Making a Santa Puppet

by Puppet Nerd

Santa Claus is coming to town. LITERALLY! Universal Music Enterprises put together a team to create a holiday music video for the legendary song “Santa Claus is Coming To Town” by the Jackson 5. They brought together filmmakers, puppeteers, puppet builders and animators to bring this holiday classic to life.

Making a Santa Puppet 

Let’s break down the building of the Santa puppet. The design of this character was developed and styled by Edna Bland and Alex Griffin (sketch by Alex Griffin). But it was up to Adam Kreutinger to bring the puppet build to life and add a little flare.

Edna Bland
Alex Griffin
concept sketch

Once the design was settled it was time to start building the puppet. First we started with the head. The head was patterned with a reticulated foam and covered with puppet fleece. You can learn this entire process from this tutorial!

Next we went on to creating the nose. For this we used a vacuum forming machine. This process heats up and softens up a thin piece of plastic, which is then placed over a nose form. Then a vacuum is turned on to pull the plastic around the form creating a perfect nose, which is then covered in puppet fleece.

Then the hair was attached, as well as the nose, beard, beard and mustache. Notice how fur was used for the hair, but using these special grooming techniques we were able to make it look like real hair! Next, it’s time to move on to the body. Before and after.

The body was formed out of a sheet of L200 foam, then covered with different fabrics to make the clothes. Even complete with a belt buckle made of PVC pipe to complete the classic Santa look!

For this Santa puppet the arms were made to be removable. To do this, there is a thin cord coming out of the back of the arms that gets threaded through two holes in the body, then tied off behind this little white ”arm button” to protect the foam. This will keep the puppet lasting a long time. This puppet also has arm rods too.

Santa’s boots were sculpted out of more L200 foam, then coated in Creature Cast mixed with black paint. His legs were attached to the body using the “arm buttons” just like the arms. However, If you want to learn how to make puppet shoes that are removable, make sure to check out this video!

Once all of those pieces were complete, we assembled them together to complete the finished Santa puppet for the “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” music video. But no puppet is complete with it’s puppeteers. The puppeteers Universal Music Enterprises used for the music video were Jayden Libran and Alex Griffin, who did an awesome job! See for yourself!

If you want to learn more about how to make your own puppets, be sure to check out our other PUPPET BUILDS and TUTORIALS! We even have some projects especially for kids or beginner builders.

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