You must know them by now, MoneyMonster and Ruzol. They are best friends, quite a bit of the same character; goodhearted, a bit naughty and both see no difference in the people, animals or creatures around them. Ruzol on the other hand is loving coffee with a straw, and eats a lots of ‘frikandellen’ (A dutch snack out of a fryer) MoneyMonster, wel he’s got some weird eye’s with a dollar sign in it (how could thát be ?) 

Long time ago Nathalie decided she needed an artist name for her airbrush work. It was when she handed in an work for a contest (And may I shyly say, I won the 1st price with it) So the need of a name was legit off course. She juggled a bit with names. The family name ‘Poen’ is Amsterdam slang for Money, so that was an easy one. But not enough. MoneyAnimal ? Nah to sweet MoneyGuy,..didn’t do it MoneyMonster ! Yes ! That was it. 

In the years after it became more and more a regulair term for us (How should we register the boat ? MoneyMonster !) We called ourselves ‘team MoneyMonster’ and it became a power term. 

So thát’s how she decided MoneyMonster needed to be a muppet, and started building the first one.

Years later, Nathalie got the mindfart to write a children’s book. It became a dutch book, and is still for sale over HERE 

It started out as MoneyMonster, but in the proces she decided MoneyMonster was a family member, and it needed to be a new one. So the jiggle with names began over again. This time with the names of the kids, the letters were shuffled and Ruzol was born. 

But then,..HOW DID SHE DO IT ??

Well if you want to learn anything, go to Youtube and flush yourself with video’s about the subject. 70% of it is bad explained and with bad sound but it’s for free so don’t moan ! 

Making a puppet can be done as expensive as you want. So for me the fun was do be greedy (It wás MONEYmonster after al ! ) So for him the eyes were made of plastic spoons, for Ruzol I found an old ping pong ball, cut it in half and made it flatter with an multitool (like Dremel) The hair of Moneymonster is an duster from Action (Cheap store) and Ruzol got his haircut from some wool I found. Noses are make-up sponges. Teeth/nails; nail file block. Filling; cheap garden seat cushions. And all the fabric is different colors of fleece blankets. Only thing you need more is an plastic sheed ( lid ) and a piece of lashing strap.

To start we have to make the head first off course. Just go to Google and type ‘head template muppet’ You copy this one on the foam and cut it out. Do to neat, It’s the skeleton of your loved one to be. This template is the half of the head, you’ll need two of them, and glue these together to, just like the middle picture above 

After this were making the mouth piece. That’s when you’ll be needing the plastic lid. You have to measure this one, and know the diameter of your muppet, because every muppet is different, it’s not possible to tell a universal size for this one. 

You cover this with (black) fleece and glue it on.  On the ‘inside’ of the mouth you glue a strap, so you gan hold the mouth and it follows your hand as the muppet ‘speaks’ 

*Bonustip; don’t make the lips move, instead let the sound come from the troath. Also make little movements with the head when the muppet doesn’t speak, it makes it very natural and ‘human’ 

On MoneyMonster I put the mouth just in it. Ruzol has got the improved lips. I cut of a small piece of the skeleton, and later on I let the mouthpiece ‘fall in’ the mouth. That’s how you create lips.

( You will learn to by making, you can totally see MoneyMonster is my first. But we all know your first love has a special place in your heart )

After this you make the head skin. You make it just the way you did with the foam. Only you need to add a sewing piece extra, because yes, here we’re gonna sew ! Big parts you can do with a machine, but some parts are just impossible to reach so you’ll have to be patient. Also you will have some parts which are in sight (Like the head) If the sewing is done you can always go over it with a nail brush to cover it up a little bit. But this trick only goes so far. Better is to use the ‘invisible stitch’ Or as they call it in muppet-land “The Jim Henson stitch” (Google that, I don’t know either he really invented it or not. But I love to give him the credits ) 

Nou you got a head, and it needs to look to. There are marvelous ways to make eyes that can move, blink and if you are really creative even cry. Go as far as you want, I truly recommend you here to do the same I did. And surf on the internet for more information. YouTube and Pinterest were my most used sources. 

Then you need a body, the way to handle is just the way with the head. You might need a template again. And again there are so many body’s to chose from. Or maybe you ar just creative and work it out yourself. If you’ve seen some of the patterns online you will just get the idea of it. The arms are sew in at the body’s fabric, but they need some space to be able to move. So in the foam you leave some holes. And the fabric is the joint of the arm. 

Again, Ruzol has the improved body, he’s got a bit of a belly, and tiny titties, because,..yes that food can’t be good. 

The arms are just rolls of foam, or you can use isolation pipes. Again covered with fabric, and for the hands its handy to use some whire, cover with foam and fabric. So you can let the puppet hold something.

Nou you’ll have to be creative, and invent your own little details, and cover up. 

Because “Making is mistaking, and the proces is to cover that up.”

So now you knap, that’s why most Muppets of Jim Henson have something around their neck; it’s just an ugly sew cover up. 

And why most of them play left handed guitar; their puppeteer has the right hand somewhere else (…) 

There is a very good documentary I can recommend, it’s called ‘Being Elmo’ about the puppeteer who played Elmo for years. Its on Netflix.

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