Friday, July 22, 2011

Make Your Own Puppet Theater!

If you don't WIN this puppet theater in our puppet theater giveaway which ends next Friday (July 29th), you can learn how to make your own! You can make your own puppet theater (a great gift idea!) with just a few supplies: three types of fabric (we used 2 yards of red, 1/4 yard of turquoise, and ¾ yard of black dot), 1/4 yard fusible interfacing, a 3/8" wooden dowel, and a tension rod for hanging.  

The two-year-old "helper" is optional.

For the main curtain, we used the full 2 yards length of red and cut it to 38” wide. This allowed a one-inch hem on each side to fit a standard 36” doorway.

If you're wondering why we are using a measuring TAPE, it's because we like to keep you on your toes.
For the window, fold the fabric in half lengthwise to make sure it is centered, then measure 16” from the top. This allows the curtain to skim the floor and preschool age children to reach the window on their knees. You may want to make a lower opening for younger children.

We wanted our window to be 22" wide x 18" high.
Since the fabric was folded, we cut in from the fold just half that width, which was 11 inches.
Then we cut the opening 18” high.

Now turn the edge under approx 1/2", and then turn under another 1/2" and stitch around the puppet theater on the two long sides and the one short bottom side. For the top we needed to make a rod pocket. Turn the edge under a 1/2”, then turn under about 1.5” and stitch. This allows a tension rod to be slipped through for hanging the theater.

 For the window edging, cut four strips of cloth, each 3” wide. Two of ours were 28” long (22” width of window plus 3” of overlap on each side) and two were 24” long (18" high plus 3" of overlap on each side) for the height of the window. We ironed fusible interfacing to the wrong side of each turquoise strip to add stability.
Then we sewed the strips together, making mitered corners.


To do this, put the long and short right sides together and sew diagonally from the outer corner across to a point that is 3” in from the edge. Trim the extra fabric to remove bulk. Repeat this with the other 3 corners so you have a rectangle when finished.
Press the seams flat.

Now pin the edging to the BACK of the puppet theater so the right side of the edging is next to the wrong side of the theater. Sew around the rectangle and theater about 5/8" from the inner edges. Snip into the corners, turn the edging over so it shows on the outside, and press it flat.
Turn the outside edge of the rectangle under about 5/8” and press.


You will now stitch the frame around the inside edge and the outside edge.

For the curtains, cut 2 rectangles that are approx 16” wide x 25” high. Hem all four sides. Sew them to the back of the window so they meet in the middle. Cut 2 lengths of ribbon approx 24” long each. We used grosgrain and seared the edges with a lighter to keep from fraying. Sew one ribbon on each side of the window—-sew it in the middle of ribbon length so two ends hang down and form a tieback for each curtain.

We added a little rod pocket on the back of the theater to slip in a dowel rod and keep it hanging straight...otherwise the window sags (wop, wop). Just cut a strip of the leftover theater-colored fabric approx. 4" wide by 30” long. Hem the short edges if desired, then turn in the long edges and stitch together to hide all raw edges. Now sew along the long edge onto theater back, below the window.
We slipped in a 3/8”dowel rod that was 27” long.

Hang your curtain from a tension rod...and let the puppet shows begin!

And...if you have toddlers, they will love running THROUGH the curtain.
Multi-purpose fun. We like that in a toy.

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