String puppets are some of the most versatile crafts you can use in a school project. Not only can you make a string puppet and use that as an arts and crafts project by itself, but you can also use string puppets to represent characters in dramatic productions. String puppets are some of the easiest theatrical props to make. If you have the right materials at home, you can make a string puppet in just minutes.
- Craft sticks
- Polystyrene foam cups
- Fishing line
- Masking tape
- Chop sticks
Draw a body plan for the puppet. Draw this either on a piece of paper or on a computer illustration program. Draw the rough shape of the body using only lines for the arms, legs and torso and a circle for the head. Use a large letter 'X' to mark the body parts that you want to make movable, such as the legs or arms.
Make a controller for the puppet using craft sticks or chop sticks. Glue two sticks to the rounded ends of another stick so that two of the sticks are parallel to each other on opposite ends of the one stick they are both perpendicular to.
Attach five or six pieces of fishing line to the controller. Use a ruler to measure the length of the four pieces of fishing line. The line should be long enough so that your hand will not be visible when you manipulate the puppet from behind--2 feet should suffice. Attach the string to the opposite of the two parallel sticks; attach the strings by taping them onto the wood. Attach one more piece of line to the front of the perpendicular stick if your puppet represents a human; attach one piece to the front and one to the back if it represents an animal with a tail.
Look at your body outline and determine how materials should be placed on the body. Use small foam cups for the torso, arms, legs and head. The cup you use for the torso should be much larger than the other cups. Use fishing line to hold the pieces of the body together. Poke a hole in each cup and run the line through the holes in the cups.
Assemble the puppet. Tape a piece of string inside the head cup, run it down to the torso cup and tape it on the top of the torso cup. Run two pieces of string down from the torso cup through the leg cups.
Attach the strings on the controller to the puppet. Attach the strings on the two parallel sticks to the two sets of legs if it's a four-legged animal or to the arms and the legs if it's a human. Attach the string at the front of the perpendicular stick to the head. If you are making an animal puppet, attach the string at the back of the perpendicular stick to the tail.
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About the Author
Based in St. John's, Canada, Andrew Button has been writing since 2008, covering politics, business and finance. He has contributed to newspapers and online magazines, including "The Evening Telegram" and cbc.ca. Button is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Memorial University in St. John's.