Monday, March 28, 2011

Oh . . . the Drama Around HERE!

 Puppet Theater 10I love puppets and we own quite a few. We have also cycled through a lot of puppet theaters!

I love the tension rod in a doorway kind, but we don’t have any regular door openings on our main floor (except the bathroom and the laundry room both of which face hallways! ) so that idea was out. We used to have an entertainment center turned puppet theater which we all loved, but it took up a lot of room and kind of attracted a mess. Lately, my girls have been using the toy box to perch on as they put on a show over the back of the couch.

We needed something new!Puppet Theater 9

Enter the PERFECT puppet theater!
This fun puppet theater solved all of our puppet theater problems! It is so versatile that you can’t help but love it. It’s cheap and easy to construct. It can easily be taken apart and stored. It can quickly be put back together. It’s lightweight and easy to move. It is also easy to change the size as your child grows or as the space you have for it changes.

Perfect!Puppet Theater 11

Several years ago we bought actual plans to make a pvc pipe puppet theater, which we gave to the kindergarten teacher as a Christmas gift. While we still have the plans, there is no name indicating where they were bought from so I can’t give you a link. Luckily, if you do an internet search there are about 14 million results and you can easily find very detailed instructions for making one of these cool puppet theaters.

This puppet theater doesn’t follow the plans, but you will quickly realize they don’t have to!
I’ll explain how we made ours.

3 pvc pipes 10 feet each
8 pvc elbow joints
6 pvc T joints
pvc pipe cutter (optional, but well worth it)
spray paint
1 yard of fabric for top curtain
1 1/2 yards of fabric for bottom curtain
2 feet 5/8 inch ribbon
velcro – two 1/2 inch squares (hook and loop)

Cut your pvc pipe to the appropriate lengths.
You can use mine as a guide for what you will need, but adjust to fit your needs.
3 - 36 inch pipes
8 - 22 inch pipes
2 - 15 inch pipes
2 - 8 inch pipes
2 - 3 inch pipes

Paint everything—pipes and all connectors.

Try not to get paint into the openings because it makes them smaller and the fit will be a little tighter. Be sure to get the edges of the connecting pieces though, since they will show.Puppet Theater 1

HINT: Normally, this would be a snap, but the temperatures are still in the 30s these days so I had to be creative! I painted this stuff on a little dowel contraption my husband made for me. It is just a scrap board with holes for dowels. I used a paint can to weight it down so it didn’t tip with all of those dowels wagging around. I kept the materials and paint warm in the house, rushed out to the garage to paint and then hauled it in the house to dry. Very time consuming, very annoying, but very do-able!

Fit everything together
Puppet Theater 2Puppet Theater 3

Make the curtains.
To make these, you will need 2 pieces (each 21 inches x 36 inches) for the top curtain and one piece (30 inches x 54 inches) (give or take a few inches—this will determine how gathered it is across the front) for the bottom curtain.

Serge, zig zag, or hem around the two shorts sides and the bottom of all pieces. For the top, fold over 1/4 inch (or serge) and fold over another 2 inches. Sew in place along the length. This will make the pocket for your curtain rod. Puppet Theater 7

The top curtains will overlap the bottom curtain a few inches.
Puppet Theater 6

I also added tie backs for the curtains. My daughter doesn’t really use them, but they are easy for her to secure herself when she wants to use them.
Puppet Theater 15

Make tie backs for the curtains.

Sew or glue velcro squares to the ends of 12 inch piece of ribbon.
Be sure the velcro is on the front for one piece and the back for the other.Puppet Theater 14

Sew center of ribbon to the outside side edge of each top curtain panel 8 inches from the top of the curtain.
Puppet Theater 12

Be sure to sew over the ribbon several times and sew past the ribbon a few stitches on either side. This will help keep it secure.
Puppet Theater 13

Open the top curtain to put on a show.
Puppet Theater 4

FYI…The sides, which are there to balance and support also make a great way to define (and confine!) the space, too!

