How to Make DIY Straw Puppets

With the hot days of summer officially upon us (yowzers!), sometimes it's nice to chill out indoors and see where our imaginations take us. I for one love a good puppet show – especially when the puppets are lovingly made by the performers themselves. You don't need a fancy puppet theater to pack the audience. Put a tablecloth on the kitchen table, add a few chairs in front and hand out tickets to this impromptu performance.

When the acting bug bites and the show must go on quickly, check out your wrapping paper supply to make some impromptu stick puppets that will win the affection of any theatergoer!

Materials

  • Wrapping paper with fun drawings or pictures (I used this nautical piece from Paper Source in Birmingham) Paper straws
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Construction paper
  • Glue stick

Instructions

1. Start out by doing a rough cut around the shapes or pictures on your wrapping paper. On my piece, I liked the octopus, whale, school of fish and ship.
2. Next, cut around each shape, leaving about a 1/4-inch border around the main image. (For younger puppeteers, now's a good time to step in and help clean up their cuts.)
3. After you're done cutting out the pictures, use your glue stick and glue each image to a piece of coordinating construction paper. This will help add stability to the wrapping paper once you're done.
4. Once again, cut out the images, leaving a 1/4" border. If your images curl like mine did, place a heavy book on top of cutouts as the glue stick continues to dry.
5. Turn each of your images over. Position one paper straw on the back and secure with a piece of tape. Use a few pieces so that the image doesn't wiggle on the straw. Don't have any paper straws? Check out your local paper shop or even your favorite grocery store. And not to worry: Popsicle sticks or even kebab sticks are just fine, too.
6. You're all done! Grab those straw puppets and hit the stage. On with the show!

Did you put on a show with your new straw puppets? Email a photo of it to me, lish@www.metroparent.com. I'll feature it in a future Make It blog.

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