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  1. Crafts & DIY
  2. Babies and Kids
Crafts

Kids Craft: How to Make Your Own Paper Hand-Puppets

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:ShortLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Download the free printable templates we created for you, and make your own paper hand puppets in just five minutes. 

Supplies

Hand puppet supplies
  • A4 paper or carton (A3 paper optional)
  • Printable template
  • Printer
  • Stapler
  • Scissors
  • Stick glue
  • Elastic band, about 25 cm (10 in)

1. Print and Cut the Template

Step 1

Print the template on a thick A4 sheet or carton. You can also print it out in A3 size to make a bigger hand puppet if you wish. The small one is more suitable for kids' hands. The dotted lines on the pattern mark the points where you need to cut and fold.

Step 2

Using a pair of scissors, trim off the white edges outside the dotted rectangle. You may also use a cutter and a cutting mat for more precision.

Using a pair of scissors trim off the white edges

Page with edges trimmed off

2. Fold and Glue the Puppet

Step 1

Place the page on on a flat surface with the printed side facing down.

Place the page on on a flat surface

Fold the page in half along the vertical central line, by bringing the left edge towards the right. Follow the dotted line as a guide. Once folded, crease well. You may use a bone folder or the back of a metal spoon for perfectly sharp folds.

Fold the page in half along the vertical central line

Step 2

Open up the page and apply some stick glue. Please don't forget the corners of your page.

Open up the page and apply some stick glue

Fold the page once more, and press to ensure that the page is firmly glued.

Fold the page once more and press to ensure that the page is firmly glued

Step 3

Now, following the upper dotted line of the pattern, fold the upper part of the page downwards.

fold the upper part of the page downwards

And crease well. Now the face should appear looking upside down.

face looking upside down

Step 4

Now bring the lower edge of the page upwards and fold along the dotted line.

bring the lower edge of the page upwards and fold along the dotted line

Crease well.

Crease well

Step 5

Flip the face over so that you can see the mouth.

Flip the face over so that you can see the mouth

Fold in the center.

Fold in the center

Carefully align the lower edge with the upper edge and then crease.

Carefully align the lower edge with the upper edge and then crease

Open the puppet up. You actually made an accordion fold, where the mouth should be on the inside and the face on top. Well done!

Open the puppet up

3. Add the Elastic Band

Step 1

Measure the elastic band on the puppet. You need it to be slightly longer than the width of your puppet.

Measure the elastic band on the puppet

Step 2

Cut the elastic band on the measured length. You can carefully burn the edge of the elastic with a lighter to avoid fraying.

Cut the elastic band on the measured length

Cut a second elastic band of the same size.

Cut a second elastic band of the same size

Step 3

Place the elastic bands on the two central pieces of your puppet, the ones behind the mouth. You need to place the upper elastic on the center of the rectangle. Use a stapler to secure both edges of the elastic band. 

Use a stapler to secure both edges of the elastic band

Place the elastic band underneath, a bit closer to the fold. This one is for the thumb, which is shorter than the rest of your palm—that is why! Secure it in place by stapling both edges.

Place the elastic band underneath

Step 4

Slip your fingers into the top elastic band and your thumb into the bottom elastic band. This way you can easily open and close your hand puppet’s mouth.

Slip your fingers into the top elastic band and your thumb into the bottom elastic band
opening and closing puppets mouth

Play!

In this tutorial you learned an easy way to create paper hand-puppets using simple materials you already have at home. Just by printing the template and with a few cuts and folds even a kid can do, you have a lovely hand-puppet in five minutes.

Now that you've got the hang of it, you can also make a bigger one by printing the template on A3 paper. For the larger puppet repeat all the steps; just make sure you keep the elastic band of the same size as the small one for easier gripping.

And why not make some unprinted white ones and let the kids create their own heroes with hand drawings!

Final monster hand puppets
Final monster hand puppets closeup

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Any more ideas of which kids' craft projects you would like to learn next?

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