Puzzling Pinterest Project Three: Shadow Puppets

Friday, August 9th, 2013

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For our third Puzzling Pinterest Project craft, we decided to move away from the glue animals on a blue piece of wood craft that was too quickly becoming our signature project and moved into the realm of the shadow puppet.

We’ve played shadow puppet at night in her room for years but since neither of us can properly construct a shadow with our hands, we tend to devolve quickly into a game of who has the biggest shadow fingers. The shadow puppet pin was a perfect solution to our quickly getting too boring nighttime activity.


And, it’s really, really easy.

Step 1: Pick out some images you would like to use as shadows and that won’t be too scary when blown up on your wall or ceiling in puppet form. We used the Google machine and settled on a dragon, a princess, a Fairy Godmother, a dormouse and a storm cloud. If you can’t tell, we were watching Cinderella. Although where the storm cloud came from, I cannot possibly explain.

Step 2: Trace your images from your iPad onto a piece of paper. I imagine you can do this without an iPad—maybe using artistic skill or whatnot, but I don’t have any of that and so settled on the computer aid. Once your images are traced, cut them out using scissors, or if you have one, an Exacto knife. If you’re the type people would say “shouldn’t be handling an Exacto knife,” make sure those people aren’t around when you’re doing this.”

Our tracing. Very high tech.

Our tracing. Very high tech.

Our traced outlines with Cinderella in the back in case you weren't sure where we got our influence from.

Our traced outlines with Cinderella in the back in case you weren’t sure where we got our influence from.


Step 3: Pretty much repeat Step 2, but this time trace and slice your images on a black piece of cardboard or bristol board or construction paper. We used construction paper and I’ll tip you off right now, it’s flimsy. If you have a denser piece of paper, us it, but don’t stop the project just because you don’t—ours is just fine.

Step 4: Use the same Gorilla glue you’ve been using for every project you’ve ever made as part of your Daddy and Daughter crafting series. This time, the gluing is a little easier. I’ve been gluing paper to other paper since I was two, maybe even one, and now at the age of 34, I think I have a pretty solid grasp on it. I glued our black construction paper silhouettes to the back of some of those super fancy paper straws, sticking with the all black theme. Once I applied the glue to the straw and the paper and then stuck them together, I let the pieces dry. I was worse than Leah was at waiting for it to be dry before testing out its shadow casting abilities.

The final, dried puppets, before shadow casting.

The final, dried puppets, before shadow casting.

Step 5: You’ve got yourself a set of shadow puppets so dim the lights, turn on a flashlight and make your Fairy Godmother ride on the back of a dormouse.

While this was a simple project, even for me, it was one of my favourites to date. Having shadow puppets really raises the storytelling game at bedtime and dragons make for some pretty great tales. And in terms of success rate, I think this is the first Puzzling Pinterest Project I’d give myself a grade above 80 per cent. My wife, who is far craftier than me, even commented on an Instagram photo of them saying “these are great.” That’s winning.

One response to “Puzzling Pinterest Project Three: Shadow Puppets”

  1. Dawn says:

    This is just a fabulous arts and craft project! I will be making these with my daughter. Thanks for sharing!

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