Do you carry a repair kit?
You never know when something might happen.
Your case could break. Your puppet’s eye could pop off, or a seam could come undone.
Maybe a button falls off your shirt. Or your pants rip.
Do you have a list of everything you use in your show?
If not, you should.
Go make one, I’ll wait.
You didn’t do it, did you.
I know. Too much work or you don’t have time to do it.
But you should.
Then go over that list and think of everything that could go wrong. Take your time and really think about this.
Now it is time to put together your repair kit.
Mine starts with a roll of black fabric Gaff Tape. This stuff sticks to anything and doesn’t leave a residue when pulled off.
I can use Gaff tape to fix a trunk. Help a stand hold together. Once I broke the mount for my microphone. Gaff tape held it on the stand. (And it looked good too.)
Gaff tape is strong – I highly recommend you get a roll. Plus it can help tape down cords so people don’t trip.
Next I carry a low-temp hot glue gun and extra glue sticks. That comes in handy if a figure’s hair falls off. Or an eye pops off a puppet. Or your zipper breaks.
(Yep, been there, done that.)
You can fix a lot with a hot glue gun.
I also carry contact cement. That comes in handy for a lot of repairs. If I have problems with a latex puppet, contact cement is my go to repair tool.
I carry an assortment of colored threads, close to the colors in my puppets. With that I have needles, a small pair of scissors, a thimble and a needle threader. My vision isn’t what it used to be.
I’ve had puppet makers provide small swatches of cloth before. This way, if there is a tear, I can try to cover it as best as I can. Same thing with fur, or feathers. You can also find this stuff at a fabric or craft store.
I always carry safety pins. It is a safer way to fasten that broken fly together.
(Yep, experience can be a cruel thing.)
Plus if a button pops or you need something to stay on – sometimes a safety pin is the perfect quick fix.
I also carry stiff wire, thin wire, straight pins, pliers, screw drivers, batteries and even a hammer. I use the hammer on myself if I forgot something I needed.
It really does pay to be prepared. You may never need it. But if you do – you’ll be thanking yourself for going to the trouble!