HOW TO: Finger Puppet Bus

Edit: Welcome ParentHackers! Stick around and check out the place! More Tutorials here.

As you probably know, i outsource my ideas that involve woodworking to my fabulous husband, the maker behind the Play Stove, and other cool stuff.

Previously we created a Finger Puppet Bus to store The Boy’s Ikea finger puppets. After Ikeahacker linked to it, I got numerous requests for more detailed instructions. So here they are! [Note: I think it would be great to do this with homemade finger puppets as well. Here’s some great finger puppet crochet patterns from Crochet Me ]. If anyone has any cute instructions for felt or cloth or yarn finger puppets, let me know and i’ll include!

Instructions (by Dameion):

Wood (In this case, 1/2 inch MDF)
Paint (yellow, black, glow in the dark yellow)
#6 screws
1/2 ” Dowels

Out of ½ in. mdf cut to two 3 ½ “ x 8 “ rectangles (based on your finger puppet needs – ours holds 10 puppets)
Glue and attach together. Let dry.
Cut four 2” rounds using a hole saw for wheels (from ½ in MDF also) (You could also just buy 2 inch circles from the craft store, if you don’t have a hole saw)
Sand edges well. Prime, paint black. I beveled the hub with 3/4 forstner bit so they would stay centered. (See drawing below)

After chassis is dry, mark a grid pattern for the ‘seats’
Drill holes. if you have a drill press, set the stop (depth) @ ¾”. Otherwise you can use a regular drill and use a piece of tape on the drill bit to mark the depth

I cut the “seats” from a long dowel but precut dowel pins are an option as well. Stick finger in puppet & mark bottom, placer finger and ruler on flat surface (table) to get depth. Add ¾ inches to depth measurement. Mine were ½” wide x 2 ¼ long” (depend on size of puppet;)
Bevel or smooth the top edge of each dowel section for ease of placing puppet.

Front is a scrap from when I cut the chassis. I beveled the edge 15 degrees or so and left it a little taller than the chassis (an 1/8”)

Headlights are holes made with ½ in forstner bit sunk 1/8” down (Optionally you could just paint on the headlights or attach circles for headlights). Attach front bumper & glue with nail through the center of the headlight.

Rope attachment is a kreg bit drilled from the bottom. A hole & glue from the front would probably work as an alternate.

Paint yellow (or whatever color your municipality uses for school buses). Paint it again, heck you’re giving it to a child to play with!
Head lights are glow in the dark paint.

Seal, varnish, etc.

Attach wheels by pre-drilling the holes (I used #6 in screws, so make the pilots the appropriate size) ¼” from the bottom. Any place that looks right. I did 1 ¾ from the front and back (not counting front bumper)

Attach the wheels by placing a finishing washer at the top of the screw. Next is the wheel you made then finally, 2 flat washers. Before sinking the screw, put a little wood glue on it to make it less likely to back out. DO NOT over tighten. Make sure the wheels spin, but don’t wobble.

Place pegs (you could paint these in festive and matching colors, if you want, or just leave natural) in holes with glue. Wait 24 hours, enjoy.

Since I translated this from D’s notes, I may have gotten something wrong. So let me know if anything seems weird.
Some Cute Finger puppets I found on flickr:

Soozs’s felt puppets

Made By Moxie’s needle felted puppet