Flying Dragon Marionette

Download the Pattern (PDF)

Your damsel in distress or knight in shining armor will have fun with this fire-breathing companion. Simple construction means no more untangling messy balls of string - just hours and hours of play.

Completion time – 2-4 hours

Designer – Kathleen George


  • Balls: 5", two; 4", one; 2-1/2", three; 2", three
Other Materials
  • Acrylic paints: dark green; red
  • Balsa sticks, 12" x 1/2" x 1/4", two
  • Felt: stiffened green, 12" x 18" sheet; light gree
  • red, 9" x 12" sheet each
  • Thick green yarn, 11' length
  • Wiggle eyes, 1", two
  • Green flat-back glass gems, 24
  • Fiberfil stuffing, small amount


  • Serrated knife
  • Candle stub or paraffin
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Wooden skewers, several
  • Stiff-bristled paintbrush
  • Disposable palette
  • Water basin
  • Paper towels
  • Scissors
  • Low-temp glue gun and glue sticks
  • Thick, white craft glue


  • 1. Wax serrated knife with candle stub or paraffin. Cut small
    slice from one side of 5", 4", and one 2-1/2" foam ball. With
    flat side to bottom, cut 2-1/2" ball (snout) in half. Cut two
    2" foam balls in half (feet). Note: Remaining balls will be used for tail.
  • 2. For body, twist cut sides of 5" balls together until snug;
    glue to secure. Cut small slice from bottom of each 5" ball so
    body will rest flat on work surface. Cut small slice from
    upper front end of body. Twist 4" head and body together until snug; glue to secure.
  • 3. Glue flat sides of snout to front of head, mouth slightly
    open as shown. Use pencil to poke two nostrils into upper
    snout. Insert skewers into bottom of all foam pieces.
  • 4. Holding skewers, paint all dragon parts green; paint inside
    of mouth red. Place skewers in heavy glass or jar; let dry.
  • 5. Cut dragon patterns from felt, enlarging wing pattern as indicated.
  • 6. Cut three 1-1/4" lengths from yarn. Place dot of glue on
    back end of dragon's body. Use skewer tip to poke one yarn
    length 1/2" into body. In same way, poke free end of yarn into
    one 2-1/2" ball. Repeat to join remaining 2-1/2" and 2" balls to tail. Let dry.
  • 7. Cut four 8" lengths from yarn for legs. In same way as
    tail, glue yarn lengths into top of each foot and bottom of body.
  • 8. Use straight edge of knife to make 3/4"-deep slit down
    center of head, body, and tail. Gently rock knife back and
    forth to smooth and enlarge cut; stiffened felt should fit easily.
  • 9. Place line of white glue in center slit; insert head scales
    with straight edge toward front. Keeping wings folded, insert
    folded edge 1/2" into slit. Use knife tip to push felt firmly
    into cut; open wings to drape over dragon as shown. Glue
    remaining scales down back and tail.
  • 10. Cut four 2' lengths from yarn. Glue ends of two lengths
    into front and back of body, leaving one end free. Knot one
    end of each remaining yarn length. Poke small hole in widest
    part of each wing. Insert knotted yarn lengths up through
    wings from bottom; glue to secure. Let dry.
  • 11. When dry, hold dragon up by strings to see which side of
    each foot naturally faces front. Use knife to make three
    vertical slits in front of each foot. Place line of white glue
    in each slit; insert claws.
  • 12. Glue lining onto ears. Make extra-wide, 3/4"-long vertical
    slits in top of head for ears. Place glue in slits. Fold ears
    in half, lining to inside. With folded edge to back, push ears into slits.
  • 13. Make two thin horizontal slits in top of head behind ears
    and one in end of foam tail. Place glue in slits; insert felt horns and tail.
  • 14. Glue eyes to head and eyelids over eyes; secure with pins
    until dry. Glue fire inside mouth and small amount fiberfil into nostrils for smoke.
  • 15. Use glue gun to glue four glass gems to bottom of each
    foot to keep foot weighted down. Glue four gems to points of each wing as shown.
  • 16. Tie body strings firmly to either end of one balsa stick;
    glue to secure. Place second stick across and on top of first
    for wing strings. Tie wing strings to either end of top stick;
    glue to secure. Note: Ask for assistance with this step to
    ensure string length is adequate.
  • 17. To make dragon fly, lift top stick up and down with one
    hand while moving dragon forward with other hand.