Saturday, March 1, 2014

Shadow Puppet Tutorial #2: How to make Shadow Puppets from cardstock

One of my Bible character shadow puppets
Here's a tutorial on how to transfer the design and cut your own shadow puppets from black card stock. I have been making shadow puppet shows since 2006. These puppets will fit my table top theatre, the link to the Shadow Puppet Theatre tutorial is here.

What you will need:

-Black card stock or poster board ( I'm using Recollections 65 lb black card stock from Michael's)
-White transfer paper (carbon paper)
-Sharp scissors
-Xacto knife
-cutting mat 'self healing'
-template or drawing

cardstock-- this package is 25 sheets of just black. I also use lightweight poster board for very large puppets.

 Transfer paper: (white carbon paper) you can't beat this stuff. I bought this little packet for under $2 about 10 years ago and hundreds of puppets later, I'm still using the original sheets. It also comes in black for your other projects.
Notice this paper has 2 sides, the whiter side is where the carbon is.

For the cutting: Oops!! I forgot to put my sharp scissors in this picture! I will show them to you later. For shadow puppets, I do most of the long cuts with scissors, and switch to the Xacto knife as needed.

People needing magnifying glasses: you know who you are.  I'm right there with you.

Okay, here we go!

1. Lay a piece of transfer paper over your black card stock. Make sure the whiter side is DOWN, touching the card stock.  Lay your template on top of the transfer paper. Make sure the entire image fits onto the transfer paper and card stock.

Making sure the puppet's feet will fit on there!

2. Trace over all the template lines with the pencil.

3. The image will be a white line on the black card stock.

4. Time to cut! Start with scissors. Take your time with the hands; they are so important. If you are doing moving-arm puppets, the emotions and actions are shown with puppet hands, so get them right. I usually cut the hands into 'mittens' first. Then go in and trim the fingers with either scissors or blade. You will feel like you are giving a puppet manicure!
first cut of a moving-arm puppet's forearm
cut into a 'mitten', ready to cut out the fingers

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