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, available in 28″ x 32″ single sheets in office suplly and in craft stores. The thickness should ideally be thicker than 65 lb cardstock. Beautiful, thick, but expensive and only good if you make many puppets is black cardstock paper (cheaper at Michaels).
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 (also available at craft stores)
Small sharp scissors (not for children)
Optional: 18 or 20 gauge (0.81 mm) memory/craft wire to coordinate movement in puppets (singing and dancing, animals walking)
Optional: 1/8″ hole puncher
- Access to a printer to print out templates from the Printable Library
Foam board presentation board 48″ x 36″ (24″ wide when folded, 36″ tall). Alternative: Cardboard box minimal size 18″ x 21″ (preferably bigger)
15″ wide tracing paper, architectural vellum, or clear (not patterned!) parchment or cookie paper
- Black painters tape (3/4″ or 1″)
- Velcro sticky back 3/4 inch tape
- Box cutter
- For classroom use, a great and versatile rechargeable light (which also runs on batteries) is the Coast LED magnetic work light, which can be attached to a metal pole behind the children (facing downwards) or put in front of a screen on a table, facing upwards. Strong enough to cast sharp shadows on a wall or ceiling.
- Alternative (shown on page) Rechargeable piano/reading/craft lamp.
- For desktop puppetry: Clip-on light such as bed light, craft light, or book light. Standing on a table in front of the puppeteer: cell phone flashlight, flash light, or desk light.