Shadow Puppet Theatre – DIY

As a kid growing up on the outskirts of a big city like Mumbai, we didn’t have much of an infrastructure in the town where we lived. Power cuts were the norm. Fridays were especially dreaded. Power cuts spanned the entire day lasting from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Come evening and everybody would gather around a couple of candles lit in the center of the living room.

My brother and I had a favorite pastime on such days. We would contort our hands into any imaginable shape possible and make a shadow monster out of it. Then there would be shadow monster fights. The outcome was never important. The only important thing was that we had fun.

How I miss my brother when I remember these things. Not big things. We didn’t do many so-called ‘meaningful’ things together. Just small things. My memories are locked in those small things. Where he is gone, he will never come back. The only things that come back flooding sometimes are memories of such insignificant, small things. Very important… memories of small things.

I wanted Saee to enjoy some of what we enjoyed as kids. We don’t have power cuts now. We have to shut off the lights to be able to enjoy the beauty of darkness. 🙂

This is what we made today. She helped, my little craftsgirl. 🙂

1.) We took an empty cardboard, and a parchment paper. We made an outline of the larger area of the box on the paper.

puppet 1

2.) We then cut the parchment paper along the guidelines.

puppet 2

3.)  Now we made borders along that wider area of the box where we want our theater screen.

puppet 3

About half an inch border.

4.) We now used a cutter to cut along these lines, so that we have something of a window in the box.

puppet 4

This was darned difficult; holding the camera with one hand, focusing, while holding the cutter with the other hand!

5.) We then applied glue to the inside of the half inch border.

puppet 5

6.) We adjusted the parchment paper to fit the inside border without creating folds. Then stuck it to the inside of the box. Our screen is ready!

puppet 6

This is where my daughter fell asleep. I had to work quietly, so I retired in my bedroom where I completed the remaining project.

I used the story of two goats crossing a bridge, because it was easy and she  knows the story.

7.) I cut out two paper goats  and a  bridge from a black chart paper.

puppet 7

Please forgive me if the my drawing of the goat doesn’t quite look goat-ish!


8.) I now stuck the paper bridge to the inside of the screen with glue, and attached skewers backsides of the goats.

Ugh… what did I just say?

Now normally wherever I saw they just attached the skewers with scotch tape. But the shadow of the skewer is seen during ‘screening’. So instead I attached a piece of black chart paper to the top of the skewer. I used glue and rolled it around the tip.

I then folded it at right angles and then stuck it to the puppet. Kinda hard to explain. See the picture.


Ooh! Our puppet theater is now ready for its first screening!!!!

puppet 10

I hope you guys enjoyed the tutorial as much as we enjoyed making it!

Please do tell me what do you think.


2 thoughts on “Shadow Puppet Theatre – DIY

  1. wow… i wish i could draw half of the goat u drew….u know my drawing but ..idea is best … let c if we can do too….thnx for the idea…

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