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Dear Mudbloods,

I have a problem. My thumbs' inside measurement is about 2 inches. I want to do some simple handpuppets, but I am having trouble because the arms generally dangle and lack control. I have tried book board, cardboard, toilet paper tubes, boning and several other reinforcers, but I am not getting enough rigidity and control with the ability to slide into the puppet easily in performance. I am considering trying to find some finger splints in bulk. I really would rather reinforce the puppet than wear a prosthetic thumb enhancer, but I have that in the works as well. Anyway, any ideas out there?

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Try this: make a very short (perhaps 1") cardboard tube that easily fits over your finger. Line that tube inside with a substantial "innertube" of foam rubber (1/2" thick? maybe more, maybe less -- experiment!). Bend the foam back around both outside edges and glue it in place. Sew up a fabric "liner" tube (not felt -- it wears out too fast!) that will fit inside this foam "innertube" but twice the length of the tube, thread it thru the inside, bend it over the outside edges of the tube and pin the two ends of the fabric together, then whip stitch them around the middle on the outside and trim off the excess with scissors. Build your puppet's arm to fit over this "finger sleeve". Your finger should easily slip through the tube, but it will not be loose because the foam padding expands to hold your finger tight. Plus, it's extremely comfortable!

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