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DIY cardboard box puppet theatre craft for kids.

A few weeks back, my son asked me if we could buy a puppet theatre to play with. I have to say I was shocked at the prices of some of the puppets that we looked at! I know too well what my son is like, he’ll desperately want something and when he finally gets it he’ll play with it for a couple of days before it disappears to the back of the cupboard for goodness knows how long. It was then that I had the idea that maybe we could make our own DIY cardboard puppet theatre. That way we wouldn’t just spend time together playing with it but also building it too.

My little guy loved the idea and said that he wanted to make a red puppet show. So, when our big craft order arrived we instantly got to work on the box. It’s been so lovely spending so much time together over the last few days. I wasn’t sure how he was going to get on with no school but having him home has been such a pleasure. The best thing about this project is that it’s one we can keep adding to over time by adding new puppets to our collection!

Here’s what we used

  • A large cardboard box
  • Red paint
  • White and yellow paper
  • Magnetic discs
  • String
  • Material (we used an old pillow case)
  • Scissors
  • Double sided tape
  • Glue/glue gun

How to make our DIY cardboard puppet theatre

To start with, take your cardboard box and open the ends. Cut off the Back of the box to give you three equal sections as you can see above. Our box was a little bit small so rather than cutting the ends off we glued them together at the corners to make it taller.

DIY cardboard box puppet theatre craft for kids.

Draw your window onto your puppet theatre before cutting it out. Then, cut the top of your theatre into a slight arch.

*just an after thought. If you want to easily add working curtains make sure the sides pieces are a couple of cm higher than the top of your window. We didn’t do this and had to fiddle with our curtains to get them to hang properly.

Now for the fun part! Cover your puppet theatre in your chosen paint. You may want to paint the front and back, we only did the front as we’re running low on red paint!

To hang the curtains you’ll need to make a hole at the top of each of your two sides. They’ll need to be 2-3cm higher than your window. Thread a length of string through one hole, across the middle and out the other hole. Pull the string tightly before knotting the ends securely on the outside of your theatre. My son cut up an old pillowcase to make his curtains and folded them over his string before securing the loose end in place with double sided tape (I had originally planned on tidying the curtains up and sewing them together for him. To be honest though, his double sided tape has held up perfectly).

*If like ours, your curtains a little bit low use some tape or glue in the centre to lift them slightly.

To make your changeable scenery, cut out some different floors (such as grass and sea). Attach magnets to each side. You’ll also need to line up two magnets just beneath your window so you can switch your scenery.

DIY cardboard box puppet theatre craft for kids.

To finish add some decoration to the front of your show. We wanted to keep it as simple as possible so we just glued on some white paper stripes and some yellow stars. once dry you puppet theatre is finished! Doesn’t it look fab? My son is so pleased with his!

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