How to Make a Skeleton Puppet!

by Puppet Nerd

It is finally the Halloween season! Halloween is unarguably one of the most anticipated festivals of the year. From kids to adults, everyone gets excited about Halloween. But what’s the best part of Halloween? The decorations! Imagine Halloween without spooky decorations, we can only think of two words that are “NOT POSSIBLE”! This year, you might try putting a fun twist on your Halloween decorations by turning them into a PUPPET! We have come with an extremely creative process of making a skeleton puppet, interesting, right? You can put up a whole puppet show with a spooky twist. You can craft multiple puppet skeletons to spice up the game of your home decoration too! Do you want to know how to make these puppet skeletons? Follow along with these step-by-step instructions on our tutorial, by the end of it, you will find yourself capable of making one of these puppet skeletons! It is a mech puppet too! With moving mechanisms for a moving jaw and turning head!


  1. Skeleton Decoration
  2. Fishing line
  3. Spring
  4. Wooden block
  5. Wooden bead
  6. bungee cord
  7. Nylon rod
  8. Piece of Derlin
  9. Eyelets
  10. Rod
  11. Dura collars
  12. Arm rods
  13.  Bolts
  14. Paint

Crafting Steps of A Puppet Skeleton You can get plastic skeletons from any store during the Halloween season as it’s the peak time for this stuff. You can get any size that you would want but make sure that it has an articulating jaw (moveable jaws). It’s a requirement for our project today. If you want to use the exact same skeleton we are using, click the link here! Now let’s dive into our procedure. Follow it step by step.

Step 1. Remove the Joints

To customize the plastic skeleton, we have to remove its jaws and both arms. We will later replace them to make their movements more flexible and controlled.

Step 2. Make The Head of The Skeleton Articulate

To make the head able to rotate and node, we have to do some adjustments. For that, you would want a wooden block. You can use any size of a wooden box that is compatible with your skeleton model. We are taking 1.5×1.25×1 inches for our model here. It will help us to support the head of the skeleton because the hollow head is more difficult to control. It will also provide you with a base screw the eyelets in later.

The next that you would need is a wooden bead. In the example, I used a Delrin ball, but wood would work fine too!

Now, drill equal-sized holes through the center of the bead and block. Take off the head of your skeleton, and cut it in such a way so that you can fix your wooden block in it. Join the head of the skeleton, the wooden box, and the wooden bead with the help of a bungee cord. It will help the head of the skeleton to articulate more efficiently. 

Make two tiny holes in the jaw and thread fishing lines through them. To make them stable, apply some hot glue or super glue to those tiny holes through which you have pulled out the fishing lines. We have to install these fishing lines in such a way that one side of the fishing line will help you to pull down the jaws and the other line to push up the jaws. It will help your puppet skeleton’s jaws to articulate more freely.

Now you would need a spring about an inch long with two tiny lope holes on the ends. We are going to use these lopes to thread the fishing lines that we have attached to the jaws. Now tie the jaws with that skeleton head and join the spring to the bottom of the jaw. Now use the fishing line again to tie the spring to the top of the head. For that, you have to drill one hole in the bottom of the jaw and the other on the top of the head of the skeleton. Then tie it off. 

  1. Head Articulation Control

Although we have made the head of the skeleton moveable, how are you going to control it? Let’s find out how you can do that. For this, we are going to use a nylon rod. They are usually long but you can cut them down according to the size of your skeleton. Now, drill a hole through the spin of your skeleton and glue the nylon rod in it.

Now take a piece of Derlin according to the size of your skeleton and drill a vertical hole through it that fits the control rod. This will act as the head control. 

Now we need a connector for the head. We are using eyelets for the connectors. We want to screw the two eyelets into the back of the head of the skeleton, into the wood.

We need a rod to join the eyelets and the controller. Bend both ends of the rods in such a way that they perfectly fit the eyelets and the horizontal hole that we drilled through the Derlin block. Use dura collars on both ends of the rods so they would provide proper support to the rod and prevent it from falling out.

  1. The Trigger

Next, you need a trigger to control the movements of the head and jaws. You can use any thin and stiff material to make a trigger. Many people use wood, but today we used a piece of PVC sheet. Tape down the long strings with the trigger for use when needed.

  1. Arm Rods

We can manufacture arm rods on our own. For them, you have to take welding rods. Cut them into two equal parts. Cut off the stamps on the ends too. For the handles, you can use dowel rods.  For more details on how to make arm rods, click here! To attach these rods, make sure the hands of your skeleton have holes in them. If they don’t, drill them yourself. Attach the hand with rods using bolts and nuts. Now you can control the movements of the hands too. Since we have re-made the wrist and elbows, you will see more movement across them while using the arm rods.

  1. Connect the Arms

For this project, I decided to replace the plastic joint with rope joints. To do this, cut the pegs off the arms and drill holes through them. Use strings to attach them back with the body.

  1. Paint

Last, we used some white and black paint to do some touch ups and to paint the bolts and ropes to match the bone color.

Final Thoughts Finally, your puppet skeleton is all done. Now you can host a puppet show during this Halloween season. You can use the same technique and procedure upon other plastic figures and add them to your puppet collection. We’d recommend you to follow these steps in the given order. We have also made a video tutorial of this project on our YouTube channel. Don’t forget to watch it.

If you have any questions regarding the steps of the procedure of making a self-customized puppet skeletal, please let us know in the comment section below.

You may also like

Leave a Comment