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Tenor and Diva Paper Bag Puppets
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Tenor and Diva
Paper Bag Puppets

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 type of performer. In this project make puppets of opera singers, tenor and diva, that open and close their mouths as you move the paper bag flap with your hand.

Make up a concert or a play that uses the tenor and diva puppets, and maybe some other puppets of your own design.

Related crafts: For more puppet fun, play included, see the Paper Bag Hand Puppets craft project with printable patterns for three funny people. 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:
  • 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 Tenor and Diva 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.

Tenor puppet cutouts
Printable pattern for tenor puppet cutouts
Diva puppet cutouts
Printable pattern for diva 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 & 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

Diva puppet cutouts Tenor puppet cutoutsCut out the puppet cutouts.

  • The Tenor puppet cutouts include eyes, mouth, eye brows, moustache, collars and bow tie. You also need to cut a shirt from a piece of white paper that is the width of the bag and about 3" long. For the jacket, cut a piece of black paper that is the width of the bag and 6" to 7" long, depending on the length of your bag.
  • The Diva puppet cutouts include eyes, mouth, eye lashes, jewel, hair, tiara and collar. Cut the eyelashes into a fringe as marked on one edge. Wrap around a pencil to curl. For the gown, cut a piece of pink paper that is the width of the bag and 6" to 7" long, depending on the length of your bag.
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 tenor cutouts to paper bag

The tenor's mouth opens and closes as you move your hand. For the open mouth, glue the mouth cutout under the flap, aligning the bottom edge to the crease where the flap falls. For the closed mouth, glue the moustache on the flap and the lower lip just below the mouth. Glue the collar to the strip of white paper, and then glue it to the bag. Glue the jacket collar in a 'V' on the black paper, snip away the black paper inside the 'V', and then glue to the bag. Trim away any excess jacket length.

Glue diva cutouts to paper bag

The diva's mouth opens and closes as you move your hand. For the open mouth, glue the mouth cutout under the flap, aligning the bottom edge to the crease where the flap falls. For the closed mouth, glue the upper lip on the flap and the lower lip just below the mouth. Glue the gown collar in a 'V' on the pink paper, snip away the pink paper inside the 'V', and then glue to the bag. Trim away any excess gown length.

Step 5: Finish

Add any additional decorations you might like to complete the puppets. Yarn or fake fur can be added for texture. Draw a nose for each puppet and draw a cord for the diva's jewel necklace.

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 tenor and diva puppets. You could put on a concert featuring your new puppets.

That's it! The puppets are done!
Tenor and Diva 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!!!

Tenor puppet with mouth opened

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

Diva puppet with mouth opened

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Tip: The diva puppet is  designed to open and close its mouth, too.

Cat and owl hand puppets

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Tip: See the Cat and Owl Paper Bag Puppets craft project for how to make animal puppets using paper bags.

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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