Friday, September 9, 2011

Make Your Own Puppet Theater

To make a simple, inexpensive puppet theater, use a heavy cardboard carton about 24 x 18 x 15-inches deep, and cover it completely with plain paper, wallpaper, or self-stick plastic. The bottom of the box will be in four sections, and this is the front of your theater. Cut a scalloped edge along the top about two inches deep. Push the two side pieces in toward the center so they’re at an angle. You can cover these with flannel or felt so background pictures such as trees or tents will adhere.

Push in the bottom piece to strengthen the base. The top sections can be pushed in for extra strength also, if needed. From the back of the bottom section, cut a strip about 15 x 6-inches. This is large enough for the puppeteers’ hands to come through. 

For a backdrop, use a regular flannel board background — a desert scene, a street, a temple setting, etc. Simple background scenes can be painted on flannel, using tempera paint. Or use colored fabric or bulletin board scenes, or print scenes from the internet as your backdrop. Secure the backdrop with masking tape or colorful thick tape (to form a border) so it hangs straight. 

For the story action, set the stage on a high table that is covered with opaque cloth. The puppeteer can sit behind the table on a low stool and put his hands through the opening at the base. He should be low enough to see what the puppets are doing.