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Advanced Marionette Making Techniques

Here are some techniques and tricks for making better marionettes. There are a wide variety of materials you can use in order to get great looking marionettes.



String layout of a marionette

One of the best things you can do to improve your marionettes is to do a more robust and expressive stringing system. A standard way to do this is with a two-hand and eleven string method. I have a larger picture of this setup here: The eleven string marionette


Materials and Making Marionette Heads

Marionette parts

In the previous tutorial on how to make an easy marionette we simply rolled up or crumpled up newspaper then wrapped it in masking tape. But there are lots of materials you can use to get a great looking marionette. This picture shows two materials: Paper mache and Celluclay.


Marionette Head

The head and face of the marionette is arguably the most important part and there are a lot of ways you can get expressive and interesting looking heads and faces. This picture here shows a head that I made out of celluclay. Celluclay is a paper mache product that you can buy.


Cernit Head

And this picture shows a head and face that I made out of Cernit. Cernit is a common clay like material that is often used to make faces and heads for china dolls. You sculpt and shape it then put it in the oven and bake it.


Clothing and Dressing

Marionette Clothing

Another great way to get a spectacular looking marionette is in clothing it. This lends itself to all kinds of fun stuff and fun looking marionettes. You can custom make clothing or you can buy all kinds of small clothing that is made for dolls and figures.




Pinocchio Marionette

Pinocchio Wooden Marionette

Welcome to the world of "Original Wooden Marionettes". Our Marionettes are all carefully designed and crafted by hand with careful attention to detail. Our Marionettes always take "center stage"! They can make a magical decoration in any child's room, yet they are sturdy enough for real child's play. For hours of enjoyment and dramatic play, we think that you will find that they are quite simple to use. All of our Marionettes stand approximately 15" tall excluding the strings. Your Marionette is from a large family, all awaiting to be part of your family. Designed for ages 5 years and older.


Book on making marionettes

Making and Manipulating Marionettes

Making and Manipulating Marionettes is a superb guide to a craft and performance art that has fascinated audiences for over 2,000 years. Handsomely illustrated throughout, it presents precise instructions for the making of marionettes, both for plays and for acts in the variety tradition. All aspects of marionette design, construction, and control are covered, and there are rare insights into specialized designs and stringing techniques. Contents include an introduction to the marionette tradition and the principles and practicalities of marionette design; advice on materials and methods for carving, modeling, and casting puppet parts; detailed explanations for marionette control, stringing, and manipulation; step-by-step instructions for the construction and jointing of human and animal marionettes; and professional secrets for achieving a wide range of special effects.


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