers. Make sure the bead holes are on the left and right sides of the face, where ears are on a normal head.
Separate the wires again and place the face bead on top of the neck bead. Then insert the left wire through the left hole and the right right wire through the right hole.
Push the wires flat against the head bead and then wrap the ends above the neck bead.
Now the torso an the arms are all done. Time to work on the legs.
Insert four beads to create one of the legs. Set aside.
Then take one of the 10 inch cording and create a knot close to one end. Give yourself about 2 inches on the short side. Do not pull the knot tight and leave enough room to put the leg cording through the knot loop.
Insert the end of the just beaded leg cording through the knot. Finish the knot by pulling both sides of the 10 inch cording.
Finish by creating a double knot using the short end of the 10 inch cording and the leg cording. Make sure you pull the initial knot as close as you can to the last bead before you make the double knot.
Cut the left over ends off close to the knot. Repeat the process to make the other leg.
Add a dab of hot glue to the first knot.
Then quickly place the bead on the nut. Repeat on the other side.
To attach the bead person to the craft stick, you will adhere the center head cording first. First off, tie the 6 inch cording around the head. It may be helpful to add a dab of hot on the knot so that it does not come undone, especially if a younger child is tying the knot. And then insert the head cording into the center hole.
Set the head coring on the craft stick by either tying a knot or my preferred method of hot glueing it down.
To figure out the right length for the leg cording, insert the first leg cording through the hole and then lay the bead person flat on the table. Pull the craft stick up until the head cording is stretched tight. Make any necessary changes to the leg cording so that the leg is pointing straight down and the cording is as straight and has the same give as the head cording. Glue or knot in place.
All done. Now its time to play with your bead person. Have fun with it.