This is always important when drama queens get a little carried away with their toys!

When you get tired of it, or want it out of your way for a while, or just want to change things up, you can take it all apart and store it away. Woo-hoo!!
Bring it out again when you have time, space or a need for it!
Puppet Theater 8

This puppet theater is so easy and fun!
Here’s to even more drama in our home!
Puppet Theater 10

And, as if that isn’t enough, join me later this week for MORE drama and versatility for this puppet theater!

I'm linking to the blog link parties in the SIDE BAR--don't miss them!


Anonymous,  said... March 28, 2011 at 3:01 PM  

What a creative idea! We also have used several things for a puppet theater and haven't found the perfect fit yet. This might just be it! Thank you for sharing the tutorial. I'm your newest follower! Heather at

Regina @ Chalk In My Pocket,  said... March 28, 2011 at 3:01 PM  

I've been waiting for this post after you hinted at things to come! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the puppet theatre. Knowing how cheap PVC pipe is (and how easy to transport) I know this will be a total hit.

:-) Regina

Nancy,  said... March 28, 2011 at 3:29 PM  

Oh my goodness! I love this. My kids would love this. And since we live in a very small house I could take it apart when they aren't using it. Yet another thing added to my list :o)

Two Shades of Pink,  said... March 28, 2011 at 4:19 PM  

So clever and simple but I have to tell you....I have ZERO room for it. But what a wonderful joy for the kiddos! Love it Tammy!

Megan,  said... March 28, 2011 at 9:21 PM  

looks like your little one is really enjoying this. fun!


Anonymous,  said... March 28, 2011 at 10:54 PM  

Planning to make one of these this summer for some indoor entertainment and to escape the heat! Thanks for the new take on the project!


Liberty,  said... March 28, 2011 at 11:45 PM  

This turned out so perfect! My wee ones would have hours of fun with this project. :)


Staci J,  said... March 28, 2011 at 11:54 PM  

Tammy, that is sooo darling and soo creative! Love the bright colors too:) Thanks for stopping by my blog tonight, i'll come check back on Thursday:)

Auntie K,  said... March 29, 2011 at 12:31 PM  

I so need (have needed) this for Cub Scouts, and it's the easiest I've seen so far. Hmm.

Melissa,  said... March 29, 2011 at 12:49 PM  

oh, the fun my kids could have! THis must be added to my to do list ;)

I'd love it if you'd check out my Party on Tuesdays:

Unknown,  said... March 29, 2011 at 12:52 PM  

What a neat idea!

I am having a giveaway on my blog. $40 store credit from o&el(etsy) to get a kids drawstring backpack perfect for summer camps or a trip/spring hair accessories.All you have to do is leave a comment.
check it out.

Kimberlee, The Spunky Diva,  said... March 29, 2011 at 2:41 PM  

That is fantastic. I just love the fabrics you used too. Nice and cheery!
~ Kimberlee at The Spunky Diva 
{Check out how I made my name 'clickable'.}

Amy@ServingPinkLemonade,  said... March 29, 2011 at 4:10 PM  

How fun! This is such a great idea. You are a creative genius! And it's much prettier that the one I bought at the store.

Big D and Me,  said... March 29, 2011 at 5:24 PM  

Such a fun idea for your girls - I love the fabrics you chose for this - I see plenty of entertainment coming your way.

Rebecca,  said... March 29, 2011 at 10:42 PM  

I love this! I want to make one for our kids. Thank you for the great tutorial. I love the choice of fabrics you used.

Unknown,  said... March 30, 2011 at 1:57 PM  

This is so great!! My kids would love this!! Thanks for linking up!

Mandy Beyeler,  said... March 30, 2011 at 2:14 PM  

Thanks for linking up to Take-A-Look Tuesday over on Sugar Bee Crafts - I featured you today! Mandy,,  said... March 30, 2011 at 6:10 PM  

I LOVE this! Its PERFECT for you to Link up at my Linky PAR-TAY,

Whassup Wednesday!!!

