Make your own


diagramMaterials required Thick unglazed paper (sugar-bags are ideal), cold water paste, cardboard, poster or oil paints, mixture of whitening and glue.

Head roll a strong tube of cardboard – 5.5 ins. long for Punch, 4 ins. long for other characters. Cover this with layers of paper which have been torn (not cut) into small pieces and soaked in cold water paste (surplus paste should be squeezed out). When you have formed a rough head (B) insert a peg of wood in the position of the nose: this can be built up into the required shape for each character by using more paper. When the head has reached stage C, dry it slowly in the oven: a mixture of glue and whitening will give the bead a smooth finish. Hair and whiskers can be made from crepe hair, odd bits of fur and wool. Paint the heads with bright colours, using poster or oil paint.
Hands make two tubes of cardboard large enough to fit your thumb (D). Press one end of each tube flat and mark out the shape of the hand; cut away the unwanted parts (E). Cover the whole of the tubes with a layer of paper until a strong pair of bands is formed, then dry and paint them.
Body Make a shirt of any strong cloth; fix the head and hands in position with thread sewn through holes pierced in the neck and wrists. The puppet can then be dressed in character and worked by inserting your index finger in the head and thumb and second finger in the arms.Fig. 1. Shows you how.
Stage and Box The box is made of three sections shown in G. The material is any wood about 1.5 inches thick (clothes props will do), a shelf 3 feet 6 inches long and 3.5 inches wide and half an inch thick is required for the stage. The corners of the frames should be fitted with 6-inch angle brackets, and two are used to support the shelf. The three sections are bolted or tied together, and covered with old blackout material or coloured hessian, The pelmet and curtains shown here are made from hessian and are hung from the top rail of the stage.
Note (Alternative for box instructions. A simple frame can be made from clothes props strengthened with brackets, as G, and covered with curtains. The stage proscenium can be as shown in the photograph).
A curtain of muslin, 27 inches deep and the width of the inside of box is hung on a rail about 1 foot behind the stage opening. The operator stands behind this and because the box is covered in, he can see through the muslin, but the audience cannot see him.
Hangman's Noose H is made of wood and plugs into a hole in the stage shelf.