#Biography puppet pattern and an ironic #BackToSchool #story

Image shows a hand-made paper puppet which was designed to look like Kofi Annan the former UN Secretary General. He wears a suit and tie, and he holds a flag of Ghana in one hand and a globe in the other. The watermark offers the url ChellyWood.com where free doll patterns (and this free paper doll or puppet pattern) are available for printing.
Please visit ChellyWood.com for free printable sewing patterns and tutorials for dolls of many shapes and sizes.

As most of you know, I design doll clothes patterns for fun, but in my day job, I work as a school librarian. It’s a little-known fact that I’ve also made paper doll patterns from time to time, like the one you see pictured above. (Scroll down for my free, printable paper doll “puppet” pattern.)

The image shown above was a project I started working on early this morning. You see, I’m going to have my students read biographies of world famous people when school starts on Monday (two days from now). And I was hoping to have them make a paper “puppet” like the one shown above, once they finish reading their assigned biographies.

One of the world leaders whose life has inspired me is Kofi Annan, so I just happened to choose him for my example puppet. I was putting this puppet together at my kitchen table today, when my teenage daughter asked, “Who is Kofi Annan?” I started to explain to her about his role in the United Nations and how he won the Nobel Peace Prize, among other achievements.

She asked me, “Is he still alive?”

I responded, “I think so…” but I looked him up on Wikipedia to make sure.

Holy MOSES! I was so shocked to learn that Kofi Annan died the same day that I designed this puppet pattern and modeled it in the shape of him… What are the chances?

I don’t usually post any patterns or tutorials on Saturday, but I really admired Kofi Annan. So I decided that perhaps I would create this post to honor his memory.

If there are any other educators out there, you might want to use the puppet pattern I’ve designed. It’s a generic-looking human form that can be modeled to represent practically anyone. This puppet-making project is a fun way to have students create a visual image of a person after reading their biography.

I usually require that my students include some significant feature in the puppet that lets us know what made that person unique. For example, my Kofi Annan puppet holds the flag of Ghana in one hand (he was a diplomat from Ghana) and a globe in the other (representing the United Nations, as Kofi Annan was the Secretary General of the UN).

Here’s the puppet pattern for anyone who wants it:

The image shows a paper doll or jointed puppet pattern for use with biographies in a school classroom. The image says "Biography 'Puppet' Pattern" and offers brief instructions. There's a watermark on the pattern offering the URL ChellyWood.com, and the pattern itself is marked with a "Creative Commons Attribution" symbol.
Please visit ChellyWood.com for free printable patterns and tutorials.

You may notice that my Kofi Annan puppet is shorter than this pattern. In life, Kofi Annan was only 5 feet 9 inches tall according to IMDB. I’m going to have my students at school practice ratios by comparing my puppet’s height in millimeters to Kofi Annan’s height in centimeters. They will then have to build their own puppet to scale, with my Kofi Annan paper doll setting the standard. I love to create cross-curricular activities like this, to help support our school’s math department.

Well, I hope there are some other school librarians and teachers out there who will enjoy my free puppet pattern. If you do decide to use my pattern, please share it on social media as well, to help spread the word about this website, which offers free printable doll clothes patterns and tutorials, for dolls of many shapes and sizes. The “Additional Information” section below can tell you more.


Additional Information:


Some of my followers have wondered what motivates me to give my patterns away for free.

First of all, I’m a librarian by trade. Librarians love free stuff! We believe that the more a person knows, the more enriched their life will be. So it may sound kind of crazy, but I want ChellyWood.com to become a sort of library of free patterns that help people learn to sew doll clothes.

If you’d like to learn more about my motives, feel free to visit my Chelly’s Books page.

My Gallery Page is the easiest way to search through all of my patterns to find what you want. Each image on the Gallery Page takes you to links for patterns and tutorials.

Need help printing my patterns? This link offers a tutorial showing you how to download and print my FREE patterns using Google Docs. (For the older print-a-pattern tutorial, which uses Microsoft Word, click here.) To review my difficulty scale (demonstrating how hard or easy a pattern is by the number of flowers displayed), take a look back at this blog post.

Please note: you must enlarge my patterns to fit a full-sized piece of American computer paper (8.5 x 11 inches or 216 x 279 mm) without margins, before printing.

My patterns are now available through “Creative Commons Attribution.” This means that I created my patterns (and therefore I own rights to them), but I’m willing to share them with everyone who will tell people about my website.

Here are some helpful ways to tell the world about my patterns:

Are you new to sewing? I’ve got a playlist of tutorials for the beginning sewists on my YouTube channel. It includes video tutorials showing you how to do a basic straight stitch when sewing by hand, how to use the whipstitch to hem a garment, how to sew on snaps, and even how to design your own doll clothes patterns, for those who are new to design and alterations.

In case you haven’t heard, I have actually designed some commercial patterns for Lammily LLC. You might want to visit the Lammily website to see what they’ve got going on.

If your question wasn’t answered here, feel free to submit a question. I’m always happy to help my followers find what they need, so they, too, can make amazing doll clothes and crafts.

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