I love when I can re-use things I already have and get a second go around with the item. One of the favorite Christmas presents we gave was this marionette. We used a stuffed monkey that we already had and John made the marionette part. I planned to use this tutorial:
http://www.ehow.com/how_4969758_string-marionette-puppets.html but John used his skills to just throw it together using some old scrap wood and some thread I had used for a crocheting project years ago. Amazing!