My children love to use our puppets to create stories and in more recent times have been having lots of fun creating puppets and their own puppet theatres.

manilla folder puppet theatre for blog

My children decided that they wanted to make some princesses and princes as puppets (seeing we didn’t have any of those characters in our collection). To make these, we created a simple cardboard template to transform into a princess or prince.

Picture 253 creating puppets

We used Fliptez shading powders to colour the puppets.  We like to use these powders because they are so simple to use, my children really enjoy them and there is minimal mess to clean up after creating with them (tick, tick and tick).  To colour the puppets, my children sprinkled a small amount of powder from the fliptez tubes onto the area they wanted to colour (the more powder you use, the richer the colour). Miss Four gets a little excited when it comes to sprinkling anything, so she sprinkles some powder onto a small lid, adds some water and then creates her “painting potion” as she calls it!. Once my older children had the powder on the puppets, they then dipped a paintbrush in water and painted over the powder. We  set the puppets aside to dry and then started creating the puppet theatres.

We  brainstormed ways we could use something from our stash of recycled materials to create a puppet theatre. We have used boxes in the past to create shadow puppet boxes and this time we were wanting something more compact that could easily be stored away. We came across some manilla folders and used these to create our puppet theatres.

First step for the puppet theatre was to create a backdrop on a piece of A4 paper. Master Five was keen to use chalk pastels for this, so we did!

Picture 257 creating backdrops for manilla folder puppet theatre

The girls added a tree to their backdrop. They made this by using a brown piece of crepe paper for the tree trunk and scrunching up green coloured tissue paper for the leaves. Miss Seven added a sparkly castle to her backdrop and all three children liked the idea of a pond (a blue piece of sparkly card) and some flowers.

To create the puppet theatres we used one and a half manilla folders. First step was to open the whole manilla folder and lay it  flat. Sticky tape the half folder (the one piece) to the edge of the manilla folder (so you end up with three sections). In the middle section, cut out the stage window. Lift to assemble. Base should be the uncut folder that was part of the full manilla folder to begin with. The sticky taped half folder is the back support.

Picture 84 manilla folder puppet theatre

Miss Seven’s finished puppet theatre:

Picture 73 manilla folder backdrop for puppet theatre

Master Five’s puppet theatre:

Picture 59 manilla folder backdrop

Miss Three puppet theatre:

Picture 47 backdrop for manilla folder puppet theatre

Now the only thing left to do was to add some facial features as well as embellishments to the puppets – gems, crowns etc.

The finished puppets:

Picture 43 princess and prince puppets

A closer look at the puppets. Miss Seven likes to plait the hair for her creations:

Picture 67 princess puppets

Master Five’s princes:

Picture 68 prince puppets

Miss Four’s princesses (Miss Four wanted a pony tail on the side for one of her princesses so I helped her achieve this. For her other princess she wanted short black hair which she cut and styled herself):

Picture 61 princess puppets

These delightful and vibrant puppets make the perfect addition to the manilla folder puppet theatres.

Picture 76 manilla  folder puppet theatre with princess puppet

Picture 66 manilla folder backdrop with prince puppet

Picture 56 manilla folder puppet theatre with puppet

Picture 53 manilla folder puppet theatre with puppet