Inch by inch, here’s how to make a Wiggly Worm Marionette

Who isn’t fascinated by the antics of an inchworm? This Wiggly Worm Marionette mimics an inchworm, gliding along on easy-to-maneuver marionette strings. This DIY inchworm puppet is a perfect rainy day craft project for kids – the bright colors, fun materials and lots of hands-on action will keep them engaged. Once the Wiggly Worm Marionette is finished, the fun continues as children can play along with the puppet. (And maybe even practice a few math facts . . .)

Cute, inchworm puppet. Fun for the kids to DIY. (Remember the Inchworm song?)

Wiggly Worm Marionette by Kathleen George.

To make a Wiggly Worm Marionette, you’ll need:

  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: One 4” ball and eight, 2-1/2” balls; scrap piece
  • Acrylic craft paints in assorted colors
  • Chenille stems in assorted colors
  • Felt scraps
  • Pompoms, three, ¾”
  • Wiggle eyes, two 1”
  • Thick yarn
  • Wood dowel, 3/8” x 24”
  • Thick, white craft glue
  • Low-temp glue gun
  • Tools needed: Scissors; plastic knife; ruler; wood skewers; stiff paintbrush; optional: hole punch

To make a Wiggly Worm Marionette:

1. Create the head and neck:

  • Cut a small slice* from the 4” and one 2-1/2” balls.
  • Twist the cut sides together, forming a snug fit.
  • Glue the cut sides together. Let glue dry.

*Carefully supervise the kids as they use the plastic knife.

2. Insert wood skewers into all of the balls. You’ll use the skewers as handles while you paint the balls. Paint the balls in all of your favorite colors. Insert the skewers into a scrap of STYROFOAM Brand Foam to hold the balls upright while the paint dries.

3. Build your Wiggly Worm:

  • Cut four chenille stems into four pieces. Fold each piece in half, forming a “U” shape.
  • Add a dab of glue on the ends of one chenille stem U, and insert the ends into the back of the neck. Leave a ¼” loop extending from the ball.
  • Insert a chenille stem U through this loop. Add glue on the ends, and insert into another ball, joining the head and neck to the body.
  • Repeat, adding more balls to the body, till your Wiggly Worm is complete.

4. Decorate the Wiggly Worm:

Adorable! Kids will love making this Wiggly Worm Marionette!

Cute face!

  • Glue wiggle eyes and a pom pom nose to face.
  • Cut mouth, eyebrows, tail, and “hair” from felt and glue in place.
  • Punch small circles from felt, and glue the polka dots onto the body.
  • Place glue onto ends of 6” chenille stems and insert into top of head for antennae. Glue pompoms to the tips of the antennae.

5. Cut one 36” and two, 24” lengths from yarn. Insert and glue the end of a 24” length into the head, and the end of the other 24″ piece into the tail ball. Tie the 36” length around the  joint between balls 3 & 4.

6. Form a long loop in the center yarn by folding down 12”, and tying the end around the middle of the yarn. Insert the wood dowel through this loop.

7. Tightly tie the ends of the 24” lengths around the ends of the dowel.

8. To make the Wiggly Worm inch along, pull up and release the center yarn.

Cute, inchworm puppet. Fun for the kids to DIY. (Remember the Inchworm song?)

Not only is the Wiggly Worm Marionette fun, but he can help teach math, too.

Do you remember the Inchworm song? I just read up on it and it turns out that Danny Kaye first sang this song in the movie Hans Christian Anderson.

The version most people might remember is the one sung on The Muppet Show.

A cute, Wiggly Worm Marionette that also makes math fun? Bring it on!

Happy crafting.


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6 Responses to Inch by inch, here’s how to make a Wiggly Worm Marionette

  1. Cool tutorial. Thanks. I will try making this worm at home.

  2. Pingback: Wiggly Worm Marionette | Lesson Plans |

  3. I am pretty sure that making one of these is in my near future. My 2 year old granddaughter is siting here with me and saw this and squealed with delight. She keeps asking me for it. Want, want, want, want is exactly what she is saying to me! LOL I think she likes it! Going to have to place an order so I can make it for the next time she is here. Thank you for the inspiration!

    • PS. If Styrofoam wanted to send the foam balls to make this I wouldn’t be upset! LOL I think I have spent half of my craft budget on foam shapes so I can make the projects that you share with me! Now I just need to find the time to sit and actually make them! I do know that this will probably be the first thing I make because it will get the most use! I have stuff to make the wall decor pieces that you showed and the sculptures but haven’t found a time to put it all together. Every time I try to get started something comes up and I get sidetracked. LOL

      • Sharon says:

        So much inspiration, so little time 🙂 So true! The ideas are endless. Now, if we could just figure out how to craft a little extra time . . . Sharon

    • Sharon says:

      Aww, how sweet, and what fun you’ll have! It makes me so happy that your little granddaughter wants to craft. What wonderful memories you’ll both have! Sharon

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