8 to 10 pieces of 18 inch (45.72 cm) 24-gauge floral wire

Wire cutters or floral scissors

1 yard (0.914 meters) of butcher paper



1 30½" x 20½" (77.47 cm x 52.07 cm) sheet of red cloth-based paper

Elmer's glue

1 sheet of stiff paper, like sketch book paper

1 foot (30.48 cm) of stiff bow-making ribbon

1 foot (30.48 cm) of nice ribbon for the tongue

Black marker or calligraphy pen

Sticky label, or small rectangle of paper


Top of head

Take one piece of wire and cut it to around 12 inches (30.48 cm) long with the wire cutters.

Find the center point and bend slightly to mark its place.

Curve the wire by running it between your thumb and first finger, pressed tightly together and held slightly off-center.

Figure 1


Begin the body by bending one full-length piece of wire about 6 inches (15.24 cm) from one end.

Next measure 7 inches (17.78 cm) from the other end of the wire and bend sharply. You should have a 3-sided square shape.

Curve the middle section as you did for the top of the head.

Finish by bending the 6 inch (15.24 cm) section down about 2 inches (5.08 cm) from the back curve.

Figure 2

Run the straight end of the wire between your fingers as you did for the top of the head to curve it.

Repeat these steps on another full-length piece of wire.

Figure 3

Take the top of the head wire and twist both ends onto the tips of the body wires.

Figure 4

Stiffening up your Howler

Take another piece of full-length wire and cut it in half.

Bend a small bit of both ends back to attach it to the frame.

Slip the pieces onto the frame and twist the wire onto itself.

Figure 5

Top of head details

Take a piece of full-length wire and bend it fully in half.

Now bend both halves evenly to form a diamond.

Close the diamond by making small hooks on both open ends, hooking them onto each other, and twisting them closed.


To strengthen the diamond, take a piece of wire and cut it until it is just long enough to reach across the short length of your diamond.

Hook both ends and twist them back as you did to stiffen up your howler's body above. Your diamond should be tilted up on both sides, making a slight "V".

Figure 7A

Connecting the diamond to the top of the head

Carefully weave one end of your wire through the double hooks in the corner of your diamond and slide the other wire in through the center of the diamond and shimmy it all the way up to the curve.

Figure 7B

Take a piece of wire that will reach from the front point of your diamond to the bend of the wire from the top of the head.

Hook both ends of your wire and twist.

Figure 7C

The mouth

Take 2 wires, cut them to around 11 inches (27.94 cm) and curve them.

Using the double hook technique that you used to connect the diamond to the top of the head, connect both wires at their ends.

Take another wire, cut to around 14 inches (35.56 cm) long, and hook each end through both loops on either side.

Twist closed. You now should have a very strange shaped "pocket".

Adding the mouth to the bottom of the body

You should have 2 wires sticking out the bottom of your frame.

Make small hooks on both and hook into a loop in the corner of the mouth with the long wire curved back away from you.

Twist closed.

Author's Note: If you want the mouth to stop wiggling around, you can tape the top curve to the straight wire above it. It will cause the wire to bend down to meet it, but that is okay.

Figure 8


Take a wire, cut it to around 12 inches (30.48 cm) and bend it to a 90° angle.

Hook both ends and slip them into loops on either side of the mouth.

Twist closed.

Figure 9A

Take a small piece of wire, hook both ends, and use it to create a brace from the bottom point of the chin to the midway point of the lower mouth.

Figure 9B

Now that it's time to start "fleshing" the form into a Howler, it should look something like this:

Figure 10A

Adding paper

Take around a 1 foot x 1 foot (30.48 cm x 30.48 cm) piece of butcher paper and fold a crease in the middle of it to line up with the crease in the front of the Howler's face.

Tape the wire in the fold on the underside of the paper.

Now just form your paper along the curves of the face, trimming the excess paper as necessary and leaving about ½ to ¾ of an inch (1.27 cm to 1.91 cm) extra on all edges.

Fold the paper over the edge of the wire, cutting small slits to allow the folds to curve.

Figure 10B

Continue by folding the top part of the paper over the top of the head.

Fold the paper here again to match the crease in the top of the head. The back of the head is open.

Author's Note: The top should look somewhat nice, but the bottom will be a MESS!

Cut a long, tall rectangle of butcher paper, making sure it is a bit wider than the frame's width.

Fold it horizontally in a 30/70 split.

