How To Make A Shadow Puppet

By Tammy and Sarah of Banquet Atelier and Workshop.
Since our summer in the Pacific Northwest has been non-existant, we came up with some fun projects to keep our kids occupied- everything from cardboard vultures to lumberjack shows, to paper kites that didn’t really fly!
Shadow puppet template

One of the projects we are most proud of is the shadow puppet kits that we made in collaboration with Collage Collage, a contemporary art space for children in Vancouver. We decided to re-visit this idea and make some shadowy versions of the denizens of the sea, We’ve included the template for an octopus, a shark, a wolf eel and a ship. Get inspired and elaborate with props and other sea creatures, the sun and waves, etc.
You will need:

– the template (Download here)
– construction paper or card stock
– sticks (we use barbecue skewers. thin doweling and popsicle sticks also work)
– tape or glue
– paper fasteners
– a hole punch for the eyes and other details
– a bed sheet or vellum paper and a flashlight (optional)

Step 1:

Download template and print.
  Shadow puppets_step1


Step 2:
Cut out the sea creatures from the template, tape onto construction paper and then cut out the puppet pieces. Or  if you’d prefer, just print the template to card stock and let the kids go to it with a box or crayons.
   Shadowpuppets_step 2_b 

Step 3:

Use a mini hole punch to make holes for eyes and portholes. Attach the fasteners to the spot marked ‘x’ on the puppets (only the octopus and the eel need fasteners.) You can always use tape if you don’t have fasteners, but they won’t be mobile.

Step 4:

Tape or glue the sticks to individual animals or their appendages. 

Step 5:

Set up your theatre by attaching a sheet to the back of 2 chairs, or use a sheet of vellum. Shine the flashlight and away you go (or if you are like our kids grab the puppets and get busy, theatre or no theatre.) 
Step 6:
Tell a tall tale of ships being attacked by giant octopuses, eels and sharks falling in love, etc.  
  Shadow puppet 1 


  Photos and article: Banquet Atelier and Workshop for Frolic!