I am lucky enough to have a puppetry class, so what I have posted is just the tip of the iceberg. I am just learning how to take pictures/post on Flickr. Anyway, since I buy most of the materials for the puppets with my own money (art catalogues that I can order from don't cater to puppeteers), I buy my foam from eBay. Ideally you should use what is called reticulated foam. I use upholstry foam, nothing thicker than 1". As for the Punch and Judy puppets that were papermache'd, we just built an armature out of newspaper and mached on top of that. I can't use balloons as I have a student who is allergic to latex. Also with reticulated foam and foam in general, there are specialized glues to use, I don't use them because of the toxicity. I use hot glue guns to glue everything together. Right now we are working on scarf marionettes (last year we did Czech marionettes), and we still have to do paper tube puppets and shadow puppets before the semester is over.
> The puppets and portraits are great fun. What type of foam did you use for the big mouth puppets? I did a version years ago with younger students (I now teach high school classes). I used a water bomb balloon. Paper mach-ed it and then slice in half either vertically or horizontally. One end was removed on each piece in sort of a moon shape. The bottom was paper mach ed flat and then the two pieces hinged together forming those classic Muppet heads. Does that make any sense?
> Did you use a form for the paper mac-he pulp heads or were they solid pulp/
> Susan in Ohio