Rod Puppets

We've been making rod puppets for years... Simple ones like these...

And shadow puppets, too...

But lately we've been more ambitious (this lovely lady was made at our kitchen table by a darling neighbor...)

We've been adding moving parts (heads & tails and arms) and 3-D wings, too...

Yesterday we made the Tomten and the Fox (based on characters from the book by Astrid Lindgren.) Below are instructions if you want to make one (or two or three) moving-part-puppets in your home.

1 wooden paint mixer or strip of heavy cardboard (approx. 1" wide x 12" long)
1 head approx. 2" high cut from construction paper or thin cardboard (a manilla folder works well)
1 body, rectangle cut from thin cardboard or manilla folder
2 strips fabric approx. 1" wide x 6" long
2 puppet hands cut from construction paper or thin cardboard
2 wooden skewers
a stapler, glue stick, white glue (and maybe a hot glue gun)
yarn, fabric, paper, paint, markers, crayons, glitter, feathers, etc... for decorating

1.) Attach the head and body to the top of the wooden paint mixer (or long card board strip.)2.) Hot glue skewer to end of fabric strip and then staple hand on. Alternatively, put some glue on the end of the fabric strip and then roll the end of the fabric around the skewer. Staple the roll shut when you staple hand to end of the fabric strip (you need some glue inside the fabric to hold the skewer in place.) If you want to hide the staple and the back of the "wrist" you can glue a small scrap of fabric over it (if you look closely at the photos of my finished Tomten, you'll notice I did this...)

3.) Staple the other ends of fabric strips to body to form arms.

4.) Decorate!


For the fox, Little Mr. B. made his drawing on colored construction paper. Then we used glue-stick to affix it to a manilla flolder (here you can see him making some minor adjustments to the nose...)

We cut it out...

Added some decorative touches...

Then glued down a small strip of fabric to hinge the tail to the body and glued another bit of fabric over the skewer to control the tail...

Please use your little movable hands to wave to our friends, Mr. Tomten. Tell them we'll see them later because now it's time for a puppet show!


  1. Awww.. these are so adorable! Hope you captured pictures from your puppet show!

  2. Hi Ann --

    Thanks for visiting! The photos above were all we got this time around... but since Tomten is a winter story, I hope we'll pull out the book & puppets again when the weather turns cold!


  3. These are absolutely wonderful! I have linked you to my recent post on finger puppets here

  4. I LOVE your craft tutorials. Will you let me feature you on my creative mama series? You can see examples on the blog at www.stillparenting.blogspot.com. Email me at ariannecope-at-gmail-dot-com if you're interested and I'll let you know when I need.


I know that word-verification makes it difficult to comment, and that, due to moderation, your comments seem to vanish into thin air once you've hit "submit," but your comments will appear after approval (really!) I read every comment and love hearing from you (truly!)