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Tube (pool noodle) puppets  (Read 32364 times)
« on: August 27, 2010, 05:14:27 pm »

I thought there were posts about making these, but cannot locate it. What I found (after I click on it) is blank. Help!
I need some instructions, a pattern or something...

Angel in Tx
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2010, 07:35:08 pm »

I made one last year, but the other day it broke during a show (the rope came undone somehow)! 

I have a new plan to try again, but haven't finished it yet.  I'd be glad to share my sketch - not sure it would do you any good. 

I would also like some tips from others on what works and what doesn't.

Here's what I know so far:

The one I made last year took 1-1/2 pool noodles and I just used rope to string it together through the hollow portion.  I covered each individual piece in fleece and just strung them together. (Why, oh why don't I have a photo??? I don't have it here, it's packed away at church.)
I made some black bands and put Velcro on the ends and attached them at the joints. Later, I took the strap off of the arm and added a dowel instead for a bit more control in the elbow area.

I made  a small head sort of oval shaped it was detached and worked by another puppeteer. 

I didn't really like the way it worked so this is the idea I have now.
8-27-2010 tube sketch

This time, the noodles I have are not hollow.  My husband gets these FREE from work.
030310 tubes

Just the other day, I began working on it. I used some really thick coat hanger (also from hubby's work uniforms) and used them as connectors by cutting them straight and sticking them through the middle of the foam lengthwise, then using pliers to bend them into a hook, hooking the two parts together at the shoulders, or elbow area. 
082710 tube upper body
082710 tube connections

I do not know if this will hold up when worn.  This is as far as I've gotten.  I think that dowel or small pvc pipe inserted through the foam tube may hold up better, but then again, the wire may do fine once fabric is over it. I also have some of that small tubing that is used for ice makers in fridges.  That may also help.  I'm afraid the wire will wear the foam through.  I just don't know.  This part is not my forte'.  It's all trial and error for me.

The one pictured would have to be taken back apart to cover with fabric, but this is just my test.  I didn't want to waste fabric on it yet.

I hope this helped you even just a little.

Billy D. Fuller
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2010, 08:51:34 pm »

The original post and tutorial was done by Amy Harder and was called " Cowboy Puppets" .............. but I believe was deleted in some of the area that Shawn did in some cleaning up of the site here at P&S. Then Andrew had the tutorial on puppet building but that is no longer there. I did save the material list and the pictures

Here is the list...................... will post a picture. Instructions are in a PDF file if you want to save it
4.75" Foam Noodles
3" Foam Noodles
1" PVC Pipe & elbow joints
Dress Fabric
EVA Foam Balls
Small Demin Vests
Leather Scrap
Small Straw Cowboy Hats
Misc. Buckles and Other Findings
Velcro Strips
Spray Adhesive
Black paint

white spray paint
duct tape

Found it.................... saved it to a PDF
PDF.......... http://puppetsandstuff.com/community/index.php?action=gallery&g2_itemId=14158



cactus22_smcactus cowboycactus cowgirlcactus eyecovering cactus joint
« Last Edit: August 27, 2010, 10:35:12 pm by Billy D. Fuller »
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2010, 06:59:33 am »

Your plan looks to be a good one! I can't wait to see the finished project!
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2010, 04:56:50 pm »

Man, you guys are killing me.

Now I've got to go out and get some pool noodles.  Those cactus (cacti?) are great!!! 

And Angel, your noodle man looks pretty good.  I haven't made any "life size" puppets yet, but a full size noodle man might be a good place to start. 
Angel in Tx
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2010, 05:29:29 pm »

Thanks, I will try to keep posting as I make it.  I haven't done any more on that particular project yet.  And I forget to take pics when I'm in the process!

They look really good in blacklight, but I suppose you could still do them in white light with the puppeteer all dressed in black with a black background.
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2010, 08:43:27 pm »

Do you put a face or anything on it??  Or just use the tubes with the black light reactive fabric??
Billy D. Fuller
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2010, 08:47:08 pm »

Do you put a face or anything on it??  Or just use the tubes with the black light reactive fabric??

Here is a example

Billy D. Fuller
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2010, 08:53:41 pm »

I thought I might ad that some of the puppets used in the video were products from Julies site and the tubies were from play soup http://www.playsoup.com/store/Toobie.htm

string bean puppet


other creatures


pattern and instructions

« Last Edit: September 05, 2010, 09:15:17 pm by Billy D. Fuller »
Angel in Tx
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2010, 08:54:16 pm »

I made a separate head for the first one I built.  I wish I had a picture!  It's packed away at church right now, and I don't have a pic.  I will try to get one this Wednesday. But I used a sort of oval shaped head and made the neck with black fabric.  It took two people to operate it, one worked the head, one worked the body.  It takes two people who don't mind being really close. LOL
But I have seen some that don't have a working mouth, so no need for two puppeteers. I'm trying to figure out now, how to actually work the new ones I'm making.  The person who worked the head had a hard time keeping the head looking forward, they had to drape their arm over the other person's shoulder so the head tended to look down, or crooked a lot.  I don't know if having the person who is wearing the body work the head and one arm while someone else works the other arm would be easier or not.  We are going to experiment.  Anyone have any experience or advice on this?
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2014, 10:53:15 am »

I know this is an old thread but I took the pvc idea and began to work on our own Guys. The only previous experience I have with noodle types has been Stringbean from Out of The Box Puppets.  I bought that pattern and made 5.  Some of the expert things Julie taught me with that has helped but I am totally Lo-Tech!!
I am taking notes and pictures along the way but was not sure if I could post them since I am using the Playsoup Hubie Tubies as a reference. I am using 1/2" webbing through 1/2" pvc for the shoulder and hip joints.  Just not really sure on the length size of all the tubes.  It will be smaller than Playsoups I think, since I am using 3" hollow noodles and a little shorter since I am going by my own height.  I am now trying to figure out the mouth size for the head.  A 3" tube does not give enough room.  I think I will have to extend it back and hide with black.
Shawn Sorrell
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2014, 03:18:10 pm »

I think it is fine if you post your own pictures and notes on things. Let's face it we all do our own versions of things. Smiley Sounds like you are straying pretty far from the original concept.
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2014, 03:56:56 pm »

Not sure about straying or just don't know. I was also toying with the idea of wrapping the noodle pieces in 1/2" foam to make them fatter. Gotta see how much harder that may make it.
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2014, 04:11:28 pm »

Just dry bones right now. Hopefully coming to life soon.
Out of the Box Puppets
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2014, 06:43:05 pm »

   You don't need to make them thicker, 3" is just fine once you cover it with fabric.

Trying to cipher your photos...is the long one the torso? Did you attach rods on the side of the other pieces? Are those the legs; thigh and calf?

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