When I was in Middle School I had to do a Spanish project where we had to make a sock or potato puppet of a famous Spanish speaker- me being the overachiever I was (ok, ok am) I made a beautiful nylon puppet of Paloma Herera (a ballet dancer with ABT) with yarn hair and a beautifully painted china face. Every other ‘create your own’ project we were assigned that year I made a puppet- My teachers ended up with elaborately detailed versions of Johnny Tremain, George and Martha Washington and Hester Prynne. I had completely forgot about these until I started thinking about what I was going to do for Pinocchio.
Find an old pair of nylons. Cut off about 8 inches from the toe. Fill the toe with stuff about 4-5 inches- this well be the body.
When you have the body of the puppet as big as you want it stop stuffing and cut the remaining length of the nylons in half- these will be the legs.
I used a simple loop stitch starting at the body and running down the leg until it reaches the desired length. I then started to round off an end and cut off excessive fabric. (In Middle School I would use hot glue to affix the nylon- the thread is a cleaner, less sticky and cooler way to do it.)
To save time I did use hot glue to put together the fabric for the clothes. (The glue doesn’t bleed through cotton like it does nylon resulting in less burnt fingers.) I picked out some fabric squares from the bargain bin at Joann’s. If you have time and skills it will definitely look much cleaner with a stitched outfit but as I said I was short on time. I even stuffed the fabric directly instead of making nylon arms and just hot glues it to the body.
For the head I took a wooden ball- found in the wood department of any craft store. I added curly doll hair (also from the craft store.) When adding the hair add it in rows starting from the base (where the head would meet the neck) when you get to the top style it as wanted.
Attach the head to the body with a little hot glue. Draw or paint a face on and add any details or embellishments as wanted. For Pinocchio don’t forget a wooden nose.