On a piece of cardboard, draw around your fingers for the top of the mouth
Estimate a slightly smaller area to fit your thumb and draw it in. This doesn't have to be precise as this is just to keep a basic shape while you work.
Cut out the shape. score in a line where the piece will bend and fold it over. You may want to put a piece of tape across the joint to prevent it from breaking.
Fold the cardboard piece in half and insert it into the sock.
Slide it all the way down and use your fingers to 'tuck in' the mouth.
To better show the shape I am working on, I now slide in a piece of fun noodle.
NOTE: ALL of the above can be skipped by you just putting the sock on your hand to work. This method just gives you two free hands without having to take the puppet off and put it back on constantly.
Now to decorate.
Eyes can be made of countless items: googly eyes, spoons, ping pong balls buttons, felt, egg cartons, the plastic containers from the gumball machines, used glasses with the eyes painted on the inside of the glass or even just drawn on with marker.
The pupils for the eyes can be just as varied Here re two examples. One using doll eye inserts and one with plain marker.
You can glue the eyes on with a hot glue gun. However keep in mind, these can burn you and in this instance, these are going to be packed in a box, shipped in a car and left in a tent. They will get hot which would re-melt the hot glue on its own.
A good alternative would be a contact cement. The trick to contact cement is to put a little bit on the piece and a little on the surface you are gluing it to. Wait a few minutes until the glue on both becomes tacky. Then attach the two. This should make for a nice, tight and permanent seal.
Now give the eye some character. Add eyelids which can be cut from felt, fabric, fur, or just drawn on with marker. But at least go around the eye so it stands out.
Then add eyelashes. You can buy the lashes, or just take some foam, felt or fleece, cut it slightly larger than the eye around the top then carefully cut them like fringe and glue above the eye.
Oh, a nose can be added the same way with anything you can find. A tongue can simply be a piece of fabric or felt, cut to size and glued in the mouth.
Yarn works good for the hair. Cut a strand just a little longer than you want the hair to be, as a guide.
Make loops the length of the guide piece
Fold in half and trim the loops off of the bottom, making a smooth hairline.
Tie a longer piece of yarn across the middle to keep the hair together
Take one end of the tie piece and thread it into a yarn needle.
Stitch it into the sock where you want the hair to be and tie it to the other end of the longer piece used to tie the hair together.
For an easy piece of clothing, fold a piece of fleece in half and cut out a neck hole. Remember the hole has to fit the puppeteer's hand, not just the sock! And glue the piece onto the sock.
Now, go play!
Of course, this is a very, very simple version. You can decorate it up as much as you want. Some people will glue the mouth board in place (some inside the sock, others will cut a hole for the mouth and glue the edges to the mouth plate). You can add arms, ears, beards, hats, horns or anything you can dream up. So have fun!
Next to come, I am sculpting a puppet head to cast entirely from latex!