How to Make Paper Bag Puppets for Kids

paper bag puppets tutorial

Creativity and imagination are two important skills that every child should focus on. Activities that help them in these areas are so crucial as children develop, and these skills they will take with them for the rest of their lives, even if they do not end up in a creative career field. One great way to focus on both? With paper bag puppets!

And better yet, DIY puppets! First, you have to get creative in order to make your puppets. Then, once you’ve got them, your child gets to use their imagination to come up with storylines or performances with the puppets they’ve created. It’s such a fun activity that is also so important for their development.

While there are tons of different ways and things you can make with paper, one great method is to use paper bags. Not only are paper bags pretty easy to come by (you might have several sitting in your pantry right now!) they also make for great puppets because of their shape.

Here are some great ideas for how to DIY your own paper bag puppets! 

Paper Bag Puppet Tutorial

1. Supplies You Need

Paper bags: Obviously! This is the most important part that you absolutely need. Everything else you can improvise or get creative with different things, but the paper bags you need. If you don’t have any at home, you can grab some at your local grocery store. Any color you find will work! You will use other supplies to decorate the bags so the color of them doesn’t matter as much.

Construction paper: This is one of the best ways to quickly start turning your paper bag into a puppet. While you can use marketers or paint to color your bag, using some colored construction paper and some tape or glue is a great way to quickly cover the entire surface area of your bag.

animal paper bag puppets

We recommend that you start by covering your bag entirely in the color you want. The color you choose should be based on the type of puppet you want. You can also cut extra pieces of construction paper to use for things like ears that extend off the top of the paper bag. Make sure you use the scissors unless your kids are old enough to use them safely. 

Markers: This is probably the simplest way to start bringing your paper bag puppet to life. While you can also use paint, that turns this project into a bit messier one, which is fine, but if you want to keep things more contained, we recommend going with markers. Use your markers to draw things like spots or stripes, whiskers, and paws for paper bag animal puppets. You can also use markers to draw your eyes but we personally love using the next item for that.

paper bag crafts

Googly eyes: We love googly eyes! These are the perfect addition to any paper bag craft. If you don’t have googly eyes, you can always use some construction paper for the eyes or use your markers or paint as well. 

Pom poms/ribbon/yarn/pipe cleaners: These are all optional but they can help add some dimension (and fun!) to your puppets. See what you can find and let your kids really use their creativity to put together their puppets. Animals are popular subjects for puppets, but you could also have your kids make puppet versions of themselves!

paper bag puppet

They could use yarn for hair, maybe pipe cleaners for glasses, ribbon for a necklace, the sky is the limit. Encourage them to get creative, or even make it into a competition. Whoever’s puppet looks the most like them, wins! This is a great way to encourage some friendly competition and to help get your kids excited about their puppet. Just make sure you have a prize picked out for whoever wins!   

Using the Paper Bag

This might sound obvious, but make sure when you start decorating the paper bags that the bottom of the bag is what you use for the face of the puppet! Your child will put their hand into the opening of the bag and use the bottom part as the actual puppet to perform with. You can use the folded part of the bag as the mouth.

We recommend starting out by drawing a simple outline with a pencil of what you or your child wants to do so that you can test the bag to see if you like it. After that, start with your materials and build your puppet! 

Wrapping Up

Paper bag puppets are a great activity to do with your children. As you can tell, it is a really open and creative thing to do – there is no wrong way to make a puppet! Gather your supplies and just have some fun with it. As we said, all you need to have is a paper bag. The rest is totally up to you and your child for how you want to make your puppets!

After making your puppets, make sure you also show them off with a performance. This makes this a great activity to do with your entire family or with your child and a group of their friends. The more puppets you have, the more you can have a full puppet show. However, even if you have only one child, they could always work on their standup routine! You can adapt this activity for just about any child, or group, and with just about any supplies. What’s not to love about that?

As you continue to search for additional fun activities to do with your kids at home, we hope you’ll try out these paper bag puppets.