Press

We’re always happy to receive press enquires. Below is a press release – feel free to get in touch with mari@picturetopuppet.co.uk or 01315544753 if you’d like any further info. We’ve got lots of high resolution images available on request.

Summary

My business is called Picture to Puppet, we make custom puppets and toys to order. We’ve been going for 6 years and we’re based on Constitution Street in Leith. We’re now a team of 6. We make them from photographs, illustrations or descriptions. We also run a toy hospital called Leith Toy Hospital that repairs broken toys.

What are our puppets and toys used for?

We make them for a big range of different clients, they’re used for TV shows and theatre productions, comdians, ventriloquists and music videos; I made a lovely baboon puppet who is now a DJ and has his own little mixing deck!

A lot of our customers are individuals who order puppets of their family members – we’ve even made someone’s Mum pop out of a Jack in the box!

We make a lot for schools and educational resource companies; lots of schools have their core values mascots made up as puppets or toys – sometimes they have competitions for the kids to design the mascot and we get to make the winning design up as a puppet. It’s really lovely to work with kids drawings because they have such fabulous creative ideas that adults would never think of – we’ve made roller skating hedgehogs, creatures with caterpillar trucks for feet, monsters with working water pistol attachments and all sorts.

Lots of authors and illustrators have the characters in their books made up as puppets or toys, which are often really charismatic.

We make a lot of company mascots and toys based on people’s logos. We also make puppets for health and social care professionals like children’s counsellors and speech therapists. We’ve done ones with movable lips, teeth and tongues for phonics and even moving hands for teaching sign language.

What do we make?

As well as individual puppets and toys, we also make small runs of up to 50. We mainly make hand and rod puppets, glove puppets and soft toys.

The hand puppets all have moving mouths. I really like making extra mechanisms like blinking eyes, moving eyebrows, wiggling ears; we can do gloves that you can put your hands inside to move your fingers, tattoo sleeves. We even make props to go with the puppets, like swords, sheilds, wheelchairs, hockey sticks.

In terms of the costumes for them, we get a lot of baby’s clothes in local charity shops and often adapt them to fit the puppets – often though they need something very specific so we make it from scratch

With the toy hospital, we repair modern and antique toys, mainly teddies, dolls and puppets but sometimes all kinds of other things.

How I started

I studied textiles at Edinburgh College of Art and worked as a dressmaker for a while. I made a few puppets for friends and put them up on my website, and gradually started to get more requests for puppets, and decided to make it into a business. I started about 6 years ago; I worked part time alongside it for a couple of years, then went full time. It’s just got busier and busier – now there are 6 of us on the team and we’re always rushed off our feet.

I really enjoy it, it never gets boring because every commission is different, and it’s nice to work with all our customers’ ideas, which are often really cool and creative.