Recycled Cardboard Stick Puppet

This is the cardboard stick puppet that I will be making at the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Sustainability Expo on April 24, 2010. Doesn't he look happy?

This is my daughter's stick puppet:

Here are the MATERIALS that you will need to make it:

9 brads
2 food box panels (cut up one box for the front and back sides; the one in the photo is a cereal bar box)
1- 2 inch square (cut from the same food box) 
2 coffee cup protectors (I don't know what to call them--it's those cuffs that you use around the cup so you don't burn your hands)
1 coffee cup protector, cut in half
1 pair of bamboo chopsticks
1 brown bag handle
4 pieces of cardboard from a t-shirt or sock insert, cut to 4 1/2 inches x 2 inches
1 magazine
1 roll of duct tape

1/8 inch diameter hole puncher
glue or gluestick


1. Punch 4 holes into one of the food box panels, one hole per corner. The hole should be approximately 1/2 inch from each edge.

2. Punch 1 hole at the bottom and 1 hole at the top of each of the 8 white cardboard pieces. Attach one white cardboard to the top left and one white cardboard to the top right of the food box panel with the holes.

3. Attach the remaining two white cardboard pieces, one on each side. These are the arms:

4. Attach the coffee cup protects to the bottom holes of the food panel. These are the legs. Cut up the brown bag handle and glue to the food panel in an upside down "T." This is the main body of the puppet. Using whatever paper you might have around the house (magazine, brown bags, used printer paper), decorate the shirt. 

5. Glue the 2 inch square to the top of the puppet's body. This is the neck. Draw an oval on the remaining food box panel and cut it out. This is the head. Glue the head onto the neck. Decorate the head with markers or cut up pieces of magazine paper to make hair, eyes, nose, and mouth.

6. Cut up the remaining coffee cup protector to make hands. Glue the hands to the arms. To attach the stick to the right hand, add a piece of duct tape to the end of one chopstick. Punch a hole through the tape. Punch another hole through the base of the finger of the right hand. Attach the stick behind the hand. Be sure to push the brad through the front of the hand so it looks like the puppet is wearing a ring.

7. Turn the puppet around so the back is facing you. Attach the remaining chopstick to the back with a piece of duct tape.

Voila! You have just made a cardboard stick puppet. The only materials that you might have to buy are the brads. But you can also use rope or twine. I happen to have a box of leftover brads, so this was (at least for me) a completely recycled craft.