Image showing two puppets sitting between the supplies required
Supplies required for making puppets

One of the great things about doing shadow puppetry at home or in the classroom is that you don’t need fancy tools and supplies. You can make a desktop theater of a cardboard box and parchment or tracing paper, and cut puppets out of the thin cereal boxes. Ordering materials through the Amazon links provided below will allow me  to receive a small kickback if you make a purchase. All supplies listed can also be purchased through your local stores.


  • Black poster board. I recommend 28″ x 32″ sheets, available in single sheets in craft stores. The thickness should ideally be thicker than 65 lb cardstock. Make sure the paper has some texture and isn’t too smooth, because that will not allow drawing. if you just use just use templates from the Printable Library you can overlay them on black cardstock paper
  • Thin bamboo barbecue skewers
  • Black painters tape (1/2″)
  • Velcro 3/4 inch tape or duct/painters tape for attaching rods to puppets
  • Optional: Velcro dots  (for hats, attachments etc.)
  • Small black round metal brads  (available at Michaels)
  • Small sharp scissors (not for children)
  • White or light colored pencils for tracing and drawing on black poster board
  • Eraser
  • Optional: 18 or 20 gauge (0.81 mm) memory/craft wire to coordinate movement in puppets (singing and dancing, animals walking)
  • Access to a printer to print out templates from the Printable Library



  • For desk top shadow puppetry: clip-on light such as bed light, craft light, or book light. Shown on page: Rechargeable piano/reading/craft lamp
  • Alternative: cell phone flash light, flash light, or desk light

Puppet storage