How To Make Pop-Up Puppets

By Emily Griffin Sheahan, publisher of Macaroni Kid Flushing Queens, N.Y. March 14, 2020

Autumn's blustery days means -- at least in my house -- a need for some easy indoor crafts to keep us busy. My daughter and I recently spent an indoor afternoon crafting pop-up puppets. The best part? Everything we used to make our pop-up puppets was stuff we already had in the house!  


  • A disposable cup
  • Tissue paper
  • A piece of fabric (or in a pinch, heavy duty paper towel)
  • Cardboard or cardstock
  • A straw or small dowel
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Crayons or markers
  • A rubber band
  • Decorative tape or construction paper
  • A pipe cleaner


1. Cut or tear your tissue paper and glue to the cup. Trim any bits that hang over the edges. 

2. Poke a small hole in the bottom of your cup with scissors.

3. Glue two pieces of brown cardboard together (plain side out) and draw a face on one side, and the back of the head on the other. 

4. Cut the face out. 

5. Cut a small slit in one end of the straw and stick the puppet head into it. You can use glue or tape to secure.

6. Cut your fabric into a semi-circle shape big enough to fit over the top of the cup. 

7. Form a cone and glue the straight edges together.

8. Use a rubber band to attach the fabric to the top of your cup. 

9. Cover the rubber band with decorative tape or construction paper.

10. Push the straw through the fabric cone and cup, and out the hole at the top of the fabric.

11. Put glue on the straw just under the head and stick fabric to it.

12. Tightly wrap a pipe cleaner just under the head to both hold it in place and to create arms. 

13. Test by pulling the straw up and down.

14. Play!

Making your own pop-up puppets is a fun craft you and your kids can do together -- and one that will inspire hours of creative play! 

Emily Griffin Sheahan is the publisher of Macaroni Kid Flushing Queens, N.Y.