Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Homemade Puppet Theater

Recently Alexandra has been really interested in puppet shows. She has always had a great imagination but after watching a show of Bubble Guppies about plays she has been having her own pretend plays behind our sliding door window curtain. Then we went to playgroup on Friday and they had a Step 2 puppet theater and while most of the kids were outside playing on the deck Alex was putting on her own show (she did join the kids but I also liked watching her use her imagination). In my Family Fun magazine from a few months ago I saw they had a homemade puppet theater using simply some curtains. I had planned on doing that because it would be perfect for Alex's little cubby space where her windows are in her bedroom - I still may. But while browsing one of the blogs I follow, Totally Tots, I saw a post on a homemade puppet theater out made out of presentation board.

Well I decided to make this one instead. So today I did. And Alex loves it!

This is the theater by Step 2 which retails for $69.99

Here is how I made it:

1. Cut out window using a razor blade - I drew a box on the back as a guide.

2. I had a curtain from my class room that I used on the top - I just rested the rod on the two flaps so it can be easily removed. You could also tape the rod up or "thread" a piece of rope through the top of the curtain and then tape the rope up (less top-heavy than a curtain rod).

We were having some problems with it falling down anytime Alex would touch it so then comes step number 3.

3. I added some plastic brackets to the side flaps that would also hold our "stage" up. I also hot glued brackets under the stage too.

4. Decorate it how you like. I am actually going to use some chalkboard paint to paint it so that we can decorate it or write down the play title, etc.

You can use this side.........

Or turn it around and use the "stage side" to hold characters (Alex likes to use her dinosaurs)
These are the brackets under the stage. They are hot glued only to the brown part of the board so that you can fold up the stage. The stage is simply the cut out window.

Look at how nicely it folds up for easier storage.

After I made the puppet theater and set it up for Alex I looked at it and thought of all of the different things it could be. We came up with a market, a fruit stand , a lemonade stand, a bank, and a drive through window.

Our fruit stand

And the best part = the cost! Let me break it down for you

cardboard tri-fold display at Target = $2.68
curtain = free (already had)
curtain rod = free (already had)
brackets = free (already had - they are the cabinet locks for babies)

So I made the basic theater for under $3.00 but like I said before I am going to use the chalkboard paint (around #13.00) to paint it so that we can decorate it. I had wanted chalkboard paint anyways so that I could make Alex a chalkboard for her room. So still, even with the paint you have a usable theater for around $16.00 compared to almost $70. Not bad at all!


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