May 23, 2012

DIY Family Finger Puppets and Theatre!

A few weeks ago a magazine contacted me and asked me to pitch some ideas for an upcoming issue. 
I was beyond flattered to have been considered for this gig. But, in the end, they went another direction and I said to myself (while trying to have a glass half-full-attitude), "Hey! At least I was even in the running for this! That's awesome!"
Even better than the flattering opportunity, I now have a project ready-for-action on my little blog!

Anyway, this project was my pitch: 
Family Finger Puppets and a Puppet Theatre!

 The finger puppets are made from gloves and pictures of your family and a Chevron Curtain Puppet Theatre is made from a cereal box covered in poster paper. 
The kids have been having a blast with this one, and guess what? This project can be completed by you and the kids before summer break, ready for action!

What You Will Need: 

some scrap fabric
a cereal box
some poster paper
a hot glue gun and glue sticks
family pictures
some black knitted gloves (the inexpensive stretchy kind)
a black marker
some laminating paper (or you can always use packing tape for such a small area) 
and (optionally) some double-sided velcro. 

How To: 

Covering the Box:
Begin by taking your empty cereal box and cutting a large square opening in one side (horizontally) leaving about 1.5 inches of the box remaining as a frame around the opening. 
In the back, on the opposite side, cut the entire back portion of the box open (like a flap) until you reach about 1/3 of the way to the top. 
Tape the opening (where you opened it to get the cereal out) closed. Measure the sides of your box and cut the poster paper to size to cover. Glue paper onto the cereal box. I used hot glue but if you keep it away from the children (and do it outside) you could use spray adhesive. 
I also made an embellishment (kind of a fancy swirly detail) for he top of the theatre. You can do this too or leave it plain. If you make this detail use the black marker to draw detailed swirls etc. 

Making the Curtains:
Cut the fabric to the size of the opening of the box on each side (it should fit inside the opening but can be wider so that it gathers like a curtain). Glue to fabric to the inside of the opening. You can (optionally) glue the fabric around an unsharpened pencil (as a "rod") then glue that entire set-up to the inside of the box. 

Making the Puppets:
Find a family photo (or photos) where the face of each person is about 2 inches tall. Cut out the face of each family member. You can doodle bows or bow ties, flowers or other details and cut them out to add to the faces (like I did) when you laminate them. Once cut-out, laminate each face (either with firm-press laminate paper or packing tape) them cut out. 
Using double sided velcro (or for a permanent set-up you can use hot glue) affix each face to a finger on the glove. 

And so, there you have it! 

Your theatre is complete and your puppets are ready to break a leg! 
Or, urrrr...ummm...a finger!


p.s. Ever wondered what happens behind the scenes in one of my crafty photos or any photo for that matter? Well, there's a new site launching that's the brainchild of my friend and author Maggie Ethridge called Full Disclosures. She is now accepting submissions: a photo and short essay (500 words or less) that tells the truth behind the photo. There will be all types of submissions to this site: edgy, sad, funny, creative, joyful. It's a fabulous concept and you get to be a part of it!
For more information and to submit your work, go here. 

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Diana Mieczan said...

What a brilliant idea:) Its amazing how creative you are, sweetie. Hope you are having a great morning. Muah

Caroline said...

Diana, thanks so much for your kind words! I hope you are having a great morning too! I got up before the kids this morning so I could get some things done and so far so good! :)

Jen said...

i have the perfect box for this and now the perfect excuse on a rainy day to use it!! thanks!

Caroline said...

Jen, I bet you will make it fabulous like all of your great projects!

Lisa said...

This is so very cool! I will definitely need to keep this in mind. Your creativity is so amazing - thank you for sharing it with the world!

Sue said...

They missed the boat by not picking this one, Caroline. It's among your very best, and that's saying a lot!


Caroline said...

Oh Lisa-thank you so much! That is such an amazing compliment! Makes my day!

Sue, thank you for always supporting me--you are seriously the best. That is not an expression--it's a fact. But honestly, like I said in the post--it was just such a compliment to have been asked. Seriously. I am still flattered! :)

ellen and shelley said...

caroline, i wish we lived in the same place. we'd have lots of fun making stuff together! cool project and awesome that you got considered. :-)

Caroline said...

Ellen! We would seriously have SO much fun making crazy stuff! Hope you guys are doing well and as always thanks for visiting me here! :)

Jenny Yarbrough said...

Oh man! How could they not use this?!?! I'm floored, but hey- their loss! This is a great project, Caroline. :)

Caroline said...


p.s. Let's write a book together, okay? Tell me when and I'm in.

small + friendly said...

This is so brilliant! Off to pin!