We ordered a Lego castle for Ebi-kun's birthday present and the it arrived inside this big box, it was just itching to be transformed so we made it into a puppet theatre. I should explain that the big green smear above where it says 'puppet theatre' isn't a bad case of the snots but where I have smudged his name out on photoshop! I didn't take step by step pictures when we made this, mainly because I was making it up as I went along - my favourite type of work and sometimes getting the camera out all the time just spoils the fun but hopefully from the pictures you will be able to see how we did it.
We started off by cutting a big hole out of the bottom of the box to make the stage window. Then we painted the whole box, I love seeing kids paint 3D objects it takes a whole different set of skills than painting on paper. I put on some masking tape to do the green line and Ebi-kun painted, he didn't understand what the tape was for until we pulled it off. I printed his name and puppet show sign off the computer and we stuck them on together. To make the sign stand up I punched holes in the corner of the box and threaded string through then tied a button to each end of the string. The string pulls through and fits in the slit on the flap - see below, this means it can all be packed back into a box shape when the show is over.
For the curtains, I used pinking shears on the edges and made a seam along the top. I made 3 holes along the top of the box, and threaded the curtains onto elastic. Originally I didn't have the middle hole but the weight of the curtains made the elastic saggy so I added the extra hole and poked the elastic through and knotted it at the back.
For the sign, it needed securing the opposite side too so I added another button an a string device in the middle. For the back drops, I did the same as the curtains but threaded the elastic through and tied it in a loop which then slides over the inside flap on the in the box, that also doubles as an anchor for the sign.
We have some finger puppets but Ebi-kun wanted to put on The Three Billy Goats Gruff so I printed some pictures off the net - Google, I love you! He coloured them in and stuck them onto disposable chopsticks. It was a full day project but we have had a lot of fun with the plays we have been putting on - Billy Goats, the alternative version and other silliness and when he has one of those 'I'm bored' moments I will get him to make some more puppets.
Whose that trip-trapping over my bridge?