And I have a party button you can grab so your friends can come too:)



emilysnan,  said... March 30, 2011 at 8:38 PM  

hiya , great idea and tutorial , tfs , i am visiting from someday crafts and am your newest follower maybe you will pop by mine and follow too

April,  said... March 31, 2011 at 11:53 AM  

I have been wanting to make one of these for my kids! They love to put on puppet shows. Thanks for the tutorial!

Unknown,  said... March 31, 2011 at 12:59 PM  

wonderful! thanks so much for sharing on Craft Schooling Sunday!

Unknown,  said... April 1, 2011 at 12:09 PM  

wow I love it, with my 4 there is always drama in the H-O-U-S-E. Great Tute and thanks for liking up to Make & Share Today!

Jacqueline,  said... April 1, 2011 at 2:23 PM  

What a great tutorial! I'd love to make this for my kids, I'm hosting my first link party today and would love for this to add to the collection!

Katie,  said... April 6, 2011 at 2:34 PM  

Absolutely love it; featuring it tomorrow in this week's A Crafty Soiree!

Julie,  said... April 7, 2011 at 9:49 PM  

Love this idea! I've thought about making one of the doorway ones that you've mentioned but we also don't have a good spot for it. This might just be perfect!

Unknown,  said... April 8, 2011 at 6:11 PM  

Great instructions! This is so cute!

Thanks for sharing this at last week's For the Kids Friday Link Party! This week's party is in full swing. I'd love to have you stop by and join in on the fun!


Anonymous,  said... June 29, 2011 at 7:28 PM  

THis is the paint on the PVC. COuld you tell me about how tall this stands? I want to make one for my Kindergarten classroom and wondering if I need to add some height to it or if you think it might be big enough for 5 nd 6 year olds to play with?

Tammy @ she wears flowers,  said... June 29, 2011 at 7:33 PM  

@Mrs K--thank you! This is nearly 40 inches tall and probably a little short for K students. I'd just check the height on the wooden ones (available in an educational supply catalog) and change the height to be similar to those. I taught K, too--they LOVE puppets, don't they? The inner drama queen/king always comes out even for the shy ones!

Cutesy Crafts,  said... December 23, 2011 at 7:16 PM  

Thanks so much for this tutorial! Just finished making one for my niece. I posted it on my blog if you want to see it Love it!!!

angela,  said... March 1, 2012 at 8:21 PM  

hello! i am going to make one of these for my preschool classroom. i'll be making it a little longer so 2 friends can fit back there. i was curious what diameter PVC you used? 1.25 or 1.5 inch? how durable do you think the diameter you used would be in a classroom setting? thanks!

Tammy @ she wears flowers,  said... March 3, 2012 at 8:19 PM  

Angela--I used 3/4 inch pvc pipe and it worked great. This one easily fits 2 preschoolers, but maybe not 2 school age children. If you make it longer and it sags, you can just cut the long piece and insert another joint in the middle to give more support. (Or start with 2 shorter pieces and a joint.)

I know this is very durable in a classroom setting because I have used it there! :) The best part is that if they get a little rough and "break" the puppet theater, it goes back together very easily. Worse case scenario--you only have to replace a section or two and pvc is cheap.

Good luck--I hope it works the way you envision it!

mel,  said... January 5, 2013 at 12:50 PM  

Thank you so much. I found you on pinterest. Very easy to put together. I used schedule 40 pvc and it is very sturdy. I just made one and my 3 year old loves it. I havent been able to spray paint the pipe yet as I live in Canada and it is winter right now, but in spring it will get painted outside. My sewing is not the best, but I managed :)

spontamyous,  said... May 21, 2013 at 10:45 PM  

Just finished making this for my kids - what a wonderful idea! It's a little deeper than I would have thought to make it, but no biggie since it's so easily disassembled.

I used a slightly longer, wider piece of fabric for the bottom panel, sewed rod pockets on the top and bottom, and wrapped it all around the base pipes. Voila, instant soccer goal when you flip the theatre around!

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