The coronavirus outbreak has affected all of us in different ways. Sadly this year, for the first time in 37 years, Puppet Animation Scotland made the difficult decision to cancel our annual Puppet Animation Festival. We are disappointed that we could not bring puppetry performances, workshops and animated films to children and families across Scotland and the North of England this Easter – especially at a time when it is more important than ever to stay inspired and motivated.

Therefore, we feel that this is the perfect opportunity for you to get creative and create and experiment with puppetry in the comfort of your own home!

Starting on the 30th of April, Puppet Animation Scotland is excited to be collaborating with puppeteers across Scotland to bring you unique Puppetry at Home tutorial videos every Thursday up until the 4th of June. The videos will include step by step instructions on how you can craft your own puppets and crankie theatres using materials you can find in and around the house, or you can simply order online.

We can’t wait to see what wonderful works of art you’ll create, and we would be thrilled if you could share your crafts with us by posting them on your social media and tagging us on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram. We will be hosting a competition featuring one lucky winner’s entry on our social media channels, to be announced every Monday. To enter, simply tag us in your post or email your entry to

Episode 1 – Finger Puppet Portraits

For our very first Puppetry At Home video, we are so pleased to introduce Rachel from Woolly Gran. As this video is our first, Rachel will be teaching us to make not one, but two different kinds finger puppet portraits using materials you can find in your house or easily order online. One puppet can use your fingers to walk around and the other can stand up on its own and both have movable arms! You can make a portrait of yourself, your friends, family or favourite cartoon character. We can’t wait to see what you create!

For this tutorial you will need:

– Thick paper / card

– Scissors

– Colouring pencils and pens

– A rubber and pencil sharpener

– A drawing pin

– A small amount of blue tack

– Split pins

– Sellotape

See more from Woolly Gran.

Episode 2 – How To Build Your Own Crankie Theatre

In our second episode of Puppetry At Home, Emma from Temporary Commons shows us how to craft a crankie theatre using items from around your home! Crankies are traditionally used in folk singing and storytelling, rather than turning a page to reveal the images, they appear across the “screen” of the box by turning a handle (or crank).

For this tutorial you will need:

– A cereal box

– Two pencils

– A pair of scissors

– Coloured & plain paper

– Glue & tape

– A Ruler

– A sewing needle

– Pens and pencils

See more from Temporary Commons on their website.

Episode 3 – Super Sensory Paper Plates

Our third Puppetry At Home video is an extra special one, demonstrating a wonderful way to keep children who might have additional needs entertained during lock down. Super Sensory Paper Plates with Beth from Good Yarns Storytelling is a fantastic way to spend time with your little ones and encourage their creativity. In this video Beth will be showing us how to make a Wibble Wobble Jellyfish, however, you can customise these plates to make anything you like, for example: a scary spider, aliens, an alien space ship (use 2 plates together), a bird (fold plate in half and stick straws to the bottom curve as legs & add a beak to one side).

*We strongly encourage that parents supervise their children and assist them with any potentially dangerous activities.*

For this tutorial you will need:

– a paper plate / cardboard

– scissors (for adults use only)

– string, elastic or rubber bands

– a blunt pencil – bluetack

– a glue stick

– tape

– colouring pens & pencils

– decorating materials

See more from Good Yarns Storytelling.

Episode 4 – How To Make a ‘Talkie’ Puppet

Our fourth Puppetry At Home video features the lovely Elspeth Chapman, talking us through how to craft a ‘Talkie’ Puppet Friend! This easy to do craft is perfect for families looking for fun and creative ways to stay entertained during lockdown. Craft your wee puppet friends, put on some shows & tag us in your creations!

For this tutorial you will need:

– A cereal box

– A pencil

– A Ruler

– Scissors

– Paints

– Sellotape

– Materials to make your puppet’s hair or a hat (wool, ribbons, more card, get creative!)

To see more of Elspeth’s work visit her website.

Share this video with your friends and compare your creations!

Episode 5 – How To Make A Tin Can Zoetrope

In this Puppetry At Home video, Miryam from Velvet Donkey shows us how to craft a simple zoetrope out of a tin can and other materials you can find at home.

For this video you will need:

– a cardboard food tube

– a soft drinks can

– black card

– 4 marbles

– a pen

– measuring tape

– glue – plain paper

– a screwdriver

– scissors

– a sharp implement

– a small piece of wood

– 2 short screws

– 1 long screw

Episode 6 – How To Make Shadow Puppets

In our final Puppetry At Home Episode, the lovely Cath Whippey demonstrates how to make not one, not two but three types of shadow puppet and a shadow puppet screen!

This video is suitable for both older children and adults to enjoy.

For this video you will need:

– Felt tip pens

– Permanent colouring pens

– Black card

– Thin white card or white paper

– Scissors & a craft knife

– Bamboo kebab sticks

– Materials to make a screen, for example a hoola-hoop and white sheet

– Clothes pegs

– Paper fasteners / split pins

– Sticky velcro tape

– Acetate card

– Vegetable oil

See more of Cath’s work on her website.

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