Slip the fold into the back fold of the mouth and tape the fold to the back wire. Cut slits in at the fold until you hit wire, this will make it fold easier.

Tape the smaller half up to the back of the head first, then fold the larger half of the paper down.

Tape the paper down to the mouth (the strange "pocket" shape) and stop, leaving the excess for later use.

Figure 11

Covering the mouth

Using the curved wire in the back of the "pocket" shape as a guide, cut a piece of butcher paper slightly deeper and wider than the mouth.

Slide the fold onto the back of the "pocket" shape.

Author's Note: Like holding a hot pita bread in a paper towel.

Take up the slack to make sure that the paper reached both corners of the mouth and trim the center of the paper if needed.

Take a piece of tape and tape the paper to the wires at both the top and bottom of the center of the mouth.

Next, pinch the corners of the mouth to touch and tape them.

Figure 12A

To make the Howler's mouth, fold the paper repeatedly in an almost fan-like fashion.

Figure 12B

Now finish taping the little paper pocket you have to the corners of the wire form. The curved wire of the "pocket" shape should be in the paper pocket, not behind it.

Take the excess paper left after covering the back of the head and trim the loose end to where it will follow the half crescent of the top of the mouth and still leave ½ to ¾ of an inch (1.27 cm to 1.91 cm) border.

Slit the paper to follow the curve and tape it in the mouth.

Author's Note: This will NOT be pretty, but no one will see it and the pretty paper will later cover it.

Figure 12C

Covering the chin

Cut another sheet of paper, making sure it's bigger than what you need.

Wrap the pointed chin of your Howler and tape the folds.

Make a nice, heavy fold down the center to accent the bottom fold through the center of his chin and trim the excess on top, curving along the half crescent of the bottom of the mouth.

Cut slits to ease in the curve and tape.

Figure 13

Covering the Howler with the red cloth-based paper

Cut around a 1 foot x 1 foot (30.48 cm x 30.48 cm) piece of the red cloth-based paper and fold a crease in the middle of it to line up with the crease in the front of the Howler's face.

With the liquid glue, cover one side of the face in a nice zig-zag line.

Using your finger, or tool of your choice, smear the glue to make a nice even film completely covering the butcher paper.

Author's Note: Do NOT glop glue all over it - it will make your paper wet and it might tear!

Once you have a smooth coat, place your nice paper on it and smooth it over the butcher paper forming it to the curves.

Be sure to leave about ½ to ¾ of an inch (1.27 cm to 1.91 cm) of a border around all sides.

Figure 14

Repeat for the other side of the face.

Continue gluing and smoothing to the top of the head.

Trim any major excess paper you have, making sure to leave the border around the edges.

Slit the edges into tabs every ½ of an inch (1.27 cm) or so.

Work your way down and all the way around gluing down the tabs with dots of glue.

Smooth down all of the glue with your finger to make it as smooth as possible.

No tabs should be sticking up anywhere.

Figure 15A

Figure 15B

To make the Howler's mouth, fold the paper repeatedly in an almost fan-like fashion, just like you did when you first covered the mouth.

Figure 12B

This time, though, the paper will go inside the mouth.

Apply your glue, spread it evenly, and smooth the paper down.

Slit the top and bottom excess with tabs and glue down.

Figure 16

Cut a long rectangle of the red cloth-based paper slightly wider than the back of the Howler's face.

Spread the glue on your face and smear it evenly.

Figure 17A

Fold the top of your red paper down and crease.

Slide the fold into the back of your Howler's mouth and smooth it down with the glue.

Lift up the half of the paper not glued down and apply the glue under it as well and repeat.

Take the paper at the top and curve it up to connect underneath the face.

Continue the tabs up the back of the head as high as you can go before you hit the "V" of your frame where the head hits the face.

Flip your excess paper down and glue to the underside of the head.

Do not do this tightly, try to curve the paper up a bit instead as this is where your fingers will fit inside the puppet when finished.

Figure 17B

Take the leftover paper already on your Howler and fold it down to cover the flat area above the mouth.

Cut tabs and glue.

Now trip the leftover to fit the curve of the top of the mouth, leaving about ½" to 1" (1.27 cm to 2.54 cm) border.

Trim the corners and slide it into the mouth, making a snug fit and trimming as needed.

Glue in as smooth as possible.

Cut a piece of the red cloth-based paper slightly larger than you need to cover the chin, then trim, slit and glue.

