Create Mini Armchair for Your Puppet or Doll | Barbora Mihoková | Skillshare

Create Mini Armchair for Your Puppet or Doll

Barbora Mihoková, Puppet Maker

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
10 Lessons (53m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Materials and Tools

    • 3. Seat

    • 4. Arms

    • 5. Backrest

    • 6. Upholstering the Seat

    • 7. Upholstering Arms and Backrest

    • 8. Finishing the Arms

    • 9. Assembly

    • 10. Final Thoughts


About This Class

Learn how to create a custom mini armchair for your puppet/doll.

This class is aimed at all hobby crafters, puppet makers, doll makers, and for everyone who has an interest in making doll furniture. After completing this class you will be able to create custom armchair for your own marionette or doll. Then you can use it as a prop in puppet/doll photography, in a puppet play, as a toy or just as a decoration.

First, we will go through all the materials and tools that you’ll need to make your mini armchair (you can find "Materials and Tools - Armchair" document in "Projects & Resources" section). Then we will create a basic construction, I’ll teach you how to upholster and tuft your armchair, and finally we will sew all parts together by hand.


What You'll Learn

  • Basic Construction. We'll measure our puppet and then create a basic armchair construction (seat, backrest and arms) of appropriate size.
  • Upholstering and Tufting. You’ll learn how to upholster your mini armchair and how to use beads or buttons to tuft the backrest and arms.
  • Assembly. I’ll teach you how to sew the seat, arms and the backrest together by hand, using the invisible stitch.


Please note: this tutorial is for creating a toy armchair only. It cannot be used for making a real armchair for people, which has a completely different construction.



