Monday, 29 October 2012

Monday Makery - Shadow Puppet Theatre

It's the time of year when we embrace the indoors and the darker evenings. Needing things to keep our imaginations busy in the confines of our cozy indoor space. The girls have been full of stories playing with their shadow puppets we made from black card and little wooden BBQ skewers. Turning off their bedroom lights and using spotlights and nightlights to create tales with shadows on their walls.

Seeing them enjoy the shadows and the stories they create I thought the imagination was worthy of more than the wall and deserved a theatre of their own. So, I put an old king size sheet, no longer used, to a new use and together we designed our very own fabric puppet theatre; 'The Little', named after the family theatre in Bath. I know it will enjoy many productions and many new characters introduced too.

Here's what you'll need:

  • a large sheet of cotton fabric
  • black fabric paint & black fabric pen
  • card for creating stencils
  • scissors
  • sewing machine / needle and thread
  • ribbon

Here's how:
  1. Begin by drawing a large rectangular shaped outline in the centre of your fabric.
  2. following the top and the bottom line of your rectangle continue it to the outer edges of the fabric in one straight line.
  3. To create the 'boxes' for the audience draw a template onto card then position them onto the fabric and draw around with your fabric pen.
  4. You can now use the fabric paint a paint brush to colour in the background around your stage and boxes.
  5. To create the decorated name on the top I first drew round a small oval dish for the name to sit inside and then folded ribbon onto card and carefully drew around it. This became the template for the ribbon either side. 
  6. We found a silhouette picture of a fairy and traced around that for our decoration on the top part.
  7. Whilst I decorated the top Sophia got busy drawing the curtains onto the fabric with a black fabric pen.
  8. Once the paint was dry I cut the fitted corners of the sheet off and hemmed the sheet so that it would hang straight.
  9. Then I gave the top line a thick hem so that an extendable shower curtain (or tension rod) could be used to hang it in a door frame or across a room.
  10. I then folded a long ribbon measuring 4 metres in half and sewed the middle to top edge side of the theatre and repeated the process for the other side. Now, the theatre is as portable as the stories and can be hung outside and in and can fit any room.

Their play ' I wish. I wish' was based upon a genie who wished to escape his life in the lamp and visited kingdoms across the world to discover all he ever had to say was 'I wish, I wish' to become part of the living world.

This is going to be so much fun for our Halloween party too. Though perhaps before that I'll add some final touches. I'd like to lift the ribbons and name a little by blacking out an arch behind it, making it more prominent in the dark. The girls have asked we decorate the 'boxes' with an audience, chandeliers and curtains and finally I'd like to add a few rows of seats at the bottom. That's if I get a chance to take it down and paint upon it again........

I'll update the pictures once I've finished it completely.... in the meantime, happy making!

This is part of our weekly Monday Makery where we bring you a recipe to bake or a craft to create. Visit our Monday Makery when you're in need of inspiration for something to do on a rainy day or to use as interception of the words 'I'm bored', or just because being creative with your children is something you all love to do. Our other popular blogposts include 'The story behind our collections', 'Tell us its Tuesday' , An A-Z of Sisters Guild, The Art of Living posts bring you all the things we are passionate about and the things we discover in our lives as mamas, and our 'Once upon a week' gives you a glimpse into life behind the scenes at Sisters Guild.

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