Friday, September 28, 2012

Toddler Puppet Theater

Sometimes my creativity spins off in odd directions and I feel compelled to jump into the vortex after it. Yesterday, instead of writing, I created a puppet theater for my kids. They "helped" by dumping toys and Duplos/Megablocks all over the floor and pulling the cables for the recording equipment out from under the couch, so the basement is fairly trashed for these pictures.

I started with a large but narrow box, duct tape, and a utility knife. After cutting off the flaps, cutting a window, and taping on triangles cut from the flaps for the roof, and reinforcing the center seam with the section cut from the window, I ended up with this:

The top and bottom were left on for stability.
Top view of the roof supports.

 I wasn't sure at first what to cover the box with, but then I found a roll of wood grain patterned contact paper.

I covered the front and sides with the contact paper. Unfortunately, contact paper doesn't stick well to cardboard, so I ended up taping the edges down with packing tape.

The two long-side flaps were reserved for the roof. I taped them together on both sides since one flap on it's own wasn't quite wide enough. The roof was then taped down to the supports.

Next up was shingling. I first cut 12 pieces of felt into shingle shapes, 4 per felt sheet.

 The shingles were glued down in an overlapping pattern.

Completed shingle layout.
 I contemplated how to decorate the theater and decided to cut shapes out of felt. Turbotot thinks clocks are cool, so instead of a window on the gable, I made a clock. The sides are decorated with a sun and a shooting star, which you'll see later.

The curtains are a cheap satiny pillowcase cut in half along the seams. I stapled and pleated it along the upper edge of the window. It was done upside-down so the edge and staples don't show once it's upright and the curtains are hanging down.

 Flipped upright and with the curtains tucked in the window, it looks like this:

Finally, I was ready to add the last touches. I stapled ribbons to the sides of the windows to tie back the curtains. The felt flowers were stapled on before the yellow center was glued. They look nice and hide the unsightly corners of the curtains.

And there we have it, a toddler-sized puppet theater made from a cardboard box, contact paper, a pillowcase, felt, tape, glue, and staples! I tried to get a picture of Turbotot in it with one of his puppets, but he had more important things to do.

Side detail. It wasn't dry yet when I took this, so there is some glue showing.

Side detail.

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