Despite our best efforts, at least one mitten or glove gets lost every winter. Martha likes to use felt and glue to convert these strays into playful hand puppets.
You can create imaginary creatures, or you can make a dragon, frog, shark, duck, moose, chick, penguin, dinosaur, or cat using the templates provided here. Polar fleece mittens and gloves work beautifully for this project; the material is easy to work with and the texture is ideal for suggesting the animal's fur.
Children will enjoy making up songs and stories to go along with the puppets; you might even suggest that they put on a puppet show for friends or family.
Tools and Materials
Felt in a range of colors appropriate to your animal
Needle and waxed twine (for cat's whiskers only)
Magna-Tac glue (or thread and needle, if you would prefer to sew the felt to the mitten)
Mitten and Glove Puppet How-To
1. Using the templates included here, or animal books for inspiration, draw shapes for eyes, ears, paws or feet, and nose onto paper.
2. Cut out the paper shapes, and use them as templates; trace the designs onto felt with tailor's chalk.
3. Cut out the felt shapes.
4. Glue the various shapes to your mitten or glove, placing noses near the center front of the mitten.
Note: Magna-Tac is a permanent adhesive that contains acetone, so it's a bit smelly. If you are making the puppets with children, you may want to do the gluing yourself. This glue is washable after it has dried. If you are making the puppets for very small children, sewing the small pieces onto the mittens is best, because if small children put the mittens in their mouths, pieces could come loose.
For the cat
To make the cat's whiskers, use a needle and linen twine. Pull a length through the mitten near the cat's nose, and tie a knot at its base to secure it. Repeat two or three times on each side of the nose.
For the dinosaur
Be sure to use a glove, not a mitten, for the dinosaur. The head should be glued to the middle finger of the glove. The thumb and pointer finger on one side, and the ring and pinky finger on the other will act as legs and feet. Attach the feet (see template) to the ends of these fingers. The pointy spine should run from the center knuckle back over the center of the wrist.