Cheap supplies for puppet making? (Teen on a budget)

I am in my late teens and don't have much so I need something kind of cheap say around 100-300 price range. Or around 60 plus.

Thought about doing BJD but they seems to be a bit expensive. Plus I can't paint worth crap.

How do you go about making your puppet what supplies do you use?

I really like what this woman did (Not sure if I posted this before or not sorry if did.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kutCMHGbBZ0

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Ok, so that's an example of clay animation, which is one way to do it.

I don't do clay animation, so there are other people who can help you with that better than I could.  You will find some materials and advice at Marc Spess's AnimateClay site:  http://www.animateclay.com

 I use aluminium armature wire for the skeleton and cover with cushion foam and latex to make my puppets.  I have videos showing how I make the bodies, and two kinds of heads.  One is built up, the same way as the body, the other is sculpted, a mould made in plaster,  and the head cast in silicone. 

Body:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbF6m3BeGUQ   Relatively cheap and easy.

Build-up Head: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uG-ZIOXZ7w  (Also runs through the different materials for heads at the start.)

Silicone Head:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fWdZnQRzB0  A bit more advanced, requires mould making.

Sometimes I sculpt the whole puppet in clay, make a mould, and cast in foam latex - but that's not really the cheapest or easiest place to start.

Another animator who makes puppets by a build-up method, and shows in detail how he does it, is Richard Svensson.  He also casts pieces of skin in liquid latex to stick on, which gives the same kind of detail I get by casting the puppet in for latex, but it doesn't require scales, an oven, and a mixer like foam latex does. Have a look at his Bluworm channel at Youtube.  He starts with a wire armature, same as I do:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XniNAc1mfw0&index=4&list=PL...  

He has more videos to go through Padding the Body, Making the Latex Skin, and Finishing the Puppet.  There are also videos on making specific puppets.  



StopmoNick said:

Ok, so that's an example of clay animation, which is one way to do it.

I don't do clay animation, so there are other people who can help you with that better than I could.  You will find some materials and advice at Marc Spess's AnimateClay site:  http://www.animateclay.com

 I use aluminium armature wire for the skeleton and cover with cushion foam and latex to make my puppets.  I have videos showing how I make the bodies, and two kinds of heads.  One is built up, the same way as the body, the other is sculpted, a mould made in plaster,  and the head cast in silicone. 

Body:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbF6m3BeGUQ   Relatively cheap and easy.

Build-up Head: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uG-ZIOXZ7w  (Also runs through the different materials for heads at the start.)

Silicone Head:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fWdZnQRzB0  A bit more advanced, requires mould making.

Sometimes I sculpt the whole puppet in clay, make a mould, and cast in foam latex - but that's not really the cheapest or easiest place to start.

Another animator who makes puppets by a build-up method, and shows in detail how he does it, is Richard Svensson.  He also casts pieces of skin in liquid latex to stick on, which gives the same kind of detail I get by casting the puppet in for latex, but it doesn't require scales, an oven, and a mixer like foam latex does. Have a look at his Bluworm channel at Youtube.  He starts with a wire armature, same as I do:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XniNAc1mfw0&index=4&list=PL...  

He has more videos to go through Padding the Body, Making the Latex Skin, and Finishing the Puppet.  There are also videos on making specific puppets.  

Thanks for the reply

A lot can be done with aluminum wire, sculpey, styrofoam, or balsa wood, epoxy putty, epoxy, fabric, and some acrylic paint. With mostly just those materials I made a cast of 7 puppets and multiple sets within the budget you mentioned above.  Really, the main cost is the camera, lenses and lighting.

Here's an the film I mentioned above that stayed within your budget for the puppets:

https://vimeo.com/214215219

I made my first puppet for less then $25. I was 17. I used copper wire for the armature, then sculpted bones directly over the wire using a 2 part epoxy putty called milliput. Hardware putty works too and is cheaper. My first puppet- a Harryhausen style skeleton is STILL in excellent condition, having been used on multiple occasions, crushed, and dropped!!

Now a couple years down the line my puppets are made with more 'professional' materials- upholstery foam, latex, aluminum wire, etc. Most of these materials can be picked up from a craft store and or a hardware store. I'm not sure if you're in the US, but I frequent Michaels, Joann Fabrics, OSH, and Home Depot. A big bonus to these materials is that when bought from a hardware/craft store, you are actually purchasing enough to make multiple puppets. 

I spend about $80-150 every 3-6 months on puppet making supplies. 

I hope this helps. 



Lydia Hibbert said:

Check this out: http://younganimatorsclub.com/stop-motion-animation-puppet-armatures/

thanks everyone for the replies!

There is a short video on Phil Tippet making Mad God (just posted here by LIO at Stopmoworks).  It shows him making a puppet with a build-up method with urethane foam and latex skins that is pretty much the same as Richard Svenson's method.  The only difference is that he is using jointed armatures, where Richard uses aluminium wire armatures like I do.

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