Puppets and Stuff

Puppet Construction => Tutorials => Topic started by: Gabriel G on September 01, 2008, 01:56:27 pm



Title: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: Gabriel G on September 01, 2008, 01:56:27 pm
I'm going to share a technique I recently learned on making eyes from spoons and other easy to find materials. I want to share this for all of you to benefit from what I've learned and hopefully won't have trouble with spoon eyes anymore! I used to have trouble making eyes from spoons, I couldn't stand using them because it always had an ugly end that had to be covered in some way and I couldn't just use the spoon uncovered.
This technique is what I learned from Carrie Murphy, those of you that know about Christian Puppetry or I-Fest know she's amazing as a builder, puppeteer and more importantly, as a Christian minister. Hopefully you find this helpful! If you have any questions feel free to ask!

1) I bought these spoons at the Dollar Tree and at Walmart. Try to stock up on different sized spoons with different shapes so you have more options when making a puppet. However, I try to stay away from the spoons with ridges on the edges, just because it's harder to smooth them down.
(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a31/sfkid106/DSC01646-1.jpg)
For the pupils, my two favorites are Googley Eyes and Black Buttons.
(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a31/sfkid106/DSC01657-1.jpg)

2) I use stainless steel scissors when cutting the handle off,
(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a31/sfkid106/DSC01647-1.jpg)
if you do it slowly you can elimate getting too much of the handle and can already start to give the eye its shape.
(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a31/sfkid106/DSC01648-1.jpg)

3) Next, I use a nail file to shape the eyes. I tried sand paper before I learned this technique and it just wouldn't work for me. Nail Files [also called Emery Boards] have two different sides, the dark side is for Shaping and the light side is for Finishing.
(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a31/sfkid106/DSC01649-1.jpg)
I use the dark side to shape away until I get a nice shape and the smooth it off with the light side and voila! Beautiful eye shape that doesn't scream SPOON. [The top one still has the ridge on it, I didn't file it down completely out of laziness, it's there for photo purposes]
(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a31/sfkid106/DSC01652-1.jpg)

4) Now for the pupils! Personally, I DESPISE googly eyes with a PASSION! Eerrrr.. sorry.. Anyways off my rant,
I do, however, buy different sized googley eyes for a reason. I cut off the plastic eye shape and harvest the perfectly round pupil!
(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a31/sfkid106/DSC01655-1.jpg)
Another way to do the pupil is with black buttons. I buy the ones that are slightly rounded and have no design but are smooth and glossy. It gives the eyes a nice finish. To get rid of the back, I cut it off with my trusty scissors as close as I can to the button. Then I file away wit the dark side of the nail file and smooth it off with the light side.
(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a31/sfkid106/DSC01654-1.jpg)

5) Finally I just hot glue the pupil in place, as most of you probably know, try to make the eyes slightly cross-eyed as it gives them puppet amazing focus. Play around with the eyes until its just right.
If I want to give the eyes eyelids or eyelashes I cut them from foamies, sticky felt and scraps of antron fleece. I trace the eye shape on the side that WON'T show and draw and cut the shape I need.
Here are the finished eyes.
(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a31/sfkid106/DSC01656-1.jpg)
I'm still experimenting with this so its a learning experience for us all.


And finally, here are some cool work-in-progress of the beautiful puppets Carrie made for the Dream Team Performance "The Squire and the Scroll". They were ALL made from spoons and buttons. Enjoy!
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a31/sfkid106/PrincessHead2.jpg
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a31/sfkid106/082208_1517a.jpg
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a31/sfkid106/082208_1516a.jpg
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a31/sfkid106/Kingmouthopen.jpg
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a31/sfkid106/knightshaggyFr.jpg
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a31/sfkid106/Narratorfront.jpg


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: Angel on September 01, 2008, 02:17:20 pm
Thanks!  I have used spoons before, but I like the look of the ones you are showing here.  I like the idea of using the nail files, I'm always looking for sand paper.  All I had to do was look in my purse, duh :)  Thanks for the pictures... we love pictures here.


Angel


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: Angel on September 01, 2008, 02:21:00 pm
The puppets are so cute.


Angel


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: Toon Asylum on September 01, 2008, 03:16:19 pm
Great job...Thanks for sharing.
Also a tip for the guys out there(if you don't have a nail file in your purse like angel...LOL)
You can use the manly Dremel tool!!!!

