Looking for a fun craft idea your kids will love? Why not make a pop-up doll puppet. They are super simple to make, lots of fun to play with and there are endless possibilities to create. My daughter Zoë and I had lots of fun making and playing with our pop-up doll puppets. Here’s how we did it…
- Paper cup (we used a paper shot cup size)
- Large unpainted wooden bead for head
- Small wooden bead for bottom of skewer
- Wooden skewer
- Paint pens or paint
- Gel pens, felt tip pens and/or coloured pencils
- PVA glue or hot glue gun
- Double sided tape
- Sewing thread
- Wool or embroidery floss
- Fabric scraps
- Colored/patterned paper
- Ribbons or lace
- Beads, sequins or buttons
You can choose to use some or all of the above supplies. This craft is a great way to use up any scraps you have lying around.
Decorate your paper cup. For our pop-up puppet dolls, we chose a paper cup in a shot cup size. We thought they would look cute on a small scale. But this craft will work just as well with a normal cup size.
Make a template for your cup, by taking a spare cup and making a cut down one side, then tear out the bottom of the cup, and spread the cup out onto a piece of paper. Trace around the cup, and cut out. You may need to add an extra cm of length at one end so the fabric will overlap. Select a piece of fabric or paper and trace around your template and cut out. Glue your fabric or paper to your cup.
Make a body for your doll by creating a tube from a rectangle piece of fabric. The finished tube should be as wide as the mouth of your cup. My rectangle was approximately 16 cm wide x 9 cm high. To create my tube I cheated and used pva glue, but you could sew it as well.
Place your rectangle of fabric face up and add glue to one short side of your rectangle and fold in half. Press the edges together and wait for the glue to dry. Once dry, turn the tube right side out. Add glue around the inside of the top of your cup, slide the tube in approximately 2 cm, and press to the sides of the cup. Allow to dry. Want to speed things up? You could use hot glue instead.
Make your puppet’s head. Glue your unpainted wooden bead to the top of a wooden skewer. Wait to dry. Once dry, paint or draw hair on your head. I used a POSCA paint pen, but you could use permanent markers, or paint, or even glue some wool on for hair. For this doll, I glued a black wooden bead on top as a bun. Allow to dry, and then add your face. I used permanent markers for my eyes and mouth and a pink pencil for rosy cheeks.
Join everything together. Using the point of the skewer, make a hole in the bottom of the paper cup. Slide the skewer through the hole. Add a little glue to the skewer under the doll’s chin and gather the fabric up over the glue. Secure in place with a length of thread, by wrapping the thread several times around the fabric and skewer, and tie a secure knot. Test your puppet by sliding the skewer up and down. The doll’s head should disppear inside the cup and then extend out of the cup. If your skewer seems a bit long, give it a trim. Once your skewer is the right size, glue a bead to the bottom end to prevent the skewer from sliding inside the cup.
Time to decorate! Add any embellishments you like to make your doll look amazing! I added lace, ribbons and beads. Why not add a tulle cape and a glitter paper crown to make a princess, or a red cape and a felt mask for a super hero. You could even add bunny or cat ears to make a furry friend. Your pop-up puppet can be anyone or anything you can imagine.
Our pop-up puppet doll is finished! Doesn’t she look great! Here she is in action . . .
Here is another doll I made using blue colours and a sequin flower in her hair.
Here is Zoë’s doll! Isn’t she sweet, with her floral dress and ballet bun!
I’m really happy with how they turned out! I hope you enjoy making your pop-up puppet dolls as much as my daughter and I did.