Puppet Fabrication (Built-Up Method) and Clothing for Stop-Motion Puppets - Part 4

The next important element to address when fabricating these types of puppets are the hands and feet. Here is where the actual built-up method will be utilized. As I mentioned in one of the previous posts this method generally lends itself to being less expensive and time consuming than the foam latex process. One major drawback however is that once a puppet like this breaks, you'll have to re-fabricate the built-up portions all over again without the aid of a mold. This may or may not be a big deal depending on your specific situation. The materials you'll need will be: cotton balls and some form of liquid latex. I have used the "mold builder" latex (pictured above) in the past but have since moved on to "balloon rubber latex" because it handles and works the best. The mold builder will still work but will need to be thinned out with water and will require a lot of extra drying time. "Balloon rubber" latex can be found at Frends Beauty Supply and the "mold builder latex can be found at any Michael's Arts and Crafts.

Here we start off with our previously made armature.

Grab a cotton ball and tear off a lengthy sized strip like the one pictured above and apply the latex to it.

It should look something like this.

Next, take the latex saturated cotton and wrap it around one of the wires of the hand shaping it into a finger.

Dry it with a blow dryer. The "balloon rubber" latex will set in a few minutes while the "mold builder" would take much longer.

Repeat this process for each finger until you have something that hopefully resembles a hand.

You can smooth the fingers even further with a wood burning tool if need be.

Here's what the end result of that would look like.

Next, pour whatever latex your using into a small sized container that's big enough to dip the hand into. Dip the hand in allowing the latex to cover the entire surface. Let the excess latex drip off then blow dry. Repeat this process in layers until the hand is at a desirable thickness.

The finished product should look something like the photo above. Then all you have to do is paint it using PAX paints.

The same process can be used for the shoes, or slippers in this case.

As you can see here you really can create anything in layers with the built-up method.

Then just paint to your desired effect.