Making a Puppet Stage

How to Build a Puppet Theater Out of a Cardboard Box

How do you make a puppet theater that is inexpensive and simple to make and use?
It’s quite easy to craft a simple stage in which your puppets can perform. All you need is a large cardboard box or appliance box, utility knife, paint, glue,and fabric.
Children will need the supervision of an adult for this project.

Transforming a box into a puppet stage

Table top puppet stage in processIt’s easy and inexpensive to build a puppet stage. This one was made out of a large cardboard computer box. It folds up and it’s light and easy to carry. This one was designed to sit on a table. If you want a taller, free-standing one, use an appliance box. Refrigerator boxes make wonderful puppet stages.
Just cut out the top, the bottom and the back of the box, leaving the front section and two sides. If you don’t need a stage that folds up, leave the bottom in as it will add stability. If you need to cut the bottom out so it will fold, you can glue wood strips or molding on for stability and weight so the stage won’t fall over easily.
Cut a square or rectangular opening in the front of the box, closer to the top of the stage than the bottom. Add a prop shelf if you like. Attach a fabric backdrop curtain about ten inches behind the front of the stage opening.
Make two small holes in the upper part of the stage and fit a dowel rod through the holes, like a curtain rod.
Make sure the curtain fabric is lightweight so you can see through it as you sit behind it. You will need to be able to see what the puppets are doing. If desired, you can put a clip-on reading light on the top of the stage. This makes your little actors more visible and makes it difficult for the audience to see the puppeteer.
Decorate your stage with paint or fabric.

Hint: Tacky glue, available at craft stores, is the best kind of glue for a project such as this. It adheres well to fabric and is very strong.

Have a great show!

Make a Cardboard Puppet Theater
Tom Knight gives excellent instructions for building a puppet theater out of a cardboard box.

Cute Puppet Theater

If you go to Google Images, you can find hundreds of ideas for puppet stages. Just enter “puppet theaters” or “puppet stages”
Here is a lovely example of a beautifully decorated home made puppet theater.
Many of the images come from websites with directions for building the stage.

Photo from Google Images

Puppet StagesYou Can Buy

If you don’t have the time or inclination to build a stage, you can buy one!

Build a Puppet Theater
Books on making Puppet Theaters and other cardboard projects that may be adapted for stages or theaters. A castle, for example, makes a great stage for fairy tales.

Decorate Your Puppet Stage with Wall Decals
You can add some decorations to your puppet theater – not too many so that it distracts from the action, but just enough to make it interesting.

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