How to Make a Simple Paper Puppet


Making your own paper puppets is super easy—and super fun! All you’ll need to get started is a piece of construction paper and some glue. Fold and glue the paper so that it slips onto your hand, then decorate it however you’d like, whether you want a doll, a dog, or even a monster. You can also use a paper lunch bag for your puppet for an even simpler option. When you’re finished, gather up your creations and put on a show for your friends or family. Break a leg!

Part 1
Creating a Folded Paper Hand Puppet

Creating a Folded Paper Hand Puppet on How to Make a Simple Paper Puppet

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Use construction paper that's 12 by 18 in (30 by 46 cm). First, take one of the longer edges of the paper and fold it up a third of the way. Then, repeat with the opposite long edge. Fold the paper so that you have 3 equal sections.[1] Don’t worry if your folds aren’t perfectly equal. Since 1 flap will be at the bottom of the puppet, no one will notice if the edges don’t align exactly.

Creating a Folded Paper Hand Puppet on How to Make a Simple Paper Puppet

2
Open up the top fold and squirt glue along the entire inside of the flap. Then press it down onto the other folded third so that the folds won’t come undone. The paper should now look like a long, narrow rectangle.[2] Squeeze the glue in dots or thin lines down the length of the paper. Avoid using too much or applying a thick layer or it will make the paper soggy. You can use white school glue or a glue stick to make your paper hand puppet.

Creating a Folded Paper Hand Puppet on How to Make a Simple Paper Puppet

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After you rotate it, the short sides of the rectangle should be at the top and bottom. Keep the paper rectangle oriented like this as you continue to fold it.[3]

Creating a Folded Paper Hand Puppet on How to Make a Simple Paper Puppet

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Pull one of the shorter edges up so that it aligns with the other short edge. Crease the paper at the fold to hold it in place.[4] To avoid any sloppy seams from showing on your puppet, fold the paper so that the glued edge is on the inside of the folded paper, not the outside.

Creating a Folded Paper Hand Puppet on How to Make a Simple Paper Puppet

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After you’ve folded the rectangle in half, bring one of the flaps back down. Align the edge with the bottom fold, then crease the fold so the paper stays down. Repeat with the other side.[5] Try to line up the edges as perfectly as possible so your puppet isn’t crooked. Tip: To check that you made yourfolds correctly, look at yourfolded paper from the side. Itshould look like an “M” or a“W.”Tip: To check that you made your foldscorrectly, look at your folded paperfrom the side. It should look like an“M” or a “W.”Tip: To check that you made your foldscorrectly, look at your folded paper fromthe side. It should look like an “M” ora “W.”Tip: To check that you made your folds correctly, look at your foldedpaper from the side. It should look like an “M” or a “W.”Tip: To check that you made your folds correctly, look at your folded paperfrom the side. It should look like an “M” or a “W.”

Creating a Folded Paper Hand Puppet on How to Make a Simple Paper Puppet

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Squirt dots or a thin line of glue around the inside of the 2 flaps you just folded. Press the flaps down firmly once you’ve applied the glue to secure them in place. The side view of your folded paper should now look like a “V.”[6] Hold the paper down for about 20 seconds to let it dry before you remove your hand. Leave the very center fold of the paper unglued. This will be the mouth of your puppet.

Creating a Folded Paper Hand Puppet on How to Make a Simple Paper Puppet

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Use crayons, markers, or paint to add colorful designs to the puppet, for instance. You can also glue on 3D decorations like ribbon, paper, or googly eyes.[7] If you’re using heavier decorations, like gems or popsicle sticks, consider gluing them on with hot glue instead of school glue. Hot glue will hold better.

Creating a Folded Paper Hand Puppet on How to Make a Simple Paper Puppet

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First, put your thumb in one of the openings along the outside of the center crease. Then, insert the rest of your fingers into the other opening next to it. Your thumb should be in the bottom opening, your other fingers should be in the top opening. To open and close your puppet’s mouth, simply open and close your hand while your fingers are inside the paper. Keep in mind that it’s easier to use the puppet with your dominant hand. For example, if you’re right-handed, put your puppet on your right hand.

Part 2
Making a Paper Bag Puppet

Making a Paper Bag Puppet on How to Make a Simple Paper Puppet

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The color of the bag doesn't matter (you can paint it a different color later if you'd like), but make sure it's big enough for your hand to fit inside of it and not so big that it's really loose on your hand.[8] With a paper bag puppet, you don't need to fold or cut anything to use your puppet. Just stick your hand into it and use your fingers to move the bottom of the bag up and down like it's a talking mouth.

Making a Paper Bag Puppet on How to Make a Simple Paper Puppet

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Apply 1-2 layers of acrylic paint using a paintbrush. Cover the whole bag, including the bottom, with thin layers that won’t make the bag soggy.[9] Let the paint dry for at least 30 minutes before gluing on decorations. If it’s still wet, the glue won’t stick. You can also use spray paint to coat the paper bag instead of brushing it on.

Making a Paper Bag Puppet on How to Make a Simple Paper Puppet

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To turn your paper puppet into a person, glue googly eyes on top of the puppet (the bottom of the paper bag) along with strands of yarn for hair. You can also draw on a nose and lips, glue paper ears on the side, or design an outfit on the bottom half.[10] If you don’t have yarn, you can use ribbon or fabric for the hair. To make braids, cut strips of fabric and weave them together just like you were braiding real hair. For clothes, glue on things like fabric scraps, buttons, or a paper bow tie. Make jewelry, like a necklace, out of string and beads.

Making a Paper Bag Puppet on How to Make a Simple Paper Puppet

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Use construction paper to cut out pointy ears for cats or big floppy ears for dogs. Glue them on the top of the puppet along with eyes and a nose. Then, glue a tail made from paper or pipe cleaners onto the back.[11] You can also add a big white circle to the front of the bag for your pet’s stomach. To make a collar, use a piece of ribbon with a bead or draw it on with markers. Tip: You can make any kind ofanimal you want, like analligator, owl, or bunny. Startwith ears, eyes, and a tail, thenadd any extras like a beak orteeth.Tip: You can make any kind of animalyou want, like an alligator, owl, orbunny. Start with ears, eyes, and atail, then add any extras like a beakor teeth.Tip: You can make any kind of animal youwant, like an alligator, owl, or bunny.Start with ears, eyes, and a tail, then addany extras like a beak or teeth.Tip: You can make any kind of animal you want, like an alligator, owl,or bunny. Start with ears, eyes, and a tail, then add any extras like abeak or teeth.Tip: You can make any kind of animal you want, like an alligator, owl, orbunny. Start with ears, eyes, and a tail, then add any extras like a beak orteeth.

Making a Paper Bag Puppet on How to Make a Simple Paper Puppet

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Decorate the front of the bag in bright colors or patterns, like stripes and polka dots, using paint or markers. Then glue on oversized eyes and pointy fangs cut out of construction paper. You can also add ears, horns, or a long tongue.[12] Don’t be afraid to get creative and imaginative with your designs and decorations. Use things like glitter, feathers, or pieces of wrapping paper to make your puppet more unique and creative.