New This Month


Sweater Puppets

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, January 2011


Craft playful puppets out of moth-eaten or ill-fitting sweaters with this simple how-to from Cate & Levi crafter Josh Title. Hours of kid-friendly entertainment await.


  • Scissors

  • Felted wool sweaters or scraps

  • Felted wool cuff (from sweater bottom)

  • Embroidery needle and threads for eyes and nose

  • Sewing machine

  • Iron

  • Pins


  1. Print puppet template. Cut all the pattern pieces from felted wool sweaters or felted wool scraps. Cut the front, back, and one of the bottom mouth pieces (the chin) from one color of sweater. Cut the other bottom and top mouth pieces (inside of mouth) from another color.

  2. Cut the top and bottom of the face pieces from contrasting colors. Cut the ears from any of the colors used (front and back of ears can be different); cut the eyes from a light color.

  3. Cut the puppet cuff from the cuff on the body of a sweater, ensuring the finished edge is included. Begin by assembling the dog's face. Stitch an "X" in each of the eyes with embroidery floss.

  4. Pin the eyes and nose to the face, as indicated on the pattern, and sew around the edges with a zigzag stitch to secure.

  5. Fold the notch on the face bottom inward, placing right sides together, and straight-stitch along edge from wrong side. Butt the eye patch and face piece together; zigzag stitch to connect.

  6. Match front and back ear pieces together, right sides facing, for both ears. Stitch all around the ears, leaving the bottom open. Turn right side out.

  7. Pin the ears to the top of the face, matching raw edges, with ears pointing downward toward the puppet's nose. The inside curve of the ear should be positioned toward the side of the puppet.

  8. Layer the back piece of the puppet right side down over the face front, sandwiching the ears between. Pin the pieces together and sew along the top curve, trimming seam allowance.

  9. With right sides together, pin the front piece to the back piece, aligning straight bottom and side edges. Sew one side seam from top to bottom, leaving the second side and bottom open.

  10. With right sides facing, layer the upper mouth piece over one lower mouth piece, matching the colors to form the inside mouth of the puppet. Pin and sew these pieces together along the inside curve.

  11. Open the "mouth" and match the second bottom mouth piece (chin) on top of the inside bottom mouth piece, right sides facing. Stitch these two pieces together along the outside curve. Turn the "pocket" that is formed by the two bottom mouth pieces right side out.

  12. With right sides facing, pin the top of the mouth to the face and the bottom of the mouth (chin) to the puppet front, matching curves. Stitch the mouth in place along curves. Sew the second side seam to close the puppet sleeve.

  13. Turn puppet right side out. Wrap cuff around bottom of sleeve, with right side facing in and raw edge toward bottom. Pin and stitch in place. Flip cuff right side out and steam-press all seams.

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