1. Introduction: Hello, everyone. Welcome In my third class. My name is Barbara. I'm a puppet maker living in Slovakia. And today I'm gonna teach you how to make a small armchair for your puppet. I specialize in making personalized Mirian. It's based on photographs. Um, I've been making them for about six years now, but it is not just about puppets themselves. It is also important to have something to sit those puppets on, especially when taking pictures So they're not just standing or hanging somewhere. Um, these perps are helpful when I'm trying to set the scene and create something like a really situation to make my puppets look more like rial people. In this class, you will learn how to create a custom many arm chair for your own puppet or dull it convey useful when taking pictures of your dolls or if you have a puppet theater. The chair can also be used as a prop in your puppet play. But even if you're not a puppet or dull artist, you can still create many armchair for your toys as a decoration or just for fun. We're gonna go through the entire process starting from the basic construction moving into upholstering tough thing. And then I'll show you how to attach old parts together and finish your armchair. I think this closets for beginners no prior knowledge is necessary. We will be sewing by hand so you don't need to have a sewing machine. I mostly use materials that I find at home, and in this class I will be using pieces of foam in an old T shirt. I'm so excited that you're here and I can't wait to see what your creative. It's super easy and fun. So thank you so much for joining this class and see you in the next lesson. 2. Materials and Tools: Now let's take a look at some materials and tools that will need, so we're going to need some foam here. I have some pieces that I found at home. This size and thickness depends on how big you want your armchair to be and on the design as well. But we can always form those pieces into the shape and size we need by cutting and gluing them together. I will also use this pace of would. You don't have to, but I want to play something heavy to the bottom of the chair to make it more stable. We're also going to need a ruler sharp knife, but be very careful when working with it. Caesar's some marker Contact glue so that we can glue pieces of the foam together and create a basic construction. After that, we'll need some fabric to upholster the armchair. I will be using this piece of old T shirt will also need a needle and a threat of the color that matches the color of the fabric, Then some pins, and if you want, you can also at some buttons or beats too tough the backrest of your armchair. You can choose any color you want for each spot will need to beats. One of them will be visible and the other one will be hidden. So in my case, if I want 123 for 56 789 10 11 spots only 22 beats. I will also use a shoe lace as a measuring tool. You can also use a piece of twine or tape measure just something flexible so we can easily measure around curves and corners. And we can also use pliers, especially when we have difficulty pulling the needle out of the phone. So that's all we need. Now. I'm just gonna show you how to cap the foam. So after you have measured the distance you need to cut and you have marked the line. You can just take a sharp knife and cut vertically like this, and then make some corrections with Caesar's. Or, if you need to split one thinker piece of foam into two theater pieces, you can use both knife and scissors in cut horizontally. This was just an example when it comes to shapes and dimensions in the next video, I'll show you how to take the measurements and so that you can create a custom made armchair, especially for your own puppet 3. Seat: So here I have the arm chair that was designed for bigger marionettes. But now for this puppet, I need to make a smaller one. So first we need to know the height of the seat. It should be the distance between the foot and the knee. So in my case, it should be seven centimeters. Now we need to know the distance between the knees and puppets back, which in my case, is approximately seven centimetres again. And lastly, we have to decide on the weight of the seat, which is totally up to you. As long as your puppet fits in that chair, I've decided to make it asswipe as this one. It's nine centimeters, but if you want, you can make it whiter and then it will not be an armchair, but rather a sofa. Now this is the piece of foam which I'm going to use for the seat. It meets my criteria in two of three dimensions nine seven. But these pieces only five centimeters high, and I need seven. So I will glue these piece of wood to the bottom of the seat because it's nine centimeters wide, as well as the foam and here. It gives me another two centimeters, so we can always try to kind of build out specific shape out of things that you find at home. Now we need to fill this empty space, but I will use a piece of phone that is a little bit longer like this, because later I will place the back rest on top of that piece. So it's gonna be something like a base for the backrest. Because without that base, the backrest would be too low and I wanted to be a little higher. That's why I need to put something under that. Okay, so I'm gonna apply the contact glue on the wood, and I'm gonna put them both the wood and the foam together for a second to imprint the glue onto the phone because I want to see exactly where to apply the glue. So now I'm going to apply the glue on the foam and let it dry for about 10 minutes, and now we conjoined them together. And after that, we can glue the other piece of foam to this empty space and finish the seat 4. Arms: Once we have the basic construction off the seat, we can start making the backrest in arms. So here I have a piece of foam, which is about 2.5 centimeters Steak. It's about one inch. You can set the height according to your own puppet. This is something like a base to create an arm. I will also use a piece of thin foam that will cover that base because its surface is perfectly smooth. And I'd like to make the arms round rather than flat. If you don't have anything foam, you can create a simple arm and you can just use scissors and cut the edges, make some corrections or make it curved. First, I'm going to take scissors and make some corrections on the seat. Okay, When it comes to the length of the arm, I've made it a little bit longer than the sitting area. So it's about one inch or 2.5 centimeters longer, and it creates a space for the backrest here. Now I'm going to trim off the excess part of the foam to align it with the arm. Okay, so now I'm gonna cover the arm base with a thing foam to give it a round shape. So first, I'm going to wrap it to see how long and white it should be. I'm gonna mark those points in Cut this piece out. And of course I need to pieces. So now I'm using the 1st 1 as a template to cut out the other one. Okay. And now I'm just gonna temporarily It's as those covers to the armed basis and attach them both to the seats. A swell with the help of pins. Because in the next video, I will be making the backrest, and I need to see its exact location. So this is where we're going to place the backrest, and I'm gonna true how to make it in the next video. 