Jungle Book Shoebox Puppet Theater

Have a spare shoe­box lying around? Recy­cle it into a Jungle Book-themed puppet theater to inspire imaginative play with Mowgli and friends.

Time: 1 hour

What You’ll Need

  • Cardboard shoebox
  • Scissors or craft knife
  • Green and brown craft paper
  • Green paint
  • Permanent black marker
  • Felt (grey, white, brown, tan, black, red)
  • Fabric glue
  • White and black paint
  • Craft sticks
  • Hot glue gun
  • Wooden skewers

How To Make It

  1. Source a blank cardboard shoebox from a local shoe shop. If you have a graphic rich box start by covering the graphics with a layer of paint and leave to dry.
  2. Mark the shape of your theatre window on the front of the box and cut out with the craft knife.
  3. Cut out the window and keep the leftover piece of cardboard.
  4. Cut two or three slots along the top of the box, just a little wider than the skewers. Hot glue the box lid shut and any internal flaps into place. 
  5. On the leftover piece of cardboard draw and cut out some large ‘jungle-like’ leaves, outline with permanent black marker.
  6. Hot glue the leaves to the front of the box.
  7. Paint the inside of the box green.
  8. Cut strips of green and brown paper to the width of the shoebox, curl and slide them into the base of the shoebox – these act to give the shoebox some terrain depth and help anchor the base of the skewers for a smooth left to right motion. You can also cut some thin strips of black paper and hang from the top to give Mowgli some vines to swing from.
  9. Search the Internet for suitable illustrations of the characters: Mowgli, Baloo and Hathi Junior, the cute baby elephant. Print the characters at the scale best suited for the shoebox puppet theater.
  10. Pin drawings to the felt and cut around the body outline with a sharp scissors.
  11. Once the overall body shape is cut out, use the paper print out to cut out additional features such as hair, arms, legs to build up layers of felt and make the characters look more real.
  12. Add the eyes with dots of white and black paint.
  13. Once the characters felt layers are assembled with fabric glue, glue craft sticks to the back of each character (trim the craft sticks to the size of character so they don’t show through to the front). The craft sticks add strength and rigidity to the puppets.
  14. The final step is to hot glue the wooden skewer to the craft stick
  15. And voila!! you have Jungle Book stick puppets for hours and hours of fun and imaginative play.


Cutting and gluing should be done by an adult.

Posted 4 years Ago
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