Friday, October 22, 2010

Puppet Box

My kids really enjoy the Halloween book called "Big Pumpkin" so I thought we could make a little puppet box to go with the story.

Now you can make a puppet box to go along with any story or poem or "just because".

You need a box to get started.  We are using a Kleenex box but you can use a cracker box, shoe box, or any box you have lying around in your recycle bin.

Using scissors cut out a window to view your puppet show.

Carefully open one side of the box.  Don't tear it as you want to be able to glue it together again.

I'm giving the outside a coat of gesso to prep it for painting.

You don't have to paint yours you can easily cover it with paper if you wish.

Now measure out the sides, back, top and bottom on paper.  These will be painted and then inserted into the box for our back drop scenery.

I usually write the name of each on the back so I don't forget which is which.

Now paint your scenery.  While you have your paint out paint some sticks for your puppets.  I buy these wooden stir sticks from the dollar store (250  for $1.00).

When the scenery has dried glue into place thru the open end.  You'll have to hold off on the last side though.

Re-close the open side and glue into place.

When the glue has set up enough you can glue in that last side piece of your scenery.

Draw out your puppet characters.  I am using heavy watercolor paper but you can use cardstock or light cardboard.

You can use my template if you wish.  Big Pumpkin

Add some color and cut them out.

I wanted the puppets to last so I added a coat of Mod Podge.

While the puppets were drying I added some color to our box.

If you want to add some extra scenery and give your puppets a place to hide in the wings you can paint a piece and then cut out a heavy paper strip.

Fold paper strip in half and tape or glue onto the back of the extra scenery.

Secure into place in the puppet box.

Now it's time to add the puppets.  Cut a hole into the side of the box for your puppet stick.

Glue or tape the puppet onto the stick.  Now you could do this while the stick is free from the box and then slide the end into place but i prefer to attach the puppet with the stick already in place so I can get the puppet in place at the right height and position.

and that's it.  Now the kids can play along as we read our favorite Halloween story together.

Before I go remember this diorama I made 2 years ago, Mini Pumpkin Diorama.

I got an email a few weeks ago from fellow art educator, Maria Tavares, who after seeing my version got inspired to make her own.

She sent a few pictures and I couldn't wait to show you.

I just love the knitting ........

and hers lights up too!!

Absolutely terrific Maria.  Thanks so much for letting me share this with everyone.

Why not give a puppet box or a pumpkin diorama a try and I'll see you next time!


  1. Wow, the pumpkin diorama's are fantastic!!! and the puppet boxes, what a great idea! LOVE IT :)

  2. What a lovely post and a great idea, thanks.

  3. Big Pumpkin is one of my all time favorite read-aloud stories to my pre-k students! Have you heard the Scholastic tape of this, it is great....they sing the story. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your blog! I have used so many of your art ideas and they are wonderful for my pre-k students. Would you like me to send you photos when we create one of your wonderful ideas?

  4. Very nice blog, thanks for sharing.
    grt, Helmi

  5. I love the puppet box idea - too bad my kids are too old for that now. The diorama in the pumpkin - what a great idea! I just did a diorama in a paint can for a local crisis center. Your blog is inspiring; thank you for sharing all your wonderful ideas and beautiful art.

  6. Thanks for showing my pictures, Gail! Checking your blog is like opening a surprise box: I am always excited to see what is inside! I love the Puppet Box and the Five Little Pumpkins Book. I admire your creativity. Thanks again for sharing your talents and for being an inspiration.