Simple paper puppets for kids to make
No. 22 in the 30 Days of Dolls Series: The King with moving limbs
Dolls can be made very simply just by using paper and a few paper fasteners (brads). This paper doll has moving limbs, so would be a lovely puppet in a puppet show. This is also something children can do, because as long as you have a basic body shape for the trunk, children can draw whatever they like, and you can just adapt arms and legs to suit.
My king puppet doll is about 16 cm tall from top to toe, but smaller ones can be made too. Just use ice cream sticks in place of the tongue depressors.
How to make a paper puppet.
1. Draw your basic shape on scrap paper. I drew mine in two pieces. His trunk and head were one. His royal coat tails were the other.
2. Use a window as your light box. Put your original sketch up on the window, with your good quality paper on top. Trace through using pencils to draw the outline. Repeat for trunk, and limb sections.
3. This is stage one.
4. These are the limbs. Be sure to add a centimetre or so to the length of your limbs where they will meet the body. This is to give you space to move, and to attach the fastener.
5. Cut out the pieces carefully.
6. Glue the pieces to a sheet of quality cardboard.
7. Cut these hardened shapes out.
8. You’ll need four paper fasteners.
9. Position your limb in place on the trunk, then use a needle to create a guiding hole for the fastener.
10. Push fastener in place. Repeat with all four limbs.
11. The last thing to do is to attach the tongue depressor to the back. I found I had to shape mine a little with scissors to make it fit so the limbs could move.
This is a quick and easy craft that can be enlarged or reduced depending on your needs. It’s pretty versatile too.
I have visions of a teacher making one as a helpful tool to teach the alphabet, making a character like Jack Be Nimble, to jump from letter to letter to make a ‘word’, or from ‘word’ to ‘word’ when making a sentence. (Years of working in a creative innovative school never leave me!)
I’m interested to know what would YOU use this kind of doll for?