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15 Secrets Puppet Builders At The Jim Henson Company Will Never Tell

So. Much. Fuzz.

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2. Puppet building is very serious and hard work; we're not "playing with dolls" over here.

Alexander Kehyaian

OK sometimes we play with them a LITTLE. But for the most part it's long hours, blood, sweat, and tears to make fuzzy engineering feats happen.

3. Speaking of blood, sweat, and tears: Injuries from power tools and razors are common place.

I currently have blood spots on both Elmo and Big Bird. Elmo from stabbing myself with a needle while trying to sew a cowboy hat to his head, and Big Bird from not carefully enough trimming his leg fleece.


5. That same puppeteer, Caroll Spinney, is also the genius behind Big Bird.

Caroll Spinney (on the left) is magical and when you meet him you instantly want to hug him.

8. Big Bird's feathers are made from hundreds of dyed turkey feathers that need to be replaced on the reg.

Loryn Brantz / BuzzFeed

Here's a picture of one I kept that was clearly unusable. The quality of his feathers is kept to a VERY high standard.


9. There are several different puppets for each of the characters.

Timothy A. Clary / AFP / Getty Images / / Via

You can't expect one puppet to deal with all that wear and tear? Pictured above are not Jim Henson creations.

12. Getting a muppet dressed might be harder than dressing a child. They literally can’t move their limbs to help and then the clothing has to be pinned in place in a very hidden way.