Some clip art
and imagination!

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Aunt Annie's Crafts

Puppets Around the World

Clip Art Bag Puppets

Bag puppets made from clip art
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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 Puppets 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
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • 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, with Microsoft offering one of the biggest and easiest-to-use sites.

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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Before you start:
  • Make a place to work.
  • Read all of the directions.
  • Gather everything you need to do the project.
  • Think about the project. Imagine how it will look and what you will do with it.

Are you ready?
Okay, get started!!!

Chinese kids puppets

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Tip: Create plays from different cultures. These Chinese children puppets were made from Microsoft clip art—search for illustrations using the keywords Chinese traditional dress.

Clip art tiger puppet with colored background

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Tip: Color backgrounds on the bag puppets. This puppet's clip art also comes from the Microsoft images web site—search for illustrations using the keywords tiger manga.

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