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Puppet pals

Transform an old sock into a puppet through sewing.
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • Scissors
  • Socks
  • Thread
  • Buttons
  • Needles
  • Fabric pens
Home help checklist
PDF – 79.8KB

Before you begin

  • Everyone should bring in an old clean sock.
  • Cut the thread into one-metre lengths (one for each person in the group).

Start sewing

  1. Give everyone two buttons, a needle, a length of thread, and some fabric pens.
  2. Everyone should place their hand inside the sock. They should open and close their hand to see what the sock puppet’s face will look like. Using a fabric pen, they should make two marks where they want their puppet’s eyes to be.
  3. Everyone should thread their needle and tie a knot at the end of the thread.
  4. Everyone should place a button over one of the marker dots on the sock.
  5. Everyone should push the needle up from the inside of the sock so it comes out through one of the holes of the button.
  6. Everyone should pull the thread all the way through until the knot tightens against the inside of the sock. They should hold the button in place with their finger.
  7. Everyone should turn the needle around and push it back down through the hole diagonally opposite the one they came up from. They should push it through to the inside of the sock and pull the thread tight. Make sure no one’s needle comes out of the back of the sock as they won’t be able to get their hand into the puppet.
  8. Everyone should be left with a single line of thread across the button, connecting the two holes. Everyone should repeat this twice more so there are three lines of thread running across the button.
  9. Everyone should bring their needle up through a hole with no thread in it, and push it down through the hole diagonally opposite. Repeat this three times, creating a cross-shape in the centre of the button.
  10. Everyone should push the needle through to the inside of the sock and tie a knot. They can use the needle to guide the thread into a knot, or cut the thread off the needle and tie the knot with their fingers. Make sure the knot is tight to the inside of the sock so the button isn’t loose.
  11. Everyone should follow the steps to sew on the second button.
  12. Everyone should use the fabric pens to decorate the sock puppet. When it’s finished, everyone could make a short puppet show to introduce their sewing creation to the rest of the group.

Reflection

This activity helped you gain independence by introducing you to basic sewing. Can you think of any situations when having a small sewing kit would come in handy? Other than sewing, how else might you mend damaged clothes or fabric items?

This activity was also about developing an essential life skill. Why is it important to know how to sew? The next time you notice one of your clothes is missing a button, how confident would you feel to sew on a new one?

Safety

Scissors

Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using scissors. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people

Sharp objects

Teach young people how to use sharp objects safely. Supervise them appropriately throughout. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.

All activities must be safely managed. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Make it accessible

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.