Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Making of a Muppet Theatre/ Backstage Playset

Hey everyone! Due to overwhelming request I have decided to post a bit of the "Behind the Scenes" process of making my Muppet Theatre and Backstage Playsets. First off, thank you so much for all the comments and feedback, im so glad that the Muppets are still holding a magical place in the heart of so many people. I have included a sneak peek at my next Muppet Theatre "Add-On" project at the end of the post! Thanks again and please enjoy the pics and comments.

It all starts with an idea and a design. Here I am planning the size of each panel.
After I designed the panels I planned out how much trim I would need.

Colors are important as well

Here I am testing materials for the Baroque paneling

Various trims and moldings purchased from a dollhouse store. Model is 1" scale and most dollhouse items are as well

Close up of trim planning. The design  is a copy of the Muppet Show Theatre

I looked to actual British style theatre doors since the series was designed in the UK. This one was perfect!
Back wall was created before assembly. I painted the brick mortar on first.

Here I am laying down the stickers before I add the concrete

Ready to be covered in concrete

After I spread on the concrete I pulled off the sticker and the mortar was revealed! So easy and effective.

Close up of brick work

Door before it was painted. I created the seams in the illustration board with pen

Time for a fitting

Trim around door made from foam core

Primed Back first

Painted Green, very Muppet!

With the leftover concrete I made a Muppet half wall

I used a dremel (every crafter should have one) to simulate the stone look in the illustration board

Close up of stone treatment with spatter paint finish (Just like the Muppet original) done with paint and toothbrush

Looks so cool!!

Creating stencils for the door. I printed the words out in the right size, glued it onto paper and cut with craft knife.

This was difficult, but in the end it looks good

After It is painted on

Brick get painted and aged, as well as the door.

The floor board are maple wood flooring purchased at a miniature store, cut to fit ,stained, then aged.

The panels are painted first on to the MDF wood (1/8th inch)

Here is the beginning of the baroque paneling

the pattern is glued on

I then used 3D puffy paint and craft store beads to simulate the design

I think it wirked very well!

Testing out the patterns...its all coming together

Bottom trim design

Then all parts are primed with the Scarlet paint color

Ghost light was hand made from an old dollhouse lamp

I hand crafted the top part with craft wire

I then hand painted the trim with gold leaf paint

This is difficult detailed work requiring lots of patience

Many panels later

Getting closer

I assembled all the trim together and primed it to prepare for gold spray paint. This was a faster solution

I used half inch square posting for the structure

Floor goes in

back wall is added

bit by bit it comes together

Here is the corner trims painted

Front is put on

Almost done. Im sorry I skipped a few steps...but I got too involved in the building to pick up the camera, lol.

Still much to be done, but its looking very Muppet Theatre!

Here is a bit of the backstage Kit bashing Process.

Lots of trim pained green first

I knew this playset needed more height. I made sure it matched up with the theatre

Me painting the brick work

I matched the bricks to the existing ones in the playset.

Fitting the wall in. It is made out of foam core.

Top view

Here i am seeing if it fits

Close up on the lights I added from a dollhouse store.
A few props I purchased, and painted in the Muppet Color Scheme
I also thought Rowlf need a stand up Piano, so I made him one!

The posters from the theatre back wall, getting treatment. I printed these off the internet in the right scale.

Here is a sneak peek at my next project, the Box Seats of Statler and Waldorf! The top will be the box seats and the bottom will be the audience entrance and a place to showcase scooter and his popcorn machine! It will fit beside the Theatre perfectly!

Thanks again for checking out my blog, please become a follower and keepm up to date with my current projects!



Nikoli said...

Wow. Simply, WOW! Most impressive.

Anonymous said...

Wow! this is really cool work! Obviously you love what you're doing.

Andrew said...

This is just beautiful. It really reminds me of my first Bat-cave play set when I was a kid. Amazing craftsmanship and dedication! Thank you for sharing all the behind the scenes info, too.

Kelli Bear Haven said...

You have totally inspired me. I have been a fan of the muppets since I was a little girl. Do you have any suggestions of where is a good place to purchase the muppet characters. I looked on ebay and I saw some of the sets and characters but some were really pricey. I want to make the stage really bad. Thanks for the directions and I can't wait to see the next. I am also going to put you on my fav blog list on my blog.

tom said...

I came across the original post a few days back by accident and subscribed to the rss hoping for this 'behind the scenes look'. Thanks for sharing! Very inspiring work!

jscul95 said...

AMAZING!!!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing.

Alex Newborn said...

Puff paint! I would never have guessed it. What a wonderful solution.


Anonymous said...

This is absolutely wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing the pictures! :)

manchest said...

It's great to know all the materials at your disposal so you can get right to creating the piece. It would take me a month just to figure out what I needed before starting.

Is the brick cement a special kind for model making?

Also, I was wondering why you hand-built all the panels using the puff paint instead of doing one and making a mould and casting the copies. Since there are so many I thought that would be faster.

Looking forward to more posts.

Trish said...

I'm with Kelli Bear Haven - you have INSPIRED me!! I love seeing the creation process...VERY cool!

Jasony said...

Very, very cool. Where did you get the pattern for the brickwork that you show in the top pics? That's really useful stuff.

Melissa said...

Thanks for sharing your process Lance! You work is fantastic and has inspired me to get back working on a project I have yet to finish. I look forward to seeing more of your work in future posts!!

DanOfTheDead said...

Thank you so much for sharing this with us. So many amazing techniques to learn.

Can't BELIEVE the gold detailing on the walls is just puff paint. I was certain you sculpted one panel by hand and casted it! What an inventive trick!

matt ritchey said...

Dude. You're my hero. Now can you please build me a REAL one where I can live and my life will be complete.


Katy England said...


Most excellent!

hedgehogstudio said...

This is incredible! What a work of art! How long did this take?

maite said...

Amazing!!! Great work! So beautiful!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

It's amazing to have built this, but it is even more amazing to have shared the process with all of us!!! You are awesome!!!

Kathi Petersen said...

Thanks so much for showing us how you did these things! I definitely learned stuff here. Love your work, you are amazing!!

Teresa Martínez- IGMA artisan said...

Un trabajo muy bueno!!!
Me encanta el resultado final, y admiro su buen hacer.

Anonymous said...

I want pink puffpaint on my wedding gown so I look like Miss Piggy! She's my fave Muppet!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the process. It is so helpful to see all the painstaking work you put in, as well as the creative solutions that you've found! Inspiring!

Lee said...

My god! Amazing! Did you ever finish the Waldorf & Statler balcony box? I'm going to try and make one for the Igel plush toys and would love to see how you go about it...

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Very, very nice! What a treat to see something like this!

Glen Rock said...

This is incredible! What a work of art! How long did this take?

Christopher May said...

Simply amazing! You are very gifted!

Christopher May said...

Simply amazing!