Jim Henson Demonstrates How to Make Your Own Puppets

posted by Jason Kottke May 01, 2020

In this charming video from 1969, right before Sesame Street premiered on PBS, Jim Henson spends about 15 minutes showing how to make simple puppets out of materials you might have handy at home: cardboard, plastic cups, fabric, wooden spoons, potatoes, etc. Joining him was the designer of the Muppets, Don Sahlin.

He is "the inventor" of the Muppet look, from a design point of view. As discussed in the book Jim Henson's Designs and Doodles, many of the Muppets began as Henson's rough sketches, which Sahlin then built and modified as needed... Sahlin was known to refer to himself as the "guardian of the essence" of the Muppets.

Henson's Kermit-y voice is super soothing. What a great find by the indispensable Kid Should See This.