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Cat and Owl Paper Bag Puppets
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Paper Bag Puppets:
Cat and Owl

What you will make:

Paper bag puppets are great fun, and with just a few cutouts and a bit of drawing, you can make a puppet for just about any animal. In this project, make cat and owl puppets that open and close their eyes as you move the paper bag flap with your hand.

Make up a play that uses the cat and owl puppets, and maybe some other puppets of your own design. Of course, you could take Englishman Edward Lear's nonsense rhyme, "The Owl and the Pussy-Cat," and do a play based on it.

Related crafts: For puppet fun, play included, see the Paper Bag Hand Puppets craft project with printable patterns for three funny people. Make a couple of opera singer hand puppets from Tenor and Diva Paper Bag Puppets. Or check out Clip-Art Bag Puppets for how to make paper bag puppets using clip art!

For more puppet craft projects, many including plays, see the Puppets Around the World craft project index.

Here's what you need:
  • White computer paper
  • Lunch-size paper bags
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Crayons, colored pencils or markers
  • Optional: Colored paper, yarn and fake fur

This project is rated EASY to do.

How to Make Cat and Owl Paper Bag Hand Puppets

Read all of the steps before starting.
Step 1: Choose a Pattern and Print it

Choose the puppets that you want to make. These patterns are for cutouts to decorate the paper bags for each puppet. The cutouts are sized for use with lunch-size paper bags. Lunch-size bags are about 5¼" by 3¼" by 10½" in size. You can scale the patterns down to fit smaller bags. In the Adobe Reader Print window, select Page Scaling: Tile all pages, then enter a percentage in the Tile Scale: box.

Cat puppet cutouts
Printable pattern for cat puppet cutouts
Owl puppet cutouts
Printable pattern for owl puppet cutouts

Patterns are Adobe PDF files. The Adobe Reader is available for free.

All of Aunt Annie's project patterns are designed to be printed on standard letter-size paper (8.5"x11" or A4). When printing from Adobe Reader, you may need to select Auto-Rotate and Center or Choose paper source by PDF page size to ensure the best fit.

Step 2: Color Cutouts (optional)

If you printed a black-and-white pattern, color the puppet cutouts any colors you like. Each pattern includes two sets of eyes—complete eyes and separate parts of eyes. Pick the type you prefer and color them. Colored paper cutouts are another choice. To make them, cut out the patterns, trace around them on colored paper, and cut.

Tip: Instead of using cutouts, you may color directly on the paper bag. You can also use a mix of cutouts and coloring: for example, use cutout eyes and a drawn nose.

Step 3: Cut

Owl puppet cutouts Cat puppet cutoutsCut out the puppet cutouts.

  • The Cat puppet cutouts include ears, nose, eyes, collar and bell. Also notice the drawing guide for the cat's face.
  • The Owl puppet cutouts include eyes, ear tufts, crest, beak and wings. Also notice the drawing guide for the owl's face.
Step 4: Glue 

Glue the cutouts to the bag as illustrated for each puppet. Pay careful attention to what is glued inside the crease and under the flap.

Glue cat cutouts to paper bag and draw face

The cat's eyes open and close as you move your hand. Glue the eyes above the crease and under the flap. Draw closed eyes on the flap near the bottom. Draw the mouth, whiskers and chin on the bag centered on the nose cutout.

Glue owl cutouts to paper bag and draw face

The owl's eyes open and close as you move your hand. Glue the eyes above the crease and under the flap. Draw the closed eyes near the bottom of the flap. Draw the chin on the bag centered on the beak cutout.

Step 5: Finish

Add any additional decorations you might like to complete the puppets. Yarn or fake fur can be added for texture.

To operate a puppet, slip your hand into the bag and put four fingers in the flap. Open and close your hand to move the flap.

Have some make-believe fun with your cat and owl puppets. You could make a play based on Edward Lear's nonsense rhyme, "The Owl and the Pussy-Cat" (See the complete poem at the Poetry Foundation website).

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
    In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
    Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
    And sang to a small guitar,
'O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love,
      What a beautiful Pussy you are,
          You are,
          You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!'

That's it! The puppets are done!
Cat and Owl Paper Bag Puppets

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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!!!

Cat puppet with eyes opened

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Tip: Lift the bag flap to open the cat's eyes!

Owl puppet with eyes opened

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Tip: The owl puppet is  designed to open and close its eyes, too.

Tenor and Diva Paper Bag Puppets

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Tip: See the Tenor and Diva Paper Bag Puppets craft project for how to make some funny opera singer puppets.

Paper Bag Puppets for Clever Gretel play

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Tip: For more paper bag puppet fun, play included, see the Paper Bag Hand Puppets craft project with printable patterns for three funny people.

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