Shadow Puppet Theatre

It's not really the right time of year for shadow puppets but I was inspired to make one by Z who has been commenting on our shadows when we've been walking up to school. I made the theatre when they were asleep using the box that my fab new oilcloth tablecloth came in (goodbye Cath Kidston). It was perfect as it has one flat side with no folds in it - a bit like a very large cereal box. I just cut a big hole and taped baking paper on the inside - super easy! Once we closed the curtains and put the lamp on we were ready to go. Z got behind the scenes and told a surprisingly good story which involved a donkey and a castle.

E even had a little go but I think she was just getting a bit jealous of Z getting all the applause.

You can make your own puppets easily with bamboo sticks and black card but I bought this lovely set online from The Jumblies Toy Shop - sometimes it's nice to take the low-effort route!


  1. Wow, I love, love, love this and I know Evie would to.....project for the weekend I think, Nic ♥

  2. OOO new oilcloth? Is that it in the picture? Lovely! Where from? Yes goodbye CK!!! No, I didn't see the hot air balloon... bums! Plenty more soon. Feel better today thanks... should be back full force soon. xxx

  3. Hi Nic - have fun making - Evie could probablay help you make the theatre as well as the puppets too. Lou - I have sent you a long and rambling e-mail about oilcloth! Glad you feel better though and hope the sunshine is putting a smile on your face.

  4. This is so spooky! I've been spending the afternoon researching shadow puppet play - and here's your post all about it. I'm a little freaked out to be honest!!!
    The Geffrye Museum have asked me to create a session for families in which they make their own puppets to tell the fabulous story of the Cau Mau tea set - part of the museum's collection.
    It will be on a larger scale - using an OHP and screen I think. But any tips would be much appreciated!
    Looks like you had great fun.

  5. Hi Julia - what a strange coincidence! The OHP sounds like a good idea for upping the scale - guess you'll be projecting it onto a sheet and having the puppets behind? One thing I would say is that it would have been good to have some puppets with sticks from the side or top so we they could enter the stage from different angles, not just the bottom. Another thing would be to have a bit more or a margin around the edge of the shadow screen so children could stand below it without being visible if you see what I mean. The puppets I had were really sturdy and made from some sort of veneered cardboard. I can send you one if you e-mail me your adddres to source the same material. Hope it goes really well and that you take some snaps and do a post! x

  6. How fun!! I remember my sister making those when I was little. We loved it!!

  7. Thanks for the tips! Hopefully I'll get time to write up about how it all goes. *gulps*


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