A ½ to ¾ of an inch (1.27 cm to 1.91 cm) border will go inside the mouth, and because of the nice paper, when you smooth it down it is almost impossible to see the seam.

Figure 17C

Figure 18

Using the stiff paper and black marker of calligraphy pen, write your letter to go in your Howler.

If you'd like to use the letter from the movie, here it is word for word:


Ronald Weasley! How dare you steal that car! I am absolutely disgusted! Your father's now facing an inquiry at work and it's entirely your fault! If you put another toe out of line, we'll bring you straight home! Oh, and Ginny dear, congratulations on making Gryffindor, your father and I are so proud!


Once you have the letter written slip it in the Howler to see how it looks and fits.


Take a 6" (15.24 cm) long, 1.5" (3.81 cm) tall strip of paper and fold it in a very crooked accordian fold.

Figure 19

Now unfold the accordian and use your scissors to cut the teeth into the most random and jagged pattern that you can.

Glue the teeth into the bottom of the mouth by folding the uncut length and glue the flap just inside the lip.

Author's Note: The teeth will try to flatten out as you glue them in, but just fiddle with them until they stay the way you want them.

Figure 20

Putting the letter in the Howler

Glue the top of the letter into the top of the Howler's mouth a little ways back from the actual opening.

Then glue the bottom of the letter inside the opening of the Howler's mouth just over the base of the bottom teeth and all the way to the back of the bottom of the mouth. This should cause the letter to be quite snug in the mouth.

Figure 21A

Put a big line of glue across the back of the mouth and smear it well.

Glue the letter to the flat surface instead of in the back fold so that it will flow in and out of its mouth.

There should be a total of four folds:

&bull from the top lip to the back of the face, curving back

&bull from the back of the face to the flat surface, curving forward

&bull from the flat surface to inside the mouth, curving down

&bull inside the mouth to the back of the bottom teeth, curving out.

Figure 21B

With the other set of teeth, glue the straight edge up under the upper lip.

Figure 22

Figure 23

Adding the tongue

Using your scissors, cut a slit in the back-most fold of the Howler's throat, right about where the wire is, the exact width of your nice ribbon.

You will cut through the original white paper on the frame, your nice paper and the letter.

Figure 24

Lace your ribbon through the slit by folding it into a point and sticking it through, or you can try sticking it onto the end of your scissors with tape and then sticking it through.

Straighten the ribbon to hang in the mouth the way that you want, wrap the end of the ribbon over the wire in the back and glue it down.

Author's Note: To make the Howler's tongue perfectly forked, fold the ribbon in half length-wise and cut from the center out.

Figure 25

You may need to touch up the front of the Howler by cutting some nice paper in pieced and using it to cover the underside of the corners of the Howler's mouth next to the letter.

Adding puppet mechanisms

Cut your stiff ribbon into two pieces, one large enough to fit your thumb through and the other large enough for your remaining four fingers to fit through in a natural position.

You will need enough extra on each side of your fingers to glue to the white paper.

Glue the finger grip to the curved paper forming the roof of the mouth by applying a liberal amount of glue to one end of the ribbon and gluing it to the paper.

Slip your hand through and glue the other end of the ribbon down so that it comfortably covers all of your fingers. Do not move on to the next step until the glue sets.

The thumb grip goes on the bottom of the "pocket" fold of the mouth.

Glue the ribbon on just like you did for the finger grip, again making sure it fits properly and waiting for the glue to set before moving on.

Covering the mechanisms

Starting with a large enough piece of your cloth-based paper to cover the back of the head, fit the paper to the "V" shape and cut it with extra edges.

Fold the edges under and glue them up against the underside of the head. This will cause the paper to pull in all sorts of directions.

Proceed down the sides of the head and stop at the back-most corner, leaving around 2" (5.08 cm) straight out.

To allow for slipping your hand in, you may need to cut an arch shape into the paper.

Repeat this process for the bottom of the back of the Howler's head.

When your bottom cover meets the top cover at the back-most corner trim it up and glue the two over one another. You can slit the bottom cover to allow for more hand movement, if necessary.


Affix your address label, addressed to "Mr. Ronald Weasley, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry" on the back of the head just over the bottom of the "V".

Figure 26

That's all folks! You now have your very own Howler!

Final Product

Harry Potter Howler


© Puddle's tutorial was taken with permission from

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.