Make your own Puppet Theater

Inspired by a master sewer project I saw in a magazine years ago, I wondered if I could create something similar, only without sewing and without buying new fabric. I was determined to make it the repurposed way and being the lazy and impatient crafter that I am, with as little actual sewing as possible.

And viola...

I turned this cafe curtain, that belonged to my mom oodles of years ago, into an easy to hang, transport and store puppet theater.

Wondering how to?

Yes, it's easy. Yes, it is extremely time consuming. Yes, it requires serious attention to detail.

Cafe curtain or full curtain panel (the one in your closet that was a design mistake)
Napkins, tea towels or fabric remnants
Fringe for top
Ribbon, yarn or shoelace to tie back stage curtians
Stitch Witchery (or other fabric binding adhesive)
Fabric scissors
Fabric pencil
Old shipping box, cardboard or poster board
Tension curtain rod

Tips + Tricks
1. By using an old curtain panel your project is half done. With finished edges all around, all you have to worry about it the cutting and attaching of the inside decoration.

2. Using a tension rod allows you to adjust the height to your growing child. If you are using a cafe curtain, their little feet will show at some point but that is okay! If you are using a longer curtain panel, when they are small the excess will gather at the bottom. That's okay too! You can make it shorter if you want but if you keep it long even an adult could partake in the fun as well.

3. Use napkins, tea towels and such for the stage curtains. Again, the finished edges on old linens means less work for you and we all have old linens in our house we no longer use but can't seem to part with!

4. Nothing needs to match! Layer pattern on pattern and color on color. The more vintage and hodgepodge the more authentic.

5. Let your little ones help! Not with the iron - but with the choice of fabrics and textiles, the type of fringe.

6. Even if you are only making one, take the time to cut out the pattern. It makes cutting your fabric that much easier.

7. Gift yourself a pair of fabric scissors and don't let anyone touch a piece of paper with them! Then hide them away.

8. Please pay attention to your hot iron - this is not a craft to do with your small children. They can enjoy the puppet theater when it's finished!

9. And remember, measure twice, cut once. Always.

1. Choose your textiles. Look around the house - what isn't being used? You'll be amazed. You might even find a curtain that didn't work in your kitchen re-do still in its packaging at the bottom of your hallway closet. Perfect puppet theater material! Remnants of fabric work great for the stage curtains and old ribbon will do for the tie backs. You just to make sure the material you choose is wide enough for your door frame. It can be the exact width or wider - excess fabric will just create more depth and movement in your finished piece.

2. Cut out pattern for stage window. Cut a piece of cardboard that measures 18 in x 16 in.

3. Lay your theater base on table or floor, front side down and spread totally flat. Place window pattern 10 inches from the top of the piece of fabric and center it equally between the left and right edge. This will be different depending on the width of your fabric, so I can't give you an exact measurement.

4. Trace window pattern with a fabric pencil, on the back side of the fabric.

5. Now, cut.

6. Place theater base, front side down on your ironing board. Cut and place Stitch Witchery or your choice of binding tape along the edge of the cut out in the panel. If you are using the triangle fringe, do that first. Lay it over the top edge and adhere. Now layer stage curtains on top, with about 2-3 inches overlap on the edge. Layer your ribbon or tie about 12 inches from the top, as you will be attaching this as well. Slowly make your way around the window cut out with your iron and damp towel.

7. Flip curtain panel over and attach fringe at the top of the stage window.

8. Tie the ribbon in bows.

9. Measure your door frame and adjust the tension rod accordingly. Make it snug so it will withstand little hands tugging at the panel.

10. Simply thread the tension rod through the tabs or pocket of the curtain.

11. Hang!

12. Lights, camera, action!

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