Nice tutorial Gdub!!!  very easy to follow and loved all the pics!

Ran


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: puppetlady on September 01, 2008, 05:59:45 pm
I hadn't thought of harvesting a pupil from a google eye! Clever!
I too like you samples.
I use a belt sander on my spoons.  Ever try the belt sander on your fingernails?
Not a good idea.  The scar on my thumb nail has almost healed.


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: DrPuppet on September 01, 2008, 07:40:01 pm
Wonderfull! Absolutely excellent!! I never thought to use the googly eye pupals for eye dots or the buttons. I adore your idea and love to learn something new. Thank you!

Jay(drpuppet)


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: StiqPuppet Productions on September 01, 2008, 08:11:17 pm
Great little tutorial...it is always neat to learn something new....thanks! ;)

Daryl H


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: Rcdspoon on September 01, 2008, 08:13:34 pm
Wicked...I'm going to try that technique on my next dragon!!

Spoon


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: LJ on September 01, 2008, 09:09:56 pm
THANKS!!  It is nice to see how others do spoon eyes!  I never thought of using the black buttons as pupils!


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: Gabriel G on September 01, 2008, 11:18:11 pm
@Angel Thank you! And yeah, it saves time for you!

@ToonAsylum You're welcome! And I don't have a dremel unfortunately, I felt really weird when I went to WalMart to buy a pack of nail files!! LOL But Glad you like the tutorial!

@puppetlady Hehe thanks! It finally gives them a purpose! And thanks. And I don't have very many power tools so I thought a nail file was great since I found they're pretty cheap [and I just found a pack in my parent's bathroom so i know where to go if i run out!!]
And gaaah I'll be sure to never try that!

@DrPuppet Thanks I'm extremely glad [and flattered] a builder as amazing as you was able to learn something from this! And you're welcome =D

@stigman Thanks and No Problem!

@Rcdspoon Great, be sure to send me some pictures!

@LJ You're welcome =D Now go out and buy some buttons!


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: gompie on September 02, 2008, 01:13:46 am
I made an eye to saw a normal button on the puppet and on the dreads a glued a round black piece of filt. It looks great..(when I have time today I make a photo of the two puppets) I didn't know then that you have to use shinny black material for the pupil but it works the same


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: Wisers Mom on September 02, 2008, 10:09:07 am
Thankyou.
I have bought soooo many spoons,now I how to use them!
Brenda


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: Jon on September 02, 2008, 01:14:27 pm
Here's a thought.  layer your eyes.  First the spoon, then a colored disc for the outer edge of the pupil and then a shiney black button or the circle from a googly eye.  This might geive a little more punch and character to to your spoon eye.  i may try that on a puppet I'm working on now.


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: Chris Arveson on September 02, 2008, 05:53:05 pm
I've been working on one of the puppets for December, a poodle dog. I read about using plastic spoons in the Foam Book, but it never really grabbed me. Your tutorial inspired me to give it a shot, especially since I didn't have any pre-made eyes at hand that I wanted to use.

(http://puppetsandstuff.com/2008gallery/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=3297&g2_serialNumber=2) (http://puppetsandstuff.com/community/index.php?action=gallery&g2_itemId=3296)

I did have a couple teddy bear type eyes, so that's what I used for pupils. I used the fur that his face and body are made of for eyelids to shape the eye and take away a little of the "spooniness."

It wasn't hard, because I have one of those nifty little Dremel critters. I used that to cut off the handle, then sand the spoon into shape. I also used it to drill a pilot hole for the teddy bear eye post, before I used a full sized drill and bit to finish the hole.

I still need to trim some of the fur around his eyes, but otherwise I kind of like it. What do you think?


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: DrPuppet on September 02, 2008, 05:55:01 pm
excellent!


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: StiqPuppet Productions on September 02, 2008, 06:34:01 pm
Great example of what you can do with this tutorial....thanks for sharing.

Daryl H


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: Lien on November 10, 2008, 07:32:21 pm
my friend I need info... how can I make blacklight stuff using brown color?
are brown color can glow?


