Picture of Shadow Puppets
You know the drill. You receive a birthday invite for your kid's friend and you have one week to find something. Sigh. You could easily run to the store and grab some sort of scary monster doll, or, you could have fun while going the smarter inexpensive route: make something simple yourself.

I first saw shadow puppet characters on Etsy and loved them. What a great gift idea! The puppets were $20, so relying on my own master cutting skills and inginuity, I gathered some supplies (most of which were on hand) and wallah! I had made an adorable gift set including a flashlight and carrying case- all for under $10. Booyah.

Because it's so easy to make (really, this one is) and so fun to play with, I challenge all gift buyers to think outside the box stores and make something simple and fun. Besides, should monsters and dolls even be in the same sentence? Yikes.
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Step 1: The Supplies

Picture of The Supplies
 For the Puppets:
  • black card stock (6 sheets or so)
  • large flashlight ($4)
  • 1 pkg wooden dowel sticks
  • glue gun, glue stick
  • scissors
and the Carrying Case:
  • scrap long piece of fabric, measurement varies
  • matching thread
  • 8" ric rac
  • 1" button

Step 2: Cutting and Laminating

Picture of Cutting and Laminating
  • Decide on a theme for your puppets, then search online for some image inspiration. My image inspiration came from a set I saw online.
  • Sketch your figures on to some card stock, or print some images and then trace them on.
  • Cut out your images then laminate. Cutting them first will help them seal better than trying to cut them after laminating.

Staples laminated all my figures for around $2.

Step 3: Attach the Dowels

Picture of Attach the Dowels
Using your hot glue gun, glue 1" down on a wooden dowel to the back of each finished puppet.
lfiorentin1 year ago
This is a wonderful instructable! I love low-tech toys that actually encourage imagination, and the fact that you can make them yourself is awesome! I voted for you also. :-)
carrielynneh (author)  lfiorentin1 year ago
Thank you!
Orngrimm1 year ago
Voted! :)
was time someone tries to revive the lost art of shadow-theaters! :)

I visited one in far east once. No spoken word (at least none i was able to understand) but the story was clear and simple, yet beautifully displayed.
carrielynneh (author)  Orngrimm1 year ago
Oh sweet! I've never been to anything like that. Sounds awesome. Thanks for the vote and comment.
It was a VERY pleasant surprise in our all-you -can-get-and-in-3D-please-World...

Thats why i enjoy the simple pleasures and recreations.
5 years ago i trashed my TV and it was the best decision in a long time. Suddenly i had freee time to use with the stuff i really enjoy and deep inside wanted to make. The simple beauty of a sunset behind the mountains or the sunrise over a foggy field... a hind in the open. A mumbling stream in the windy and rocky highlands of scottland. Who can say "nay" to that?

I play fantasy-RPG's (pen and paper) every second week with a bunch of friends. No PC, Interwebs, Cellphone, or any electronics for that matter. You dont need fancy grafics and CGI to tell a good story. Your own immagination is a thousand times more powerfull in making up good graphics than any 10'000$-PC or console. Also you can be sure that if you want to see a beautifull valley with rolling hills and dotted clouds sprinkled in the sky, you will LIKE it. Thats because you see what you want to see and what you define as beautifull. Not what another guy in a cellar decided that his version of the valley is what pleases you.
I am sure a lot of you remember a story told at a campfire better than the plot of many AAA+ movies. The difference? 100'000'000$ and more but still often falling short in the sheer power of impact it has on a person.

Who of you had some images flashing by while they read the descriptions i gave about the sunrise, the hind and the mumbling stream? Thats what i talk about... ;)

The power is not in the cost of the tools used but in the way you use them. Shadow-theaters are exactly such a thing!
Even some Ads realised this:
poofrabbit1 year ago
Very neat well done!
786Ayesha1 year ago
delonzo1 year ago
Awesome art
carrielynneh (author)  delonzo1 year ago
Thanks! I found the images online, but it was still tricky to eyeball.