Monday, March 28, 2011

Bookshelf Puppet Theater, Stacking Puppets, and a GIVEAWAY!

Hello and Welcome to all you T Shirt Diaries readers!

Are you loving this Spring Stashbust as much as I am?!  It feels so good to be whittling away at my stash of stuff, instead of constantly replenishing!

Today I'm going to be sharing my Bookshelf Puppet Theater, as well as the Stacking Puppets I made to go with it.  Oh, and my very first GIVEAWAY.  Woo Hoo!


You know how you think you've come up with the most genius idea in the history of the world, only to discover that somebody already beat you to it?

Yeah, this is one of those times for me...kinda.  After I came up with the idea of a Bookshelf Puppet Theater, and even sketched it all out, I happened to do a Google search, and found this tutorial on Infarrantly Creative.  Of course, her bookshelf was a little different, so I still had to put my thinking cap on to make this work.

This is what I started out with:

Does it look like its missing something?
Like...shelves maybe?

This is a $20 assembly-required bookshelf we bought at Big Lots a few years ago.  Its made from pressboard, and has those little metal peg things that you stick in holes on the side and then set the shelf on top of the pegs.

I made the mistake of putting it in my toddlers' bedroom.  Less than half an hour later it was stripped...and the worst part is that they hid the metal pegs and I have yet to find them!
So, the first thing I had to do was make a SECURE shelf.  I used some blocks of wood I found in our shed to nail to the inside of the bookshelf, like this:
(We don't own a saw, or really any tools other than a hammer and screwdriver, so these blocks of wood are a wee bit longer than the bookshelf.  I just made sure it sticks out in front, so it won't be jabbing my kids while their putting on their shows.)

Next I set the shelf on top and nailed it to the blocks of wood.  I admit - despite my best efforts it did not end up completely level.  But my kids aren't complaining, so neither will I :)

I also hammered a nail on each side, right near the top, letting it hang out a bit.  This is where the curtain "rod" will be later.
After a couple coats of grey paint (leftover from painting bedrooms!), I added a flannel board front.  And of course forgot to take pictures of the process, but its pretty straight forward.  Using the backing from the original bookshelf (it was flimsy, a little bit better than cardboard though) I cut it to fit in the front.  I covered it with yellow flannel, folding the edges over to the back and hot gluing them down.  Then I nailed it in place. 

Now one of my kids can use their Felt Faces and other felt cutouts on the front while the other is putting on a show up above!

The curtains were made from some black and white checked cotton fabric I've had for a couple of years.  I made strips from the yellow flannel to glue on the side.  It forms a loop and velcros on itself to keep the curtains back.

The curtain "rod" is a wrapping paper tube painted white.  I was scrambling all over the house, trying to find something I could use to hang these curtains from so I wouldn't have to break my Stashbusting oath, and finally I had this stroke of brilliance.  I had to cut it a little shorter, and put a slit in one end so I could slide it over the nail, but it is surprisingly sturdy, considering its just cardboard.

And there you have it...the Bookshelf Puppet Theater!

But, if you have a puppet theater, you really better have some puppets too, right?!

I ran across these fantastic nesting puppets on Sacred Dirt.  Seriously, hop on over there and take a look...I'll still be here when you get back. ;)

Anyways, my Munchkin will be turning 3 soon and since she is FINALLY into Princesses I thought I'd make her a set of Princess and the Frog puppets as a birthday present.

I admit, this first attempt is not the prettiest thing ever.

But the puppets were a BIG hit!

My Munchkin loved how she could stand them up...lay them down....

...or slip them on her hands so they could hug.

I'll be posting the template and tutorial for these stacking puppets in the next few days, so won't you pop on back and check it out?

But wait! 

I have one set of Princess and the Frog Stacking Puppets to GIVE AWAY to one lucky person out there!

(see? They fit inside each other, perfect for compact storage!)

How to Enter:
-Leave me a Comment.  Any comment, although preferrably something happy.

Additional Entries:
-Follow my blog.
-Go on back to The T Shirt Diaries and tell Robin how awesome she is for hosting this Spring Stashbust.

***Please leave a separate comment for each entry, for a total of up to 3 entries, and if you don't have your email address linked to your profile, please leave it in the comment.



  1. that turned out really cute! I love the flannel board front- very smart! When my kiddos are older I am sure I will be making some kind of puppet theater too!

  2. How cute! Cassie, you amaze me! Great way to use up your stash!

  3. I am already a follower of your your blog! I am a big fan of your creativity!

  4. Left a message on Robin's site, and loved your intro! Keep at it Cassie!

  5. Looks great, they will have lots of fun with it! Also, you can get those metal pegs at home depot... my youngest removed them from one of our book shelves too, which is how I know,

  6. Wow! Thank you for liking my puppets! Your creations are fabulous!

  7. Cute! My husband and I (mostly him, though)made our children a puppet theatre for Christmas, this year! :) They love it! I would love to win these puppets!!! :)

  8. This looks great!!! I shared a puppet theater I made on my blog this week, too--great minds...! ;) I absolutely love those puppets! You are very clever!!

  9. Geez these are DARLING! Follow your blog already- in fact- linked you on my blog and featured your Doll book and my attempt to make it! :)

  10. PS posted on Tshirt Diaries. :0)