DIY Shadow Puppetry

You can use everyday household objects and upcycle to do Shadow Puppetry.

This is a great form of storytelling and theatre making. It is also fun for all ages, young and older!


I used an empty cheez-it box, deconstructed. You can use any paper material that is 

sturdy enough to hold itself up. Paper is usually not great, but cardstock, poster paper and thin cardboard is. You can play around to find what’s best for you. Different materials can also give variations in textures and look in the end product so have fun. 

You will also need:

Sticks, chop sticks or pencils

Glue of choice or tape 

Scissors or exacto knife



Making it:

  1. Pencil out an outline of what you want to make shadow puppets.
  2. Once you have desired size and shape determine if you should cut it out with scissors or an exacto knife. Scissors are recommended for general shapes without too many corners. Exacto knives are recommended for smaller designs with sharp corners and curves
  3. Place the cut-out-object on its back and glue or tape (or both!) a stick to the back.
  4. Let dry
  5. Test it out. 



For more advanced designs you can add moving parts by outlining separate parts of a piece and overlapping the parts that will fit in together. Use a hole punch or other method to secure the moving parts to the main part using head fasteners. 

Place a stick behind each corresponding part and enjoy. 

You can add details into the design and use colored gel to color the puppets. Feel free to explore textures and everyday items. 

Once the irl opens back up they can also be made using laser cutters. Just ask a staff member about the material you are using!. 


To play with light you can use flashlights, projectors, lights of any sorts. You can cast shadows onto drapes and white bedsheets or an empty wall. Some like to cast shadows on light boxes too. 



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Maddie Fernandez
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4 years ago

This is so cool!

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