Monday, April 4, 2011

Change of Scenery

Grocery 21

My daughter is loving her PVC pipe puppet theater.

Puppet Theater 9

She actually enjoys taking it all apart and putting it back together again. (So many uses for that thing!) I’ve been listening to her play, though, and realized she was often shopping at the grocery store.
Hmm…maybe because that is something we do consistently, right?

Then I had a fabulous idea!

Why not turn the puppet theater into a grocery store to encourage the imaginative play she had started?

I wanted it to stay simple so I decided to just make the bottom curtain into a panel for the grocery store scene. I couldn’t resist adding a little pizazz to the top curtain, too, though! The beauty of this is that, with a few materials (and lots of time!), you can design a new curtain panel as often as you would like and to depict as many different places or ideas as you would like.

Let’s hear it for some imagination!

Grocery Tutorial

1 yard felt for curtain (made to fit THIS puppet theater)
two-sided fusible webbing such as Heat N Bond—”HNB”
newspaper to make patterns
small amount fabric
various colors of felt for pictures
fabric glue (optional)

Obviously, I made a grocery store, but you can make whatever scene you would like. The directions will be the same.(I bought one yard of 72 inch felt so I just used the 36 inch length for the length of my curtain.)

Make a 2 inch casing (sew or glue in place) along the length (36 inches) of felt.Grocery 1

Measure distance from curtain rod to floor to determine how long to make the new curtain.
I actually just hung mine up and made a little snip at the curtain panel length. Fold casing up to that snip and use it to mark a straight line. Cut across the line being careful not to cut the casing.
Now you have your new curtain panel for the bottom section of the puppet theater.
  Grocery 2

Sketch out the scene you would like to create.

It is helpful to have your child provide input so he or she will recognize the items you use in your scene. When I asked my daughter what to put in our grocery store, she listed off an entire dairy section and apples. So, I used her ideas and asked her to add some more fruits and vegetables. She came up with carrots and lemons so I had 3 items for a produce table and a whole dairy case of items. While it was tempting to add things that I thought were classic grocery store items (bread? cheese?), I stuck with my daughter’s food choices and colors.
Grocery 3

Use newspaper to make patterns for the parts of your scene. Grocery 4

For the large, basic shapes, I cut out the HNB and ironed it to the shapes.
Grocery 9

For the smaller shapes, I ironed HNB to the felt, traced the shape directly onto the paper backing, then cut out the shapes. Grocery 11

Once you have all of your shapes, peel of the backing, cover with a press cloth and begin ironing the shapes to the curtain panel. I sewed some of them, but, I have to tell you, it wasn’t as easy as I thought because the panel is so large and bulky.Grocery 10

After you have ironed/sewn everything on, you are done with the panel!
 Slide it onto the bottom rod of the puppet theater.
Grocery 17

To make the little valence across the top, make a 2 inch casing (sew or glue in place) along the length (36 inches) of a new piece of the felt. Including the casing when finished, the width should be about 4 inches. Grocery 1

Make a template to cut out a scallop or modified scallop pattern along the bottom edge.
Cut right up to the seam for the casing, being careful not to cut through it.
Grocery 15

Repeat for the entire valence.
Grocery 14

Slide the valence onto the top rod of the puppet theater.
Grocery 20

Now start enjoying the new scene!
Grocery 21

Or, “riding” in the shopping cart—my daughter’s favorite (maybe because I get so annoyed!)
Grocery 13

When your child is ready for something else, you can just change to a different scene or put the regular curtain for the puppet theater right back on.
Grocery 18

(I’ll be linking to the link parties in my sidebar this week!)

I hope this sparks everyone’s imagination and you make all kinds of fun scenery for your puppet theaters!

I’d love to see pictures of the panels you make!

Love the idea of having some scenery panels for your puppet theater, but don’t love the idea of making them yourself?

I have just the place for you to go…

As I was working on my puppet theater grocery store panel, I remembered Miss Pretty Pretty’s Etsy shop. She has the most amazing card table playhouses, accessories, patterns, and other fun interactive and imaginative stuff.

Contact Miss Pretty Pretty about a custom order panel and watch for panels like this in her shop in the future!

This is the place to go for amazing imaginative playhouses and toys!
Super Size Bluebird Cottage in Cheeful Red, Personalized, Custom Order

Miss Pretty Pretty has also generously offered to give one she wears flowers reader
the card table playhouse of your choice (worth up to $200)

{insert ecstatic screaming here!}

Go HERE for all of the details and to enter the giveaway.


Stitches,  said... April 4, 2011 at 1:56 PM  

This is such a great idea. We are getting ready to redo the kids playroom, well do it I guess instead of the giant pile os toys ing the other room and this looks like it would be great in there. Thanks.

Louisa,  said... April 4, 2011 at 2:05 PM  

I love the grocery store curtain. What a fabulous idea! The puppet theater looks like lots of fun!

