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Making a Puppet Stage

Updated on August 8, 2013

How to Build a Puppet Theater From a Cardboard Box

How do you make a puppet theater that is inexpensive and simple to make and use?

It's quite easy to craft a simple stage in which your puppets can perform. All you need is a large cardboard box or appliance box, utility knife, paint, glue,and fabric.

Children will need the supervision of an adult for this project.

Table top puppet stage in process
Table top puppet stage in process

Transforming a box into a puppet stage

It's easy and inexpensive to build a puppet stage. This one was made out of a large cardboard computer box. It folds up and it's light and easy to carry. This one was designed to sit on a table. If you want a taller, free-standing one, use an appliance box. Refrigerator boxes make wonderful puppet stages.

Just cut out the top, the bottom and the back of the box, leaving the front section and two sides. If you don't need a stage that folds up, leave the bottom in as it will add stability. If you need to cut the bottom out so it will fold, you can glue wood strips or molding on for stability and weight so the stage won't fall over easily.

Cut a square or rectangular opening in the front of the box, closer to the top of the stage than the bottom. Add a prop shelf if you like. Attach a fabric backdrop curtain about ten inches behind the front of the stage opening.

Make two small holes in the upper part of the stage and fit a dowel rod through the holes, like a curtain rod.

Make sure the curtain fabric is lightweight so you can see through it as you sit behind it. You will need to be able to see what the puppets are doing. If desired, you can put a clip-on reading light on the top of the stage. This makes your little actors more visible and makes it difficult for the audience to see the puppeteer.

Decorate your stage with paint or fabric.

Hint: Tacky glue, available at craft stores, is the best kind of glue for a project such as this. It adheres well to fabric and is very strong.

Have a great show!


All the world's a stage. And all the men and women merely players.

William Shakespeare. "As You Like It."

Make a Cardboard Puppet Theater

Tom Knight gives excellent instructions for building a puppet theater out of a cardboard box.


Castle Puppet Theater

Fairy Tale Stage

When I have a passion or hobby, I like to see what other people have done. I looked online to see what kinds of puppet theaters have been made by other aspiring puppeteers, and I found this one on It's a castle-style theater, made from an appliance box and it's absolutely adorable.

It would make a great stage for a fairy tale.

Photo credit:

Puppet StagesYou Can Buy

If you don't have the time or inclination to build a stage, you can buy one!

Cute Puppet Theater

If you go to Google Images, you can find hundreds of ideas for puppet stages. Just enter "puppet theaters" or "puppet stages"

Here is a lovely example of a beautifully decorated home made puppet theater.

Many of the images come from websites with directions for building the stage.

Photo from Google Images

Build a Puppet Theater

Books on making Puppet Theaters and other cardboard projects that may be adapted for stages or theaters. A castle, for example, makes a great stage for fairy tales.

Corrugated Stage

The stage below does most of the work for you. All you need to do is decorate it!

Lightweight Cardboard Puppet Stage

I like this stage because it is simple and portable, and you can decorate it as you like.

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    • Flowerchild1946 profile image

      Carol Brooks 4 years ago from Florida

      @kazoobukids lm: Thanks for the heads-up on the stages. I had a carpenter build me a really nice wooden stage for $100. The cardboard ones made from an appliance box cost practically nothing because you just need some paint, fabric, glue - stuff like that.

    • kazoobukids lm profile image

      kazoobukids lm 4 years ago

      Just noticed that the puppet stages you listed on Amazon are currently unavailable so you might want to find some others to list. Great post by the way, it was very informative. Any idea how much that stage would cost to build?

    • LaptopLeader profile image

      LaptopLeader 4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your experience with puppet stages with us. Puppet theatres are such interesting things. I think it's something I'd like to get into one day... ;)

    • lisln profile image

      LorLinda 4 years ago from Denver Colorado

      We made our own puppets for our children's ministry I just wish I had some pictures to share it. Love the puppet stage ideas great lens!

    • Wedding Mom profile image

      Wedding Mom 5 years ago

      Great lens. I really love reading your lens.

    • Flowerchild1946 profile image

      Carol Brooks 5 years ago from Florida

      Thank you for liking and commenting on my Building a Puppet Stage lens.

    • profile image

      Toy-Tester 5 years ago

      Way better than the cardboard puppet show booth that I made a couple of months ago. Great reference...thanks

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      It's amazing what can be built out of a cardboard box and duct tape. I really enjoyed reading about building a Puppet Stage.

    • shahedashaikh profile image

      shahedashaikh 5 years ago

      Good info on puppet stage making methods.Thanks for sharing.