Friday, July 19, 2013

Curtain Call

Near the end of the school year, I found a sweet little wooden puppet theatre at a garage sale for just $2! I had never seen one at a garage sale before. Ever. So, I scooped it up. Then, after getting it home, I discovered that all of our puppets have gone AWOL. Perhaps because they have never had a proper theatre in which to perform? So, it has sat in a corner of the living room most of the time, occasionally getting opened up for brief puppet shows sadly consisting of about 2 finger puppets, all we could find after searching the WHOLE house!

Now, fast forward to this insanely hot week, when I have thought (more than once) that I somehow ended up in the Sahara instead of good old Michigan, by some weird turn of events. Yeah, it's crazy hot here, and the kids and I have slowly been going batty from being cooped up. This means that the Activity Director (a.k.a. "Mom") has been coming up with lots of projects to try to maintain our sanity.

One such project was making spoon puppets with Mia while Logan (miraculously!!) took a two-hour nap in the afternoon. Our spoons were all left over from my sister-in-law's kitchen themed bridal shower that I threw for her a couple years ago. (Yes, I know, I'm a bit of a pack rat... Honestly, I had been planning for these to become puppets all along, and it's taken me this long to find the motivation. Desperate times, you know?) We ended up with ten spoon puppets altogether, although I am mystified as to where the other two wooden spoons went. I know they came in 4-packs from Dollar Tree, so it seems like we should have twelve, but that's okay. This was more than enough to create a well-stocked puppet theatre.

{Wooden Spoon Puppets by Mia, Age 6}

  • wooden spoons
  • permanent markers
  • acrylic paint
  • foam paint brushes
  • tacky glue
  • googly eyes
  • felt
  • craft foam
  • scissors
  • buttons
  • sequins
  • fabric scraps
  • plastic gems
  • pipe cleaners
  • paint tray (old Styrofoam tray or a plate or bowl) 
  • hot glue gun (for adult use only)
  • something to protect work surface (cereal box liner or wax paper)
  1. We used acrylic paint for the faces of the puppets. (Well, all of them except for the one she says is "sun burned" which she colored with an orange marker). I didn't have any "flesh" colors on hand, so I mixed up an assortment of skin tones using pinks, yellow, orange, some blue, and white. Apply a thin coat to the front side of the spoon, going down the "neck" somewhat. Then, flip it over, and apply a thin coat to the back as well. You don't need to paint the entire spoon, unless you want to. Lay flat on your cereal box liner (or wax paper) to dry completely, which takes just a few minutes. Tip: Acrylic paints will stain fabric, so old clothes/paint shirts are recommended. Also, you will want to protect your work surface. We used a cereal box liner, which works very nicely for this.
  2. Add clothing to your puppets. Mia used Sharpie markers to draw shirts and pants on some that she decided would be men. For the women, I helped her drape fabric scraps of her choosing to make dresses and then I used my hot glue gun to secure the material. 
  3. Add faces and hair. Mia drew hair on the men. She came up with assorted hair-dos for the women, which were made out of pipe cleaners, and adhered using hot glue. (Yarn would also work, but she wasn't interested in using any.) For faces, she drew noses and mouths using Sharpie markers. She added googly eyes with tacky glue.
  4. Don't forget the accessories and other details! All of the men have mustaches, which is funny to me since we don't know any men with mustaches. She also gave two of the three men glasses, drawn with black Sharpie before adding the eyes. A couple of the men are wearing craft foam bow ties, which I applied with hot glue and one has little buttons on his shirt, which again were hot glued. One of the girls, which Mia called "Rapunzel," has similar bows in her hair and another has a purple butterfly gem. Lastly, the "Old Lady," has two earring (miss-matched) and a necklace.
  5. Make sure all glue is dry before putting on your first wooden spoon puppet performance. Enjoy!
{Some of my favorite people put on a puppet show.}

Note: Not all puppets need to be people. They could be animals (like Mia made), robots, monsters, or whatever you can come up with! Mia chose to make two dogs and two cats, too. One of the "skin tones" came out on the yellow-ish side, but she declared it to be the perfect color for a Golden Retriever. His body and ears are yellow felt. His collar is red felt and his "license" is a gold sequins. (This is probably my favorite one, too. He's awfully cute with his lopsided kid-applied eyes, making it look like he is considering something mischievous.) Both of the cats have striped bodies of alternating orange and brown Sharpie marker, and they have their own collars and tags, too. The last dog looks a bit cat-like sense he has short pointy ears and whiskers, however Mia insists that dogs have whiskers, too! For whatever reason, we had no "children" that she created. When I pictured this project, I figured some of the puppets would naturally look like the members of our family, but clearly it's good to let kids do their own thing!

No comments:

Post a Comment