Anonymous,  said... April 4, 2011 at 2:34 PM  

adorable!love the colors and you accomplished the perfect balance of details, enough but not too much! Thanks so much for sharing on Craft Schooling Sunday!

Pepper,  said... April 4, 2011 at 9:21 PM  

I love this idea, so creative and I'm sure it will add hours of imaginative play. I wish I had the time and space to make things like this.

Kim,  said... April 4, 2011 at 11:19 PM  

I popped over to your blog from Teach Preschool. You have a very cute blog! So very creative and cute ideas. I'll be popping in again for sure! :)

Shauna,  said... April 5, 2011 at 6:11 AM  

This is so darling! I love the milk jugs on the panel. Very clever and very adorable.
I'm glad I found your blog!

Anonymous,  said... April 5, 2011 at 8:51 AM are super fast, I have been working on a doorway type grocery store/puppet theater for about 3 months now...hoping seeing yours gets me motivated to finsish mine.
Thanks for sharing.

Sunni,  said... April 6, 2011 at 8:55 AM  

Cuteness! I am the children's minister at my church, so I may have to whip up a couple of these for our children's department. Thanks for the idea! : )

Blissful & Domestic,  said... April 6, 2011 at 10:25 AM  

This is such a great idea. I have a little girl you would love this. Thanks for the idea:>

The Nutritionist Wannabe Weight Loss Challenge!,  said... April 6, 2011 at 6:01 PM  

I love the Cup Cakery...Thank you so much for this fun giveraway my daughter would love this!

JLM,  said... April 6, 2011 at 9:19 PM  

Choosing was really hard. I would choose the sweetheart cottage I also liked her on FB. Those are so stinking cute. I also like your blog too. Thank you for the giveaway! I have 2 little girls who would love to play with this.

Amy@ServingPinkLemonade,  said... April 7, 2011 at 8:26 PM  

Tammy- I just love this little grocery store curtain. How FUN is that? And I really wish you hadn't introduced me to these darling card table playhouses because now I feel I won't be able to stop myself from making one--or maybe I'll get lucky and just win one :)

Larissa@Just Another Day in Paradise,  said... April 7, 2011 at 8:28 PM  

Super cute!!! My boys would love a little grocery store like that.

Thanks for sharing the idea.

Just Another Day in Paradise

Kelly @livingcraftilyeverafter,  said... April 8, 2011 at 9:25 AM  

I LOVE the Grocery Store Curtain! LOVE.IT! My daughter would play for hours with that!

I featured it over on my blog today if you want to check it out!


Anonymous,  said... April 8, 2011 at 6:06 PM  

Would be even more fun with items that used hook and loop tape so they could be removed!

Tammy @ she wears flowers,  said... April 8, 2011 at 6:22 PM  

Ann--you are absolutely right. I do not know why I didn't! One of my older daughters asked me if she could take the pieces off and on and I almost kicked myself. Acckk! Next one--between that experience and looking at Miss Pretty Pretty's Etsy store, I have learned. (Not sure I want to make another one, though! ;),  said... April 8, 2011 at 8:33 PM  

This is super fabulous! I wish I had kids young enough to make this for. I wonder if my sixteen year old would play with it? Hmmm.... I will wait for the grandkids.
Visiting you from Tater tots and jello.

Dawn,  said... April 9, 2011 at 10:30 AM  

wow! loved the idea of the puppet theater when you first made it and now this makes it even better! what a great Christmas gift this would make! thanks for the all the ideas!

Sommer,  said... April 9, 2011 at 12:19 PM  

Okay this is going on the must make it list! My girls went to a birthday party last weekend with a puppet show and each kid came home with a puppet of their very own in their goodie bag. My girls have been putting on puppet shows from the back side of the sofa lol. I would love to have you share this at my VIP party this weekend =)

nicolette {momnivores dilemma},  said... April 14, 2011 at 2:46 PM  

Ah, the power of felt and PVC! These are so inspirational!

If you have a moment today, please share this with my readers @Creative Juice Thursday Hope to see yours among all the amazing projects!

Unknown,  said... April 14, 2011 at 10:47 PM  

ha ha... LOVE the picture of your daughter in the shopping cart! Too cute! It would be super cool, I think, if you could use the change of scene as a "felt board" as well... fill up your shopping cart! I love the idea! Hmmm... what will you create next? Awesome ideas!

Thanks so much for sharing this at my For the Kids Friday Link Party! I appreciate you stopping by. I will be posting this week's link party shortly. I'd love to see what you have to share this week!

Hope to see you soon!
:)rachel @

Ashlee Marie,  said... April 19, 2011 at 2:59 AM  

what a great grocery store! I'm featuring it today on Topsy Turvy Tuesday's! Thanks again for linking up~!

nicolette {momnivores dilemma},  said... April 20, 2011 at 3:33 PM  

Thanks for sharing this at Creative Juice! Hope to see you back at the party tonight!

dawn sheridan,  said... April 20, 2013 at 9:37 PM  

You are an amazing mom! Your kids are so lucky. Thanks for sharing.

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