These 4 Steps offer simple strategies that will lead to original creations. Certain steps may be omitted or extended depending on level of creative spontaneity, skill and knowledge of subject.

Step 1: Thinking and Imagining

Find visual stimulus and make a display. For example:

  • Find different shapes of heads, either animal or human from magazines, the Internet or cartoon characters. Think about what you might like your puppet to look like and what personality you want to give it. Get the creative juices flowing!
  • Fold a piece of paper into 4 rectangles. Now use your imagination and draw a different shaped head and neck in each section of paper. Combine animal and human shapes of noses, eyes, ears etc., to make fantasy creatures. Try elongating, exaggerating and distorting features such as the cheeks, forehead, chin and ears.
  • How can you show feelings on a face? Play with the lines of features such as eyes, ears, mouth and nose to give the face a “sad”, “happy” or “puzzled” look. What about accessories such as a hat, glasses or earrings? Don’t stop drawing until you have made a few sketches you are happy with. Add to display.

Step 2: Colour Blending Skills

Handy hints

  • Always start with a ball rolled between palms of hands.
  • The more you roll, the smoother the Magiclay will become.
  • The thinner the Magiclay, the more pliant it will be.

Step 3: Modelling Skills and Making a Puppet Head

Take a golf ball size piece of Magiclay. As you discover different ways of manipulating Magiclay, share your ideas, techniques and discoveries with others. Refer to Modelling Skills Chart (see below) or make you own chart based on findings.

a. Hands as Tools: with different parts of the hands, try squeezing, twisting, rolling, pinching, tearing/pulling and pressing to make different shapes; try joining and smoothing a surface.

b. Using Tool Set: create lines, textures and patterns. Try pressing tools in to make indentations, holes and patterns related to different parts of a face eg hole indentations to give the face texture

c. Using Other Tools: try cutting, trimming and fringing with a pair of scissors. Find other items that could be used as tools eg a fork could create repetitive indentations.

d. Practise making different shaped heads with foreheads, cheeks, chins, nose, eyes and ears. Add hair, hats etc.

Making a Puppet Head

Plastic finger heads

  • Choose a colour for the head. Take a golf ball size piece and cover the Finger Head with a thin layer of Magiclay (see image i).
  • Take another golf ball size piece of Magiclay and push it down onto the top of the Finger Head. Using acquired skills and tools, mould a head shape. Then using different colours, add facial features and hair etc (see image ii). Allow to dry. It should be touch dry in 2 hours and completely dry in 12 hours.

Puppet template instructions