Tabletop Puppet Theater

Our beloved puppet theater has been a source of hours of creative play for our family… Today Randi from Swoon is with us to share a lovely handmade puppet theater that she created from a simple cardboard box.

We went to a theme park last summer where my daughter saw her very first puppet show. She was enchanted, to say the least, and has been asking to play puppets at home lately. There are a few darling puppet stages for sale, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to foot the bill for something she may not be interested in a few months down the road. I’m always a huge fan of using what we have on hand, so I decided to break the moving boxes out of the garage and make a stage!

A simple and fun tabletop puppet theater...

I designed some simple stick puppets (you can download them at the bottom of this post), but my kids have been using regular stuffed animals and dolls too!

A simple and fun tabletop puppet theater...

To make the theater:

You’ll need: a large cardboard box, white paint/paintbrush, a ruler, pen, and sharp scissors.

  1. Draw a rectangle on the wrong side of cardboard (side with any words, etc.) 23″ wide by 15″ tall. Measure 10″ up each side and make a mark. Draw the roof by making a diagonal line at each mark.
  2. Measure 7″ down one side of the roof and draw a 2″ line coming out of the roof. Draw a 3″ line perpendicular to your first line, and then another line down to the roof to form a chimney. Cut the whole house shape out with your scissors.
  3. Measure and mark 2.5″ in from all edges/sides of your house. Cut out to form the inside window of theater.
  4. Cut two pieces of cardboard that are 9″ wide by 2.5″ tall. Make a1″ cut through the top middle of each piece. Measure 1.25″ in from the bottom sides of your house and make a 1″ cut on each side. Insert your 9″ pieces of cardboard into the cuts in your house to form the legs of your stage.
  5. Paint the whole thing white and let dry.

A simple and fun tabletop puppet theater...

For the puppets:

You’ll need: one fawn template, one fox template, two popsicle sticks, tape, scissors, a hole punch, and four brads.

  1. Print templates on to thick paper and cut out shapes. Punch holes where indicated.
  2. Grab a pair of legs (they are grouped together on templates), insert brad through the front of leg with a centered hole punch, then through the animal, then through coordinating leg with off-centered hole punch. Repeat for each set of legs.
  3. Tape a popsicle stick to the back of each animal and enjoy!

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