We had a great time creating the marionette puppet costumes and won $500 in a local costume contest at the Cotton-Eyed Joe in Knoxville, TN! We are all from different cities in Nashville, TN; Huntsville, AL and Knoxville, TN, so we had to send texts back and forth of costume and makeup ideas, etc. We improvised and used “doll-esque-looking” costumes for the girls as we decided we wanted the puppets to resemble dolls. We were going to buy the puppet-looking nylons, but they were too expensive, so we opted for the thigh highs, making them look cutesy instead of sexy. Also, we put ribbons in the girls’ hair, again, to go for that “doll” look.
Then, we looked online for puppet face ideas and each chose something a bit different, but similar. We spent about 4-5 hours putting on our makeup and getting dressed for the evening. We had to make our eyes look bigger than normal and our mouths stand out as well.
In addition, we found the puppeteering headpieces online pretty inexpensive, which attached to our wrists and ankles. They were attached to a plastic headband, which kept slipping off our heads. So we hot glued ribbon to the ends of the headbands so we could tie them under our chins to help keep them on our heads. It worked pretty well for the short time we had to wear them for the costume contest.
Making the Puppeteer Costume
For the puppeteer, we decided to use drywall stilts to make him taller than the girls. (He is originally 5’6″ and the girls were all taller than he.) Our puppeteer is a construction manager in real life, but it took him a minute to learn to walk in the drywall stilts. He had to practice a bit before hand, but he did a great job! We knew the pants legs had to fit over the drywall stilts and, hence, his shoes.
So, instead of making the entire pants, we found some XXL men’s, black gym shorts which had wide leg openings and bought a twin black sheet. Then we sewed the sheet onto the bottom of the shorts to make the pants touch the ground. It worked perfectly! They were black so you couldn’t really tell where we had sewed the two together, plus, all eyes were on the girls! He owned a white shirt and black vest and hat, so we bought a red bow tie and ribbon for his hat to tie his outfit in with the girls’ outfits.
Marionette Puppet Costumes Conclusions
Things got a little heated at times as we have some strong personalities and everyone had their own ideas or couldn’t go shopping by the date we had all agreed to have our costumes ready, but we pulled it all together in the end and had a great time! Everyone LOVED the marionette puppet costumes! I still get comments on the photo on Facebook.