Thursday, March 7, 2013

Cardboard Puppet Theater

When I first learned about cardboard furniture, I knew I had to try it out. Surprisingly, I didn't immediately try to build a complex, round, built-in cupboard, with Bat-mobile-like doors, but chose something more simple - a puppet theater for my kids. When I thought about the size, I decided to built it in a way that they can sit on the floor and bend a bit when they play, but now I think it was a mistake, and I should have built the bottom part (the part that hides them) a bit higher. It seems that the bending makes it a bit difficult for them (although my girl is too little to care if we can see her or not...).

Simple instructions for a puppet theater
If you make something that should carry weight, don't use this method. You need to build it in a different way, using some kind of framework. Hopefully I'll be able to finish soon a small cabinet that I already began building, and then I can post all pics and instructions.

Use a good, strong cardboard for this (the best are plasma TV's or refrigerator's). Put 1 piece of big cardboard on top of another, and draw on one of them the puppet theater. Make sure the direction of the cardboard is vertical. Tape the 2 pieces together and use a jigsaw or a cutting knife to cut them (I use a cutting knife and it definitely slows me down). You should also make a base for it, using the same method. I made a base out of 2 half circles, and it's stable. Also cut 6 cm wide stripes, different lengths, and use hot glue gun to glue them vertically in zigzag, until you cover the whole surface. Here's a sketch to help you understand what I'm trying to say...:

making cardboard puppet theatre instructions

Then glue the second piece of cardboard on top. You'll need help and another hot glue gun, because the hot glue dries really fast. You can also do it alone, just bend the cardboard a little and glue part by part.

When you're done, you have to close all sides. Cut long pieces, 6 cm wide, and using hot glue gun glue them in between the 2 cardboard pieces, to hide the zigzag stripes interior. Now you have a puppet theater.

To strengthen edges, use gummed paper on all edges. Just wet it a bit, then gum.

The next step will strengthen the surface of the puppet theater. Buy simple, brown packing paper and make wallpaper paste (mix together 1 tbs. wallpaper paste, 1 cup water and 1 tbs. multi-purpose glue). Use wallpaper paste to paste the packing paper all around the puppet theater. If you need to cut it, use your hands, not scissors. This is important - if you use scissors, the lines will show later. After you paste it, you'll most likely see air bubbles. Just lift the paper a bit and paste again. Do it over and over, till no air bubbles left.

After it dries, paint it anyway you like, using acrylics. Last step - 2 layers of lacquer. You can add decorations, curtain or whatever. I used some leftovers of fabric that I had to sew a curtain.

Here's my puppet theater:

cardboard puppet theatre
cardboard puppet theatre


  1. Oh my my!!! You sure are lucky!!! Thank you for posting it on your blog!

  2. Adorable! Cute blog.
    I'm following from the blog hop.
    I'd love a follow back at

  3. How fun!!! Looks pretty simple to put together too!

    I'd love to have you share this at my For The Kids Friday Link Party! Hop on by!

  4. Wow, that is so cute! Thanks for the instructions!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at For the Kids Friday Link Party! I will be posting the next party tomorrow night. I hope to have you stop by and join us for another week sharing great ideas for our kids!!

    Thanks for stopping by!
    :)rachel at