bat puppet tutorial

In the spirit of fun Halloween tutorials, I offer this cute and easy bat finger puppet. I would have made a ton of these for the shop if the idea had occurred to me sooner, but as it didn't, here's the tutorial and a quickie PDF pattern for you to make your own to put in your favorite little hobgoblin's trick-or-treat bag.
You will need the following materials:
  • a printout of this pattern
  • a piece of black, brown, or dark gray felt, approx 8 x 12 or so (doesn't have to be 100% wool, although that is what I prefer to work with)
  • a small piece of fabric for the insert (like about 2 x 3 1/2 inches)
  • embroidery floss
  • buttons or plastic safety eyes or teeny felt discs
  • a small amount of polyfill or cotton or wool stuffing
  • (optional) fabric glue

1 - Trace the shapes onto tissue paper and cut two of each shape - except for the fabric head panel - out of the felt. Each shape has been drawn taking into account a 1/8 - 1/4 inch seam allowance so no need to add that. You will now have:
  • 2 pieces for the body
  • 2 ears
  • 2 wings

2 - Now cut 1 head panel out of fabric. It should all look like this:

3 - Fold ears slightly and place and pin to head, like so:

4 - Now sew fabric head panel right side down, like so:

As soon as the head panel is sewn onto the one side, remove the pin.

5 - Sew onto other side:
sew onto other side, remove pins

Remove the pin there as soon as you're done.

6 - Before you sew the rest of the body, adjust the ears. Stuff them in slightly to ensure that their tips will not be accidentally sewn together or to the body:

7 - Now sew the body down the front and back, like so:

trim threads and head

8 - Trim the ends of threads and snip around the head so that you can invert it neatly and easily:
head trimmed, ready to invert

9 - Carefully invert your finger puppet with the blunt end of a pencil:

stick blunt pencil end in and invert carefully - remember to be patient

yay! you have successfully inverted your bat

10 - Now detail the face. You can get as creative with this as you wish. There is no need to only use safety eyes. You can sew or glue on buttons, beads, or sequins or sew on and embroider felt eyes. Please bear in mind the age of the recipient. I feel a little silly saying so here because I know all of you already know this, but it is worth mentioning that it is NOT a good idea to use buttons for a puppet for a toddler. You can also draw on a face with fabric markers or fabric paint. Do whatever you like to detail your bat and give it the personality you want.

11 - Once your bat face is done, now stuff the head with your preferred stuffing, be it polyfill or wool or cotton:
detail and stuff

12 - Finally, we get to the wings. Position them and either pin them to place and hand-sew them (using the whip-stitch) or glue them with your fabric glue. I prefer them to hand-stitch them myself:

Now when your favorite little hobgobblin comes a'trick-or-treating you can give them a treat that lasts longer than candy, is more interactive, and won't give them cavities or empty calories. Happy Halloween folks!