Stop motion tutorial: How to make wire hands
If you’d like to learn how to make wire hands for your next stop motion armature and puppet, you’ve arrived to the right place. The stop motion hands we’ll show you are wire hands, which are simple and cost effective to make.
We’ll also show how to attach these hands to one of our stop motion armature kit: Tim. This armature kit comes without hands so this tutorial will complement your purchase.
- Wire (yes, just wire). We used 0.6mm thick wire.
- Square brass tube 5/32 inches (to connect the hand to Tim armature)
- Masking tape
- Epoxy putty
- Needle nose pliers
What we’ll cover on this tutorial?
- How to make a wire hand
- Optional: Making the wire hand stronger
- How to attach the hand to an armature
How to make a wire hand
Step 1: Draw a sketch of your hand to use as reference.
By drawing the hand using the correct proportions you can ensure that it will match your character and also, both hands are of the same size.
Step 2: Cut a length of wire.
This will depend on the size of the hand you need to make. For our hand that measures 30x30mm we used 250mm of wire.
Step 3: Bend the wire forming a loop as a finger like on your hand sketch
If you find it hard to bend it how you want, you could use a pair of needle nose pliers.
Step 4: Twist the wire until the “finger” is tight and create the next loop.
Twisting sometimes can get tricky, so you could again use the pliers to help, check the size against your hand sketch so that you know it’s the correct size.
Step 5: Now repeat step 4 for each finger you need.
You can see how your hand is forming. Put it on top of your hand sketch to check it’s the correct size.
Step 6: Join and twist the two ends of the wire at the wrist. Twist it to form a bit of the arm.
to make it easy, hold the point of the base of the hand, where the wrist would be, and with the pliers turn around, to ensure the hand remains flat as you twist it.
Congratulations! your hand is now finished.
Step 7: Repeat all previous steps to make the second hand (or as many times as hands you need!)
Optional: Making the wire hand stronger
Option 1: Twisting extra wire.
You can make the hand stronger by twisting an extra length of wire over the palm.
Option 2: With a nut and epoxy.
Add a nut in the palm and secure it with some epoxy putty. This will allow your character to “grab” objects.
Option 3: Magnet.
Like in option 2 but replacing the nut with a small magnet so your character can hold magnetic objects. Ideal for holding a small cup or a pen, etc.
How to attach the hand to an armature
Step 1: on the arm
Apply some masking tape at the end of Tim’s arm so the brass tube can slide tight on top of the arm. You can glue this connexion if you prefer.
Step 2: on the hand
Apply now masking tape to the end of the hand so the hand can slide inside the brass tube.
Do not glue this connexion so you can have a replacement hand connexion, specially important as eventually the hand will brake and you will need to be able to replace it.
And that’s all! I hope you find this tutorial useful.
If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us.