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How-Tuesday: Spooky Shadow Puppets by Crankbunny

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We’re resurrecting this eerie project from last year — crankbunny‘s shadow puppets are still full of dark delight!

[Originally published October 28, 2008.]

This week on Etsy How-Tuesday, Norma, a.k.a. crankbunny, shows us how to make spooky shadow puppets for Hallow’s Eve! MUAHAHAH! crankbunny, a talented animator and artist, often works with layers of paper in her projects. Her animated short, “Robot Gets Its Wings,” won 2nd place in our Handmade Moment Contest (and garnered the prize of Community Favorite!).

Today’s project is about dead guys and cemeteries! crankbunny has provided the templates for making her signature Gravestone Shadow Puppet and Dead Guy Shadow Puppet. You can use these templates, or come up with your own designs — either way you will most certainly have your own spooky Halloween shadow show.

Things you will need for the Gravestone Shadow Puppet:

  • Download the template and print it out: Gravestone Shadow Puppet Template
  • Scissors or Craft Knife (Exacto Art Knife)
  • Rod (can be bamboo skewer, chopsticks, thin wooden dowel, a stick — the longer, the better)
  • Tape or Glue (non-toxic please)
  • Stiff Paper (card stock, cardboard, chipboard, etc.)

How to make the Gravestone Shadow Puppet:

  1. Transfer the puppet template onto stiff paper stock.
    • Tip: Print out the template on regular paper, use spray adhesive or glue to adhere the print out onto the stiff paper stock.
  2. Cut out the gravestone puppet using scissors and a craft knife. Remember to also cut out the white areas inside the gravestone puppet.
  3. Attach one end of the rod to the dotted area on the gravestone template using glue or tape.
    • Tip: Customize the gravestone shadow puppet by cutting away shapes from it.
  4. By making a few of these, each customized and cut differently, you can make an entire cemetery scene.
  5. Project the shadow puppet by shining a flashlight onto it in a dark room.

Things you will need for the Dead Guy Shadow Puppet:

  • Download the Dead Guy Shadow Puppet Template and print it out:
  • Scissors or Craft Knife (Exacto Art Knife)
  • Rod (can be bamboo skewer, chopsticks, thin wooden dowel, a stick — the longer, the better)
  • Tape or Glue (non-toxic please)
  • String (cotton warp, yarn)
  • 2 Brads (paper fasteners)
  • Hole punch (regular or 1/8th if you want to get specific)
  • Drinking Straw
  • Stiff Paper (card stock, cardboard, chipboard, etc.)

How to make the Dead Guy Shadow Puppet:

  1. Transfer the puppet template onto stiff paper stock.
    • Tip: Print out the template on regular paper, use spray adhesive or glue to adhere the print out onto the paper stock.
  2. Cut out the puppet parts using your cutting tools. Punch holes over the indicated circles with Xs. Use the punch and cutting tools to create your own eye shape on the puppet’s head.
  3. Attach one end of the rod to the dotted area on the puppet’s body shape using glue or tape.
  4. Cut a one inch (3cm) piece of straw. Align the end of the straw with the line found on the lower part of the puppet’s body shape. Have it rest against the rod vertically and tape it down securely to the puppet.
  5. Cut 2 pieces of string. Each should be 12″ (32cm) in length. Tie the end of each string to the outer hole on each puppet arm.
  6. Make a spacer out of some scrap paper. A spacer is basically a small square of cardboard/heavy paper with a wedge cut into its side.
  7. Join the arms to the body of the puppet with a brad using the spacer. Match the arms by each letter, the uppercase letter part always over the lowercase part. Remove the spacer once the brads are fastened. This will make each joint loose.
  8. Run each string through the top of the straw. Make a looped knot to join both strings together. When you pull the end of the strings, the arms should move up. When you release the strings, the arms should move back down.
    • Tip: Customize the shadow puppet by cutting away and adding shapes to it. Adding fangs, horns, buck teeth, pirate hats, hooks, top hats, etc. to customize your puppet.
  9. Project the shadow puppet by shining a flashlight onto it in a dark room.
  10. Have a spooky Halloween!

See more how-to videos on Etsy!

More How-Tuesday Posts | Supplies Category | DIY Made Simple Gift Guide

 Halloween Decor Guide | Halloween Category

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