Pinocchio the Puppet (Feb, 1940)

This would be even cooler if there was a string to make his nose grow.

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Pinocchio the Puppet



PINOCCHIO, the wistful puppet created by Geppetto, the wood carver, in Walt Disney’s second full-length production, is an inviting subject for either a homemade puppet or an amusing and companionable little doll. The accompanying illustrations show how to go about making one patterned after the original, which was created by the Disney model department as an inspiration to the animators drawing Pinocchio.

If you are an expert wood carver yourself, the head might be fashioned from a solid block of soft white pine and the nose inserted (Fig. 1), but a surer way to achieve a fair likeness is first to make a clay model. From this a plaster-of-Paris mold is taken, and the head is cast in plastic composition wood (Figs. 2, 3, and 4). The hat is made in the same way as the head and glued on.

The casting process will be found simple if the steps are carefully carried out as illustrated. Note, however, in the step marked Fig. 4E it is not necessary to fill the mold with watery plaster. Just pour a little inside and swish it around to form a coating and prevent the wood composition from drying and shrinking. The joint where the two halves of the head come together should be filled and the whole sandpapered before painting.

The torso is carved from a solid block of soft white pine (Fig. 5), and holes are drilled as indicated for the thongs to which arms and legs are attached, and for the elastic in the neck. The latter is a sort of ball-and-socket joint so that it may be turned and twisted within reasonable limits.

Legs and arms are of maple, although if they are to be painted flesh color, white pine will do. These pieces are slotted and jointed as in Fig. 6. For a doll, make the slots fit snugly so they will remain in any desired position, but for a marionette the joints should be very loose.

Hands and feet are cast in the plastic composition like the head, and the shapes are given in Fig. 7.

The assembly is illustrated in Fig. 8. Rawhide thongs are driven into holes in the upper arms and thighs, and fastened with glue or thin wedges. Costume and coloring are shown in Fig. 10.

There are various methods of attaching strings to a figure of this kind if it is to be used as a marionette, but one of the simplest is shown in Fig. 11. The wire extensions for the shoulder cords have the advantage of giving better control and hold the strings clear of the stiff white collar.

And Here Is a Colorful Little Clock by Geppetto

Geppetto, the indefatigable wood carver who made Pinocchio, filled his shop with all manner of unique cuckoo clocks. This one can be adapted to serve as a desk ornament. A hand-carved background of rushes supports a dollar watch, and in the foreground is a painted pool with a pair of ducks, one of them “headin’ south.” Jig-saw the back wall from white pine and carve in the design. The watch is set in a circular opening, being held in place by a brass spring. If a lathe is available, turn the retaining ring of hardwood; otherwise carve it out. The ducks are whittled from white pine.

  1. MAKE: Blog says: April 22, 20079:14 am

    Wood horn, early answering machine, $100 submarine, alarm clocks, 4 year old pilot – make a pinocchio puppet…

    Take a tour of yesterday’s future today — Horns made from tree trunks give odd musical tones – Link. Phone calls answered by machine – Link. $100 submarine – Link. Odd devices wake sleepers who scorn alarm clocks – Link…….

  2. Auxiliary Memory says: April 23, 20078:56 am

    A cute little clock for a scroll saw project…

    Modern Mechanix ? Pinocchio the Puppet Here is a cool little project that I can use as my first project with the little scroll saw I picked up at the thrift store last week. I just need to wait for……

  3. […] Pinnochio the Puppet Popular Science v. 136 (February 1940) pp. 180-181 […]

  4. Coreen says: November 25, 20092:32 pm

    pinocchio is like the best ever.! i watch the dvd every night . . i love it!!

  5. Bendarr says: January 18, 20105:41 pm

    Wow, now a days you even contemplate duplicating something of Disney you get a visit from their legal department.

  6. Firebrand38 says: January 18, 20107:33 pm

    Bendarr: I dunno, sounds like defending a trademark to me.

  7. Bendarr says: January 18, 20108:34 pm

    I guess my general point is that now a days you wouldn’t see plans for constructing a duplicate of a Disney item in a magazine that wasn’t published by Disney. The legal department from Disney would squash such a move by a magazine to publish such a plan. For example in Second Life you cannot build a vehicle that is a copy of an existing vehicle. Even if it’s for personal use only. You can’t even say that your creation is “Based on” or “Inspired by” in your description without running into trademark trouble. Thus I feel that plans like this wouldn’t be published in our now lawyer happy society that we live in which I feel (at least in some circumstances) not for the better.

  8. Firebrand38 says: January 18, 20108:42 pm

    Bendarr: No doubt that it’s a litigious society, but I think Disney gets a bad rap for protecting their property. Trademarks are a fleeting thing unless they’re defended.

  9. Bendarr says: January 18, 20109:24 pm


    I agree that Disney does have the right to defend trademarks. However I feel that Disney’s bad rap is for the amount of force that they use. As for example that you linked to. I feel that Disney legal department made a mistake and was too overenthusiastic. What Disney could have done is state “yes, it is a trademark infringement but we won’t pursue prosecution in this case. We would like to state that we are not affiliated with this day care center however.” End result? The Day care would have been able to keep the characters as painted and Disney would have avoided a black eye in it’s reputation. Because of that act the Disney legal department (and by association the rest of Disney itself) has a less than sterling reputation.

    Wiki entry on Copyright Term Extension act:…

    So judging from the chart, Pinocchio will remain under copyright until about 2035. Thus giving ( I Feel) the Disney Legal department and by extension Disney itself more than enough time to either sully Disney’s reputation or make some changes and show a more human face and less of a faceless Corporation.

  10. Firebrand38 says: January 18, 20109:47 pm

    Bendarr: But like the link also said, they weren’t in a position to do that. They didn’t actually prosecute anyone that I’m aware of, they just told them to take it down. I feel in that case, as bad as it sounds that they had no choice. The history is clear, if you don’t vigorously defend a trademark it becomes generic or you lose it.

    Wiki entry on Trademark Infringement…

    A similar issue is genericized trademarks.… Most people are surprised to find out that words like aspirin, zipper and cellophane were originally trademarked brand names starting with capital letters. Over the years they lost their status of only applying to a particular brand. I can appreciate how the Bayer company never defended their registered trademark of Heroin (but that’s another story).

    That story regarding Disney and the daycare center was from 1989 and I suspect that you hadn’t heard about it before I provided that link. I think that black eye healed a long time ago and people still buy Disney merchandise. And to think they did it without your legal or public relations advice! Amazing.

    Bottom line, Disney did what they reasonably believed that they had to do under the law. It’s not just Disney, I’d defend any creative person wanting to defend their intellectual property.
    If you created something and trademarked it you can do what you like. But if you choose to defend it, I’ll be cheering you on from critics disparaging you on the amount of “force” you use to “squash” moves, or acting on people even “thinking” about infringing on your work.

  11. Jerrold says: April 4, 20101:07 pm…

    Can’t find this anywhere (Pinocchio in the workshop).
    Anyway to figure out where it came from?

    Is there a way to estimate how much this clock would cost to repair? Found a power adapter. The music plays (well, repeatedly) but the curtain does not close and I have not been able to put up with the music long enough to see if the clock works (ticks)

  12. Firebrand38 says: April 5, 20109:20 am

    Jerrold: It’s a 1995 ENESCO that originally had a MSRP of $350. The design has been retired but you can contact ENESCO Customer Service at… and ask your questions about your Presenting…Pinocchio Model #596302

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