To celebrate World Puppetry Day, I have a fun DIY project to make your own Clod puppet like the one you see in Earth to Ned on Disney+.
In Earth to Ned, alien commander Ned (puppeteered by Paul Rugg) is sent to conquer Earth at the behest of his admiral father, but he calls off the invasion after falling in love with our pop culture and celebrities. Instead of blowing the planet up, Ned buries his ship beneath the Earth’s crust, sets up a studio on the deck, and enlists the help of his sidekick Cornelius (puppeteered by Michael Oosterom) along with his reluctant ship’s AI B.E.T.I. (puppeteered by Colleen Smith), and a gaggle of small monster-like creatures known as the CLODs, all so that he can star in his own talk show and learn more about Earth’s greatest resource….celebrities! Ned, Cornelius, their Artificial Intelligence B.E.T.I., and CLODs are brought to life by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, the team behind some of Hollywood’s most iconic characters.
CLODs are a group of small monster-like creatures that can eat just about any material and speak in unintelligible grunts and growls. The CLODS pop-up in every episode to the delight of kids everywhere. In one episode, Ned is exploring fashion with the help of RuPaul and Rachel Bilson and The CLODs orchestrate a fashion show where they each put on a unique outfit from different eras of Cher’s career! In other episodes, the CLODs stage a musical production, a Western, open a restaurant, and more!
One lucky reader will win a CLOD craft kit! It contains everything you need to create your very own CLOD puppet!
Download the full instructions for the Clod puppet here.
Make Your Own Clod Puppet
What you will need
- Cut out all paper patterns on p. 3-5. You will need to refer to the letters on each pattern throughout these instructions.
- Cut out all felt, foam, and fur pieces. (PRO TIP: When cutting fur, keep your scissors as close to the fabric backing as possible; be careful to just cut the fabric backing and not all the way through the fur or it will look choppy.)
Put together FELT tentacles.
- a. Match up felt pieces, pink to tan.
- b. Glue or sew on dotted line (on pattern) so tan felt is on top, pink on bottom.1 Be sure not to glue the edges that do not have a dotted line.
- c. Flip each piece inside out for a cleaner edge.2
- d. Glue or sew FELT A on first and fourth fingers of glove. (PRO TIP: put a piece of cardboard inside each glove finger as you glue so the fabric of the glove doesn’t stick to itself.)
- e. Glue or sew FELT B on fifth finger and thumb of glove.
- f. Glue or sew FELT C on third finger of glove.
- Place all patterns onto corresponding material denoted on pattern, then trace. Use p. 6-8 for placement reference, as you have just enough material for these patterns. There is plenty of fur for all the pieces to fit. (PRO TIP: The direction of the fur should match the arrows on the patterns.)
Put together FUR body and hair pieces.
- a. For all fur in steps 5b-5d, glue or sew on dotted line (on pattern). Be sure not to glue the edges that do not have a dotted line.
- b. Glue or sew FUR D along the flat edg- es, as shown on p.9.
- c. Glue or sew FUR E and FUR F to each other, along side edges, then turn in- side out as shown on p.10.3
- d. Glue FUR D on top of hand, making sure seam is aligned vertically with the glove as shown on p.11 . The slit in the fur between the second and third fingers will allow the spoon body to be performed properly.
Put together FOAM face pieces
- a. Glue the two pieces of FOAM I together along the edges, taking care to leave approximately 2.5” open at the neck, as shown on p.12.4
- Glue the pink pipe cleaner onto the lip and shape into the lower lip.
- Glue the upper lip on, making sure it opens near the mouth.
- Glue on the googly eyes. (tip if you're using a hot glue gun, glue the eyes on upside down so it doesn't melt the black piece into place)
- Glue on the eye lids.
- Cut the ends off the fork and glue them on as teeth.
- Put the neck fur on the handle of the spoon. Glue to the back of the head piece.
- Glue the neck to the bottom of the head.
- Glue the pipe cleaners onto the small hairpiece. This will help the hair stand up in the front. Glue the hairpiece to the back of the head and then bend the pipe cleaner over the top of the head.
- Glue the rectangle fur to the spoon to cover the wood.
- For step 4b, you can just use the tan felt and glue the single pieces to the fingers of the glove in steps 4d-4f.
- You can choose to skip step 4c.
- You can glue the edges of the fabric backing to each other, which will not require turning inside out.
- To simplify step 6a, you can just use one piece of FOAM I.