DIY & Crafts

Puppet theatre: Setting a grand stage for your puppets

Author: Canadian Living

DIY & Crafts

Puppet theatre: Setting a grand stage for your puppets

A puppet theatre provides kids with the perfect opportunity to get creative. First there's the fun of making the theatre and puppets, then there's the amusement of creating story after story for the puppets to act out. Will the princess and the dragon find the magic beans? Can they work together to build a castle? The possibilities are almost endless, and when the day's acting is done, just fold the theatre up and stow it away.

Take a look at a larger image of the finished craft here.

You need:

1.2 m x 91 cm (4- x 3-foot) tri-fold foam or cardboard display board*
1 sheet red bristol board*
1 pkg gold bulletin board trim (1 m/3 feet long)*
2.5 m (8-foot) length 1 cm (1/2-inch) diameter yellow nylon rope (optional)
Pencil, ruler and scissors
Painter's tape, glue stick and craft glue

*Available at office-supply stores

Note: For best results, test trim layout (taping pieces down if necessary) before gluing.

To make:

1. With pencil and ruler, draw 61 x 40 cm (24- x 16-inch) rectangle, centred, with short sides parallel to bottom of display board, on centre panel of display board. Using scissors, cut out rectangle and discard.

2. With pencil, and using photo as guide, draw curtains on bristol board. Draw one top curtain (approx 51 cm/20 inches long and 8 cm/ 3 inches wide at widest point); draw two side curtains (approx 61 cm long and 8 cm wide at widest points). Cut out curtains.

3. Align straight edge of top curtain with top edge of opening, curved edge up. Position side curtains with straight edges overlapping side edges of opening and bottoms of curtains hanging above bottom of board.

4. Cut two 61 cm lengths bulletin board trim. Place one length trim on either side of opening, aligning straight edges of trim with edges of opening and curtain, underlapping curtain (see photo).

5. Positioning trim so one "bump" hangs in centre of opening and edges are symmetrical (cut off excess if necessary), place third strip of trim across top of opening, aligning long straight edge of trim with edges of top curtain and opening, and aligning short straight edges with ends of vertical pieces of trim. Add second, smaller piece, as central motif (see photo).

For more inspiration on crafting, don't forget to visit The Craft Blog!

Page 1 of 2 -- Find instructions for finishing your fun-filled puppet theatre on page 2
6. To create decorative moulding around top curtain, place small sections of trim just under top edge of curtain, starting in centre and angling and overlapping as needed to match curve of curtain. Add a horizontal row of trim, tucking under curved edge of trim. Repeat with final short row of trim.

7. Apply trim to topmost edge of each panel of display board, matching long straight edges and centring trim on centre panel to match horizontal strip from Step 5.

8. Apply symmetrical sections of trim to bottom edge of each panel.

9. Using trim scraps and cutting as necessary to create symmetrical pieces, place pieces of trim (see photo) on upper and lower edges of side panels to create decorative moulding.

10. Using glue stick, glue bristol board and trim pieces in place (removing tape if necessary), gluing in the order that pieces were laid out. Glue trim along straight edges only, tucking next layer of trim in behind.

11. Arrange nylon rope as shown (see photo). Working with one short section of rope at a time, apply craft glue beneath rope, then secure rope with painter's tape. Let dry completely before removing tape. Fray ends of rope if desired.

Designer's note:

To set the scene, hang scenery (such as a painting or a large photo cut from a magazine) on wall behind theatre.

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This story was originally titled "It's Showtime!" in the November 2010 issue.

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Puppet theatre: Setting a grand stage for your puppets

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