Puppets have been the flavour of the month as we have been playing with our collection of puppets and creating some new ones too, such as our character puppets and manilla folder puppet theatres which you can see here.

After seeing some pop up puppets at ikatbag, I was really inspired to have a go and make some of these puppets with my children.

Our pop up puppets:

Picture 215 pop up puppets popped up

I tried to make this child friendly and as simple as I could so that Miss Four could complete as much of this as possible.


– Fabric

– Dowel

– Elastic bands (we used Loom bands as well as larger bands)

– Paper Cups

– Manilla folder (to create faces)

– Craft supplies to embellish

Here’s what we did – a step by step guide with photos.

These were the templates I created for the two fabric pieces – no need for these fabric pieces to be precise.

Picture 71 pop up puppet templates

Step 1: Cut a strip of fabric (the underlay template as seen in the photo above), fold in half. Place a dowel stick in the centre of the folded fabric.

Picture 75 creating pop up puppets - step 1

Step 2: Fold the fabric over again over the dowel.Picture 77 creating pop up puppets - step 2

Step 3: Once you have folded the material several times to create a “skirt” like shape secure with a band at one end (we used a Loom band here). This will eventually be the neck of the puppet.Picture 80 creating pop up puppets - step 3 add loom band

A closer view:

Picture 88 creating pop up puppets - step 3 add loom band

This is what you end up with:

Picture 108 creating pop up puppets step 3 placing loom band

Step 4: Turn upside down and

Picture 110 creating pop up puppets step 4 turn upside down

Slide the paper cup onto the dowel. We used a Stanley knife to make a small incision in the base of the cup.

Picture 118 creating pop up puppets -step 5 adding cup

Turn the right side up and ensure fabric is over the top of the cup.

Picture 128 step 6 - cup added

Step 5: Secure this fabric piece to the top of the cup. We used a larger rubber band for this.

Picture 137  step 7 add band to cup

Picture 139 Step 7 - band on cup done

Step 6 : Secure the dress/clothes (second piece of fabric) around the dowel at the neck with another small band. Embellish clothes with craft supplies. Create arms with half a pipe cleaner.

Picture 155 pop up princess

Step 7: Create faces. We used a manilla folder to cut the circle shape for faces.

Picture 148 pop up puppets - faces

Step 8: Decorate the outside of the cup and hide any secured fabric that has been placed around the rim of the cup. These are the templates we used to place around the cups.

Picture 245 templates for pop up puppets

The finished creations – ready to pop up:

Picture 13 pop up puppets - popped down

Miss Seven’s Pop Up princess creation:

Pop Up PrincessCollage for blog

Master Six was inspired by his chosen fabric to create a clown:

Pop Up Clown Collage for blog

Miss Four’s Pop Up Princess Puppet:

Pop Up Princess 2 Collage for blog

Master Six wanted to try and make a pirate pop up puppet and we came up with this one:

Picture 237 pop up puppets pirate