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Video:Make a Cardboard Puppet Theater

with Tom Knight

Build a cardboard puppet theater for a fun family activity that your kids can enjoy. Here is a step-by-step demonstration of how to build a cardboard puppet theater.See Transcript

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Transcript:Make a Cardboard Puppet Theater

Hi, this is Tom Knight for Tom Knight Puppets for About.com. I'm here to show you how to make a puppet stage from a cardboard box.

Supplies to Make a Cardboard Puppet Theater

First we need a large cardboard box, like a grandwardrobe box. You can also use a refrigerator box or a water heater box. We need a boxcutter, a marker, measuring tape, a straight-edge, cardboard to protect the floor for when we're cutting and some packing tape.

Make Cuts to Open the Stage on a Cardboard Puppet Theater

First I'm putting it on the floor before cutting it. Next, I'm going to make a cut right here. But I don't want to cut the other side of the box or the floor, so I've got a piece of cardboard here which I'm going to put inside the wardrobe box, just to protect it.

We're going to make the first cut here to open up the puppet stage, to open up the box. So I'm following the crease here and trying to go in a straight line. It's pretty easy to cut here because the crease is soft cardboard.

Next, we're going to open it up and tape the flaps. So now we're going to open it up and take the cardboard out. Now, I'm going to tape the flaps here so that it's one solid piece of cardboard. And I'm folding a little bit over the top just so that there isn't any loose, sticky bits of tape sticking out. Now, I'm going to flip it over and tape the other side.

Mark the Window for the Cardboard Puppet Theater

Next, we're going to measure it and mark it to cut the window for the puppet stage. I just decided that 36" would be a good height for the low end of the window. I'm using the part of the box that has writing on it to mark up, so that all of the writing, so that all of the writing is on the inside of the box.

This is going to be the inside of the stage here. I'm marking it every 8" or so. Now, I'm going to put a straight-edge here, so I can draw a straight line to mark the bottom of the window. Next, we're going to mark the top of the window, which is going to be 14" from the top.

I'm just marking the middle two panels of the box, because that is where the window is going to be. And we're only going to about 4" from this crease here. Now we're going to draw the side of the window. This window is for a certain size child. If your child is taller or shorter, you might want to move the window down or up a little bit.

Cut the Window for the Cardboard Puppet Theater

Next, we're going to cut the window out. So I'm using a little box-cutter here. One thing is to make sure you have a nice sharp blade. We're only to cut out the sides and the top. This is the bottom line -- we're not going to cut this line all the way through, because we're going to be using that later. Now, I'm going to turn the whole thing over and make sure that I cut all the way through.

Now, I'm going to cut this bottom line of the window, but I'm only going to cut half-way through. Next we're going to make little tabs for the shelf.

Now that we have it upright, we're going to open up the window and make a shelf. In this case, it looks like 27" is the place where we want to put the tab in. Optionally, you can add a curtain. Bring your favorite paint and brushes and paint it up. You can do it if you follow these instructions on About.com.

This is Tom Knight of Tom Knight Puppets, for About.com.
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