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Puppet for clay animation

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You can make the puppet simply by kneading clay without the need for coloring, so even beginners can easily make stop motion animation.
Clay animation can change shape freely because it uses oil clay which does not solidify over time. I think that the feature of clay animation is that changes this shape ” transformation”. In here I introduce how to make a clay animation puppet.


oil clay
Oil clay for puppet animation “Plastelene” and “claytoon” is famous. You can also mix colors of clay to create another color. It can be purchased with amazon.

Preservation of clay
Put the clay to be used in a thick plastic bag with a zipper or a Tapper and save it so that dust does not stick.

wire fuse
use it for the framework of the puppet. Please refer to the page of Wire Armature for details.

paper tape
Winding on thread fuse improves clay sticking. Please refer to the wire armature page.


It is necessary when making a doll.

1 work table : keep it clean so that the doll does not become dirty.
2 Spatula : Use it for formatting small parts.
3 Wet cloth : Wet and squeeze lightly. Wipe the hands, workbench and spatula well and be careful not to mix the color of the clay.
4 tray : prepare the place to keep the puppet in advance.
5 clay : the clay in a tapper so that the clay will not become dirty during work.

First of all it is a simple puppet. Eyes are made with plastic parts.
A framework is not necessary for like this puppet. make it in the shape you like.

However, when trying to make a puppet with thin arm and leg, Only clay can not stand up, so a armature is needed.

The armature is a thread fuse or a lead wire with paper wrapped around. And a core made by cutting balsa material or styrofoam (foamed polystyrene). Fix it firmly using epoxy adhesive or bond. The thickness of thread fuse or lead wire used is just as good as it does not come down naturally even if you raise your arm or leg with clay attached. If the armature is too hard, it will collapse when you hold the arm or leg with your fingers. Although if you use fair thickness wire, the puppet deform a little. When you hold and change the pose of puppet, The clay puppet is deformed or get cracked. It is a difficult point for clay animation to adjust the shape every time.
I used plastic parts for eyes. If you make small parts or detail parts with hard stuff, you could animate more easy. But making with hard material means that the part will not transform freely. You need thinking carefully about how the puppet moves and use hard stuff parts.
In the above example, I made puppets in one color, but You can also make puppets using multiple colors. However, colors become mixed and dirty, so you should work with cleaning your fingertips and tools with wet cloth.
For beginners to make in the workshop, it is interesting to move them freely without worrying about dirt, but it is necessary to be careful when trying to make a proper work.

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