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Push Puppets - Mending Mickey Mouse

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Poor old Mickey Mouse's arm strings have snapped - luckily the arm sections remain. These type of plastic Push Puppets are difficult to repair as it is nearly impossible to separate the various plastic "beads" which have been glued together when the strings have been secured in place.

I have tried to retain the original strings that are still lurking up in the base as two of the original strings are intact and fastened to the head. If I need to remove the head then serious surgery is necessary.

I have attached two new strings to the original arm strings. These are knotted together and reinforced with superglue. The joins shouldn't show as they will be covered by either the base or body section.

Mickey's arms and hands are glued together making it impossible to separate them to enable the strings to be tied-off properly. A new method is called for - I have used my trusty Shapercraft jigsaw to carefully cut right the seam where the arm and glove are joined.

Remanants of the old string remain embedded into the holes at the top of the arms so these will need to removed and the existing original holes re-drilled. The hands also need to have a small section drilled - more about this this later.

This picture shows the type of curved needle that I normally find useful when trying to restring. In this case there was not the flexibility within the base as the legs are one long rigid sections of plastic so I had to resort to using jewellery wire. A long piece of wire is threaded down through a leg into the base and the new string "hooked up" and pulled back up the leg. This is repeated for the second new string.

This photo show the strings at the "halfway" stage. They now need to be threaded up through the body and out of each armhole. Patience is needed for this - again the wire and the curved needle come into play.

Getting there !!

Ok, now time to thread on the arm sections. Did you notice the toothpick ? Yet another invaluable tool. 

To enable Mickey to be able to move properly I need to set the tension of the strings. As with Bronco Bill I used the plastic clamps and cardboard on the base to provide the "slack" on the strings. Then I placed a tiny drop of glue on the end of the toothpick and shoved this into each end of the arm.

It is always a good idea to leave the glue to dry before attempting to cut/fashion the toothpicks. Normally I leave a tiny overhang and then file this down. In the meantime I have drilled a small hole in the middle of Mickey's glove - the end of the toothpick will be glued and placed into this hole and then the arm and glove and glued together - Voila !!

All finished now and looking good - works perfectly too - I have even impressed myself...

Click on the these two photos to see if you can "spot the join".

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