Puppets Around the World
Clip Art Bag Puppets
What you will make:
In this project, you will learn how to make simple bag puppets using
clip art or photos. A puppet play is a wonderful creative activity, and
with just paper bags and clip art, it is easy to make a wide variety of
characters for the play. Combine bag puppets with
clip art stick puppets
to make all the props and puppets you may need.
This project requires few materials and little preparation time. It is great for family, classroom or group craft time.
Related crafts: For a more structured puppet project with a written play and printable patterns, try the
Paper Bag Hand
Puppets project. Or see the
Cat and Owl Paper
Bag Puppets craft project for how to make animal puppets
using paper bags.
For more puppet craft projects, many with plays, see
Around the World craft project index.
Here's what you need:
- Computer paper for printing clip art
- Lunch-size paper bags
- A source of clip art, pictures or photos
- Colored pencils, markers or crayons
This project is rated VERY EASY to do.
How to Make Clip Art Bag Puppets
Read all of the steps before starting.
- Step 1: Project Preparation
Read through the project then gather the materials needed for
making the puppets. There are many sources of online clip art. Just
search for the picture you want and include "clip art" or
"illustration" at the end—like "kitty clip art" or "puppy
- Step 2: Come Up With an Idea
Think of a favorite story, fable or folktale—maybe even a song—and
develop a play around that. Figure out what puppets are needed
for your play. Or, just look through the collection of clip art, and make some
puppets that seem interesting or fun.
You can develop the story while playing with the puppets.
- Step 3: Puppet Design
Think about the puppet's design. A bag puppet is animated when you
put your hand inside the flap and move it. The easiest
clip art puppet has the puppet's head on the flap and the body on the bag. The puppet's head will move
as you open and close your hand. Bag puppets can also be made to have the puppet's mouth or eyes open
and close—see the Paper Bag Hand Puppets
craft project for examples.
- Step 4: Print
Print the clip art to fit the paper bag and the bag flap. For most lunch-size paper bags,
the puppet head should be no bigger than 5" wide by 3" tall and the body no larger than
5" by 7".
In Microsoft Word you can find and insert clip art, and then resize it. With the Ruler turned on, it is easy
to drag a corner of the picture to the exact size needed.
- Step 5: Cut
Cut out the clip art—cut the head and body apart. If the
clip art has intricate details, just trim loosely around those details.
- Step 6: Glue
Glue the puppet head on the flap with the chin near the bottom of
the flap. Glue the puppet body directly under the head on the bag.
- Step 7: Color
Draw the puppet's neck under the flap, so the head appears
connected to the body. Color a background around the puppet that
goes with the play.
Tip: Paper cutouts also work well as decorations
for the background.
- Step 8: Put On a Play
Make up names for your characters and practice making different voices. Have fun with your puppets and the puppets your friends made. Work
together to make a play that can be performed for family and friends.
Tape a backdrop that you printed or colored to the wall, and perform the play in front of it!
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