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The Crafter's Guide to Papercutting

Shadow puppets are fairly easy to make and can provide great entertainment for both children
and adults alike. Once you have created the shadow puppets, it’s up to you to tell a magical
story that will take your family and friends on a papercut adventure. With a hare that is the fastest sprinter in the county, a mouse that loves to whisper gossip and a mischievous squirrel that is always up to something, you are bound to have many a tale to tell!

Choosing materials
Shadow puppets work best on black card, and these instructions will guide you in attaching the templates to your card and cutting them out. An alternative is to photocopy the templates onto white card to start with and cut them straight out to save you sticking down templates. You could then paint the cutout shapes black afterwards.


Extract from

The Crafter's Guide to Papercutting by Emily Hogarth

Published by Search Press

The appeal of papercutting is that anyone can try it, the equipment is cheap, and the results are stunning. All you need is practice to perfect the art. This beautiful book will introduce you to the world of papercutting and show you how to create your own exquisite works of art. Beginners will have all the knowledge they need to get started: from basic techniques to creative step-by-step projects. It's also a great resource for the more advanced papercutter: materials, techniques, and inspirational projects all feature. Learn about the history of papercutting and be inspired by the work from many international papercutting artists.

© 2015 Emily Hogarth / Search Press · Reproduced with permission.


  1. How to make a puppet theatres. Shadow Puppets - Step 1 1

    Cut out templates.

  2. How to make a puppet theatres. Shadow Puppets - Step 2 2

    23 card. Using a craft knife on a cutting mat, or scissors, begin to cut out the bodies, legs and tails, of the puppets.

  3. How to make a puppet theatres. Shadow Puppets - Step 3 3

    Now cut out any features that you want your puppets to have – eyes, noses, whiskers or fur details, for example. The final stage of the papercutting is to cut out the holes for the fastenings (shown as small white circles on the templates). Use scissors to cut these small holes.

  4. How to make a puppet theatres. Shadow Puppets - Step 4 4

    Next, attach the hare’s legs. Match up the circles on the hare’s legs to the ones on its body. Once you have them in place, insert the brass paper fasteners through the circles from front to back.

  5. How to make a puppet theatres. Shadow Puppets - Step 5 5

    Turn the puppet over and bend back the arms of the fasteners so that the legs are attached to the body. repeat steps 4 and 5 to attach the squirrel’s tail.

  6. How to make a puppet theatres. Shadow Puppets - Step 6 6

    With the backs of the puppets facing upwards, attach the thin wooden sticks to the puppets using invisible tape. You will need one stick for each leg of the hare, one stick each for the tail and the body of the squirrel and one stick for
    the mouse.

  7. 7

    Now all you have to do is practise bringing your puppets to life by manoeuvring them with the sticks. To create magical shadows, shine a lamp at your puppets while moving them, to see the animals dance across the room.

  8. How to make a puppet theatres. Shadow Puppets - Step 8 8

    Take Special Care
    Circled in red are the trickiest areas to cut. The holes can be difficult so be careful and make sure they line up so you can place the brass fasteners through.

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And you're done!



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