Using a Tri-fold Presentation Board for a Durable Screen

Inside of a shadow puppet screen showing a girl and boy puppet with holding rods
Inside of a black trifold screen with clip-on piano lamp (puppets attached with velcro)

If you are thinking of doing shadow puppetry more than a handful of times you may want  to invest in a durable frame that can be stored easily and will withstand stains and humidity.

What you need (for suggestions at amazon: see Supplies)

  • sheet of 15″ wide tracing or parchment (cookie) paper
  • painters/masking tape
  • strip(s) of sticky back velcro as wide as the screen (to keep props and holding rods in place)
  • box cutter and cutting mat or other appropriate surface

Making the frame

  1. Cut out a rectangle of 22″ x 14″ with a border of 3″ on the top and 1″ on either side.
  2. Cut out a piece of 23″ of the parchment paper and attach the paper on the inside of the screen. Attach the corners of the paper first with a piece of masking tape and adjust the position of the corner tape when the paper is not straight. Cover the sides completely.

Space under the screen to attach puppets and props

If you want to act out stories you will need to keep puppets in place by attaching the holding rod underneath the screen. In addition, you might also like to use props (a table, a manger, a beanstalk, etc.). To keep puppets and props in place, you can stick a single or double row of velcro strip  underneath the screen, which will allow for easy attaching and removing from the screen. Alternatively, you can use paintings or masking tape, which can be easily removed without tearing the cardboard.

Light behind the screen

If you sit in front of a window daylight might be proficient. If not, attach a clip-on light on the top of the screen or a desk top light shining up and darken the room.

Helene van Rossum, founder of Past Times

Author: Helene at Past Times

Helene is the founder of Past Times and a crafter, archivist, and children’s book author. Her passion is bringing history to life for children, classrooms, and families through imagination and play.

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