5. Backrest: to create a back rest. We need a bigger a piece of foam. And because I didn't have any I've got this think piece into two theater pieces. They're still think enough so that I can glue the edges together. Now it's slightly angled, as you can see. So I have to make some corrections to make it parable to the bottom off the chair. Okay, I'm gonna attach this piece to the back so that it is placed above these bottom part like this, and I'm gonna draw this shape to the backrest with a marker so I will know exactly which areas need to be cut off. Now we can design the shape of the backrest. I'm gonna make it curve, but you can make it square if you want. It's up to you, - okay ? And I'm gonna cut off these areas, but I'm gonna be cutting from the outer side of the line because it's always better to cut less, so that were still able to make some corrections. - Okay , I think I'll make some adjustments and cut a little more. So it's not that wide. Okay, Now it's better. Okay? And now if you want this edge to be curved. You have two options. You can either use Caesar's to get that shape. Or if you have something foam, you can just cover it. And it will look better because the surface is completely smooth. I'll show you how to do that. I'm gonna trace my backrest onto the thinner foam. But we have to make this piece bigger so it can not only cover the front part, but the edge is a swell. When it comes to these edges, though, we don't have to cover them with the foam because this is where the arms will go. So to these parts, I will only about one centimeter. Okay. And now we can apply the contact glue on both pieces, let it dry for at least 10 minutes, and then we conjoined them together. - And finally, we can use scissors to make some corrections. 6. Upholstering the Seat: So now that we have finished the basic construction of the armchair, we can start upholstering it. So first, we have to remove the pins and take the armchair apart into individual pieces. Okay, so let's start with a seat. First, I'm going to soften this edge a little bit, and now we can cover the seat all the way around with the fabric. So now you can use any piece of twine. I'm using the shoe lace, and I'm gonna measure the seat to know the length of the fat break down, and I'll get a little more for sewing. So now we know the length. But we also need to know the weight of the fabric, which in my case is nine centimeters plus two centimeters edit to each side because again, we will need this extra space for sewing. Okay, Now we should place the fabric on the table and reckless eat in it so that the right side is inside and the wrong side is outside. And we should always pull the fabric tightly and evenly. Now we can pin both ends of the fabric together, but it has to stay stretched and then we can carefully take the fabric off the seat and so a seam. So I'm going to threaten a needle, make a not And now to sell this part, you can choose any type of stage because this will be completely hidden. So it doesn't matter how it looks. I'm gonna use the backstage, which means that after completing the full stage, I'm always going to go back in at the end of the previous one. But no matter what state you cheers, Now we just need this fabric to hold together. Down? No, when we get to the end, which it ends are stitching. So I'm going to simply make a loop and draw the needle through it, and that's it. Now we can trim off the excess fabric and turn the fabric right side out. Now, I'm gonna apply some contact glue here to the corner and put the fabric on the seats. But at the same time, I'm trying not to touch the glue down. No, the same should be placed in the corner because we don't want it to be visible. And now we can push the same to that corner and fascinate with some pains until the glue is fully dry. Okay, now let's finish the sides. So now I'm folding the fabric on both sides, pulling it tightly and attaching to the foam with pins done, and I'm gonna be sewing it from site to side. It's important to touch all the keys pots together so that the fabric stays stretched again . These parts will be hidden behind the arms. So now it doesn't matter how it looks. What is important is that the fabric holds together down . 7. Upholstering Arms and Backrest: all right. Now that the CDs of holstered we can start working on the arms and the backrest. So let's remove pins. And now we should mark the top of the arm. In my case, the longer sides will go horizontally and the shorter sides vertically. So this is the top of the arm, and this is the front side. Okay, Now we're going to cover the front side with a piece of fabric. So I'm going to plays the arm base onto the T shirt so that the front side is touching the fabric and the fabric is folded. I'm gonna cut it out of the sleeve because I need to equal pieces. So now I'm drawing the oval shape approximately two centimeters from the edge. I'm gonna use some pains to prevent the fabric from moving, and now I can cut those pieces out. Okay, so now let's pain the fabric on the foam and glue it with a contact glue. And later, when the glue is dry, we can remove all those pins. All right, Now, I'm gonna take this thin rectangular piece of foam and use it as a template Again. We need two pieces of fabric, and we need to add the extra two centimeters to each side for sewing. So now here I have one of those two pieces of fabric. It's placed the wrong side up, and I'm gonna lay the foam in the middle, apply the contact glued to the edge of the longer side in cover that side with the fabric. Now, we can take any book or something. Um, put it onto that and let it dry, and we can do exactly the same with the other piece. All right, Now it's a poster. The backrest. So now we need one bake folded piece of fabric. It stays folded here on top, because later we will put the backrest insight so it will cover both on the front and the back part of the backrest. So we don't have to add any Seema loans to the top. I'm just getting those extra two centimeters to the sides and to the bottom part. Okay. Now we can place the backrest inside