How to Make a Lion Sock Puppet (And Other Animals, Too!)

Looking for something to do on a rainy day? Have a single, random colored sock in your drawer because the dryer ate the other one? Never fear – we’ll put it to good use! Here’s how you can make a sock puppet out of it. We teach you how to make a lion, but you can use this guide as a start to make any animal you want.

First, watch this video, featuring Birds Supervisor and very talented puppet maker, Rene Ryan:

Lion Sock Puppet Instructions

      • Gather your materials. You will need: good scissors, craft glue, stapler, big marker, 8-10 paper clips, sheet of cardboard (copy-paper sized), a few colors of felt, 2 googly eyes, and a feather boa in the color of your choice, and of course, a sock!
These are the materials you’ll need.
        • Trace the shape of your hand on the cardboard. It doesn’t have to be exact – it can look kind of like a mitten.
        • Cut out the cardboard “mitten” with the scissors, or get a grown up to help. It should look like an oval.
        • Fold the cardboard in half, and trim the edges so the top and bottom halves match up.
        • Put the sock on your hand to test fit it. Place the heel of the sock where your knuckles are. Push in the toe of the sock between your fingers and your thumb to make a “mouth.”
        • Fit the cardboard into the “mouth” you just created, and mark with a marker on the sock where the hinge of the cardboard hits. Take out the cardboard.
        • Take the sock off your hand, cut the toes off of the sock, and then on each side of the hole you just made, cut toward the mark you made (where the hinge of the mouth will eventually be).
        • With the sock still off your hand, fit the cardboard mouth back into the sock. See if there is extra fabric that hangs over the mouth on the top and bottom, and if there is, cut if off.
        • Stretch the sock around the cardboard and staple the sock  around the edges of the cardboard to make the  mouth. Do the top first, and then the bottom (it’s ok if the edges are ragged…they will get covered up with felt later!).
staple edges
Staple the fabric around the edges of the cardboard.
        • Put the sock with cardboard mouth on your hand.
try on the sock
Try on the puppet to make sure it works for your hand.
        • Wrap the feather boa around the sock loosely near your knuckles (don’t do it too tight or you won’t be able to take your hand out!). Staple to the sock one time on the left and right sides. Then, take your hand out.
wrap the boa
Wrap the feather boa loosely so you can still take your hand out.
        • Loosely wrap the boa 2 more times around the sock, stapling on the left and right sides. This is your lion’s mane! You can make the mane as thick as you want it to be.
        • Open the cardboard mouth and place a piece of felt on it (we used black for the mouth). Cut the black felt the same size as the cardboard, and then glue it to the cardboard mouth so it covers all the cardboard and the loose edges of fabric.
        • Put paperclips around the edges of the mouth to hold the felt to the cardboard until it is dry (about 2 hours).
Once glued, paper clip the black felt to the cardboard so it will stay in place.
        • Figure out what side of the mouth will be the bottom, and then cut out a tongue for your lion and glue it to the bottom of your lion’s mouth.
        • Cut out 2 ears, a nose, a half oval for the chin, and a piece of felt that will be the bridge for the nose.
        • The heel of the sock is a great place for the ears to go – staple the ears to the heel of the sock.
        • Glue the bridge of the nose on the top of the head, behind the nose you just glued.
glue the bridge of the nose
Glue the bridge of the nose onto the top of the face.
        • Glue the nose piece to the top of the head, at the very edge of the top part of the mouth.
glue the nose
Glue the nose to the top of the face – make sure to hold it or paper clip it until it is dry!
      • Glue or stick on the eyeballs, depending on what kind of googly eyes you have.
      • Glue on the chin to the bottom edge of the mouth.
      • Wait 2 hours for all the glue to dry before putting on your puppet.
      • Play with your puppet, and make some more puppets so your lion can have friends!


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