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: Jon on November 10, 2008, 09:10:31 pm
Brown doesn't glow very well.  Once I needed some brown that would glow so I mixed black light paint together until I had a shade of brown.  It did glow but not very well.  You could try the same thing and see if it meets your needs.


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: jovack on November 11, 2008, 12:50:31 pm
this is just what i needed thank you so much


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: Lien on November 16, 2008, 11:55:50 pm
thank you it helps a lot


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: miguel on November 17, 2008, 08:18:53 am
Yes its a nice tecnique, that I'm using for my next puppet!

Thanks for the tutorial!

Miguel!


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: tsu on November 17, 2008, 08:34:14 am
yeah, I will have to try it for sure. :)


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: Billy D. Fuller on November 17, 2008, 08:37:25 am
When harvesting the black pupil.................. why not harvest it from the back side as not to destroy the plastic dome................ it to can be painted from the inside to be a creative eye.

Billy D.


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: miguel on November 17, 2008, 09:58:32 am
Good idea!

Miguel!


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: Gabriel G on November 19, 2008, 11:06:49 pm
@Chris He looks great!

@Lien The only way to make anything fluorescent 'brown' is by buying fluorescent paints and mixing the colors. I used this for some fluorescent rocks I made but they were on foamboard, I don't think it'd work well with puppets

@Jovack No problem =]

@Miguel De nada! =D And I saw the puppet, [will go comment right now xD;]

@Billy Actually, if you ever saw the fraggle puppets I made I did something similar. I got out the pupil so it wouldn't make the rattling noise and colored the plastic dome with a sharpie. But getting the pupil out is really hard without making a big hole so gluing the pupil to the eye becomes a challenge! But it gets a nice glossy look to it!





Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: cvzdesign on November 20, 2008, 08:01:43 am
When I was looking up black light, I saw that fabric softener contains phosphorics in it to make clothes look whiter.
Would washing brown material with fabric softener make them glow under black light the right way?


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: Billy D. Fuller on November 20, 2008, 10:32:08 am
When I was looking up black light, I saw that fabric softener contains phosphorics in it to make clothes look whiter.
Would washing brown material with fabric softener make them glow under black light the right way?

All you can do is try and see if it works...................... If anyones tries this please let us know the results.

Billy D.


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: Gabriel G on November 20, 2008, 11:36:17 am
@CVZ Possibly, I've heard from many puppeteers that Tide makes everything glow in blacklight. However, the thing with dark colors like brown is they are nowhere near as brilliant or visible as the colors meant for blacklight. But good luck!


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: cvzdesign on November 20, 2008, 02:58:10 pm
It wasn't for me, I was replying to an earlier message asking about how to make brown glow in the blacklight.
I haven't tried any blacklight yet.


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: mindfulloffire on February 06, 2011, 06:39:17 am
how do you attach the spoon to the face?


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: Shawn Sorrell on February 06, 2011, 07:45:00 am
There are a couple ways you can attach the spoon eye to the face. First you can just glue it to the face with something like hot glue or other adhesive.  Second you could drill two tiny holes at the top and bottom or in the corners of the eyes and sew it on through the holes. The second option works best if you are planing on covering the eye with fabric to make an eyelid. 


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: mindfulloffire on February 06, 2011, 08:49:59 am
I was thinking glue would be tough because of the concave of the side you are attaching to the face.  As for the sewing if you are only sewing the top where they eyelid would cover would that make it so the eye would not be securely attached and perhaps move around?


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: Shawn Sorrell on February 06, 2011, 10:46:18 am
Well an eyelid normally comes to the corner of the eyes. So you have three points where you drill holes top and then two sides.  Should hole securely.  You are right that with the concave you only have surface at the edges to glue. You could try to fill in the concave with something like maybe foam that is glued to the spoon and then glue the foam to the face.


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: Steve on February 06, 2011, 11:08:39 am
The best luck I've had personally with glue and spoons is crazy glue. It's clear, it has a tiny point of exit on the bottle, and you can get a superthin line on the edge of the spoon. Drawback is you really get 1 shot at it.. So mark your spots so you line it up right the first time! The crazy glue tears up the fabric coming off to "re-try" or you can exacto under it and hope for the best...


Title: Re: How to Make Eyes from Spoons
Post by: mindfulloffire on February 06, 2011, 07:16:38 pm
Thanks I'll keep this in mind.