and use pins to touch the fabric to the foam. I'm going to start at the bottom, and I'm gonna pull and stretch the fabric upwards and fascinate on top in on both sides. All right, I have only covered the front side because now I'm gonna show you how to tough the back roads using the beats. So first, we need to know what it to put those beats. There's no point in placing them to this lower part because they would be hidden behind the seat. So first, we should use a pin to mark the point where the seat ends so that we will know exactly which area will be visible. Okay, so this is where I want to place my beats. So now I'm going to threaten the needle. But this time I want the threat to be a little stronger. So I'm gonna fold one long piece of threat in half to double it up and then threaded into the Iot the needle. So now it's really thick and strong. So let's start with the first thing. I'm gonna push it through the foam, And now that it's on the other side so I can see its exact location, I can take the needle and push it back all the way through the phone, and I'm gonna string a beat and push the needle back through the foam very close to the first stage. And I'm gonna turn the backrest on the other side and pull the threat almost all the way up , but not completely, because we need to leave some threat there for tying, and I'm going to use another beat. It doesn't have to be the same beat as the one on the outer side. This one will not profitable. But we need to have it on this side as well, because if I pull the throat site and made a non without that, beat the threat Good, get through the foam and we don't want it. Now we can pull the threat tight and make a multiple. Not okay. So, as you can see, this is just something like a safety beat because it prevents the threat from reaping the foam. And this is how it looks. So now we can cut off the rest of the threat, and we can repeat this process to finish tough thing. - OK , now it's time to remove these pins. Pull the fabric tight to the bottom. If it's too long, we can shorten it a little bit. Then we can fold it like this and fasten with pins and we're going to So both ends of the fabric together now it doesn't matter what type of state you choose because they seem will also be hidden, so it doesn't have to look perfect. I'm gonna insert the needle into the fabric and bring it through all layers up to the opposite side, then back into the first side, but a little further And then again through all layers up to the opposite side. And I'm repeating this so it kind of looks like a spiral. Oh, I don't know what this stage is called, but it is pretty strong. And now we're gonna so both sides, we can use the same stages before because it will be hidden behind the arms. And finally, we're going to solve the visible sites. So this time we want the stages to be hidden. We don't want to see them. So after I fold and attached the fabric with pins, I will show you how to saw the invisible stage. So we'll start by creating a loop to prevent the knots from passing through the fabric. Then I'll go to the opposite side, starting at the corner and I'm gonna bring the needle through the fabric from right to left . Then I'll go back to the other side and do the same thing. And it's, um, pulling the threat tied, the stitches disappear. So I'm gonna repeat this stitch until I get to the end. Okay? So when you get to the end, bring the needle through the loop and pull the threat tight to create a Not. But now this corner is kind of sticking out. So I'm going to insert the needle to that corner and bring it through the foam to the other side and pull the threat tight again. And now we can sleep the threat. Be careful not to sleep the fabric. All right, so now I'm going to repeat this process and finish the other side. 8. Finishing the Arms: Okay, now let's finish the arms. So first we have to remove pins. And now we can take both covers, place them on top of the armed basis and wrapped them around them. But now I'm on Lee, covering one side. The other side has to stay uncovered because I want to tufted with some beats first. So again I will mark the location of the beads. And once I'm happy with it, I can do the same on the other piece. So when it comes to beat, interrupting the process is pretty much the same as in the previous lesson. And now it's time to use the contact glue and cover the other side. I'm also gonna apply some glue here to this inner area because now it is not covered. Will. If that covering pieces too long, we should trim it off to align it with the bottom. All right, so let's finish the bottom and back part of the arms. So now I'm gonna pull the fabric tightly, trim it folded and fascinated to prepare it for sewing. And after that, I will use the invisible stitch again 9. Assembly: all right. In this video, I'm gonna show you how to attach all finished parts together. So first, let's use pains and fasten one arm to the seat. And now let's thread the needle. Oh, this time I want the threat to be thick and strong. So before threading the needle, I folded one long piece of threat in half. And now we can start sewing. Oh, I'm starting at the place that is not that visible. And I'm gonna be sewing all the way around the arm using the invisible stage. Okay, Now, I got back to the starting point, so I'm gonna make a not to finish sewing, All right? One arm is done, and I'm gonna do the same with the other one. - And finally, we can attach the backrest. So again, I'm going to use pains and fascinate to the seed in arms so that everything is firmly fixed and hold this position. - So I'm gonna be sewing from one side to the other side, and that's pretty much it. This is actually the last step before finishing the armchair. When you get to the corners, be sure to catch the fabric from all sides and don't forget to pull the threat site eso. It holds perfectly because we don't want to have any gaps between the backrest and the other parts. 10. Final Thoughts: So here's my finished armchair. Oh, And now that you already know how it's made, you can design and create your own. You can adjust the size and the shape. If you want to make it more suitable for your own puppet, you can choose another color. Different beads, buttons. Um, you could make it look more vintage. There are many, many possible variations. And once you have completed your armchair, please don't forget to post the picture in the project gallery. I would really love to see it. Okay, guys, I hope you enjoy this tutorial. I hope you have learned something new. And if you have any questions, just let me know and I'll be happy to help you. So thank you for watching. And I hope to see you in the next class.