Puppet theater DIY tutorial

I think puppet theaters are sooo cute–and what a great way to get your kid to have some imaginative play time!–but some of the ones out there you can buy are so expensive.

I wanted something for Ryan to do with his great-grandma when he goes to visit… I thought putting on puppet shows was a great idea! Plus, my grandma lives at an assisted-living place and everyone there gets so excited when Ryan comes to visit–I mean, he’s so cute, I don’t blame them ;) so I thought maybe he’ll end up doing puppet shows for the whole place!

1. Gather your supplies. I used the smaller sized Elmer’s tri-fold foam board (but this could easily be done with the large size, too), some red fabric for the curtains, CraftBond glue, a variety of gold ribbon, x-acto knife, scissors, and construction paper.


2. Measure the opening for your theater stage and cut it out with the x-acto knife (or scissors). I just kind of guessed on the size for the opening… I went 2 inches in from each side of the center piece of the tri-fold board and came down 6 inches from the top.



3. After the opening is cut out, poke a small hole above the left and right sides (I used a pen). You’re going to thread some thin gold ribbon through here to hang the curtain on.



4. From the back, thread the ribbon through on one side, pull it across the front and thread it through the other hole, to the back of the board again.


5. I pretty much sucked at taking pictures at this point, but… I took my red fabric and folded it in half so that I could drape it over that ribbon. Then, to help secure it in place, I threaded the ribbon back through the holes again… so it came over the top of the red fabric curtain. Pull the ribbon tight and tie it in the back. I pulled the red fabric up a bit at the top too, to add some poof :)

6. At this point, the curtain is just one big piece of fabric. So take your scissors and just cut straight up the middle so that you end up with two sides.


7. Using the pen again, I poked a small hole in the foam board on the left and right sides of the curtain, about half way down. You’ll thread ribbon through these holes to tie the curtain back.

8. Now it’s time to decorate! I bought some thicker, sequined ribbon to make a top border. It’s elastic so it works really well when the board is folded flat or opened up for play time. I attached it with the Elmer’s CraftBond Ultra Stix All glue, which worked REALLY well. I wrapped the ends of the ribbon around to the back of the board too so you wouldn’t see any edges.

9. More decorating… I added some more of this sequined ribbon to the top of the curtain. Just thought it’d look better :) And then I cut stars out of construction paper and glued them all over (again, with the CraftBond glue).

10. Viola! You’re done! I haven’t decided what to do with the white space at the top middle of the board… maybe add more stars… I thought about writing “Ryan’s Show!” in fancy markers, but then I thought about baby #2 on the way and how I’d have to make another one for them with their name on it, haha.


Now we’re all set to visit Ryan’s great-grandma at the nursing home! Ryan will be center of attention :)

There is SO MUCH you could do with this project. You could paint the board first or decorate it with scrapbook paper… or pictures of the “stars” of the show–your kids! Use any color scheme or decorations… if you used the large size tri-fold board, you could make the stage opening at the middle top so the kids have a small area at the bottom to hide or store their puppets. I’d make puppets out of socks or those lunch sized brown paper bags.

What ideas do you have to make this differently? I’d love to hear them!

Have fun!!!

This project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Elmer’s #gluenglitter#collectivebias. All opinions and craftiness are my own ;)

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