As this blog goes along you’ll see I love all things miniature. I first made a mini puppet theatre for my friend back at university – the great thing about being on an arts course is you can make your friends bizarre presents like this for their birthday and they don’t mind.
This craft is great to do with a child as it’s fairly easy, they can throw a lot of their personality into it and make it their own. In fact, this craft is basic, the nuts and bolts are shown here but the final design will be very much down to you and your ideas. If you run a craft group or youth group, it’s also ideal, as the necessary materials aren’t hard to get hold of.
A smallish cardboard box
Lollipop sticks for puppets
First, you need to cut a hole in the front of your theatre for the stage area. I found it easiest to work the cardboard box apart so it’s flat, and draw a square with a ruler. Cut out the hole with a craft knife or scissors.
Glue the box back together, and use masking tape to tape shut any flaps. The bottom of the theatre needs to be open for you to use your puppets, so cut these flaps off, or tape them inside the box to make the theatre more sturdy. If you want, cut out curtains from a piece of painted card, or fabric, and glue these behind the stage, making sure they don’t crowd the space for the puppets.
If you’re feeling adventurous you can use scrap pieces of cardboard to give your theatre more structure. I cut castle battlements and a house shape for my theatres. The possibilities are endless – a rocket, a tower, an opera-house… or why not theme your theatre around a favourite film or TV show? Perhaps make puppets of your friends or family? Next time I do this I’m making a Tardis theatre with little Doctor Who puppets…
Next, paint your theatre. I used my trusty Plasti-kote craft paint, but acrylics or poster paint will work just as well. Again, this part is up to you and your imagination. If you’re stuck for inspiration, bright colours and simple patterns work well, or you could go for a Punch and Judy stripy effect.
I’ve painted lollipop sticks for my puppets, but feel free to go one step further – you could make cardboard or fabric puppets and stick them on the lollipop sticks for a more 3-d effect. Or maybe you could cut pictures of people out of magazines and mount them on some card.
That’s all there is to it really. Enjoy!