Waving Mermaid Puppet!
– 1 sheet of heavy water color paper
– 1 wooden spoon and 1 wooden dowel
– paper fasteners
– pen and pencil
– watercolor paint
– a drinking straw and salt (optional)
– hole punch
Lay down your spoon where you want to draw your mermaid’s hips and begin to draw around the shape of your spoon with a pen or pencil. Draw your waving arm in 3 segments: upper arm, forearm and hand. As you’ll be cutting out these shapes, it’s ok to try several versions or draw parts in a disconnected fashion.
Use crayons to trace your drawn lines in fun colors. The wax in the crayons will resist the watercolor paint and make your drawing clear and bright.
Paint your mermaid with the watercolors! To add more fun and experimentation to the mix, try blowing some wet paint puddles around your paper with a straw to create texture. Another fun effect is to sprinkle salt on your painting before it dries to get a starry or bubble-like look. I used this technique to give the scales on my mermaid puppet an interesting spotted patina.
Cut out your mermaid pieces and hole punch as shown: 1 hole on the shoulder, 2 holes on either end of the upper arm, 2 holes on either end of the forearm, and 1 hole in the palm of the hand.
Secure the arm segments with the paper fasteners.
Flip your puppet over and glue the head of the spoon to the back of your puppet’s hips with a strong glue. Tape the handle down with masking tape. Use glue to secure the top of the dowel to the back of the forearm segment of puppet’s arm near the hand– this placement will allow your puppet to make a waving motion.
Use a pen or whatever you wish to add some pizzazz and individuality to your mermaid puppet. As this project was inspired by performing annually in the Coney Island Mermaid Day Parade, I gave my mermaid puppet some Coney-loving tattoos and cute boardwalk style. I’d love to see you and your waving puppet at the parade next weekend here in Brooklyn! Happy Summer Solstice!