Punch-style Papier Mâché
Hand Puppet Making Workshops


This two-session, six hour workshop is suitable for children ages 8 up through senior adults (twelve students maximum.)  Participants are led step by step through the making of an 18″ Punch-style hand puppet with papier mache head and cloth body.  First session, students make puppet heads from newspaper strip mache worked over a cardboard and styrofoam core.  The completed puppet heads are set to dry in a heating box.  (At least twelve hours drying time is required between sessions.) Second session,  students paint their puppet heads, select pre-made puppet bodies, and embellish their puppet characters with felt, yarn, paint and fur.  Students who attend both sessions go home with a durable, lively hand puppet.

This workshop works well for weekend camps, folk festivals and family reunions.   It can also be an attractive two-Saturday inter-generational program for churches, libraries and scout troops.  All tools, supplies and materials are provided by the instructor.  See this letter of recommendation describing the class as it happened for a group ages 9-12 at Illinois Yearly Meeting (a regional summer gathering of Quakers) in 2012. For more information contact me.


The Extended hand puppet workshop takes five to nine  one and a half hour sessions, and is suitable for students ages 8 and up through senior adults (twelve students maximum). In this series of classes students are encouraged to examine their work.  They are also given time and opportunity to rethink and revise what they’ve previously done.  The result of this approach is improvement in both the students’ confidence and their artistic judgment.    First session, students sculpt styrofoam and apply foundation layers of strip mache.  At least twelve hours drying time are required between the first, second and third sessions.  During the second and third sessions, the students add features, revise and refine their puppet heads.  Fourth and fifth sessions, students hand sew simple bodies for their puppets, paint their puppet heads, and assemble and embellish their puppets.  If the class extends to sessions six through nine, students divide into groups and create skits for their puppets to perform.  All tools, supplies and materials are provided by the instructor.

Puppet making uses and improves students’ skill in drawing, armature building, sculpture, sewing,  costume design, story writing and performance.

Summer art camp sessions are the natural home of the extended hand puppet workshop.  For further information contact me.

LITTLE HAND, BIG HAND A Two Puppet Workshop

Five sessions, 10 hours total.  In this workshop series Margaret teaches students how to make two types of hand puppets: 6″ ZOOMORPH felt hand puppets with interchangeable animal costumes; and 18″ hand puppets with papier mache heads and cloth bodies.  Making the felt puppets includes pattern layout and marking; cutting; basic hand sewing, and use of a hot melt glue gun.  Making of the papier mache puppets uses and improves skill in drawing, armature building, sculpture, painting, sewing and fashion design.  Workshop participants who attend all sessions will go home with two durable, lively puppets.  See Beaumont School letter of recommendation describing this class as it happened at  a parochial school Summer Arts Camp for girls.