Paper Mache Puppets Part One: Making the Head

Paper Mache Puppets Part One: Making the Head

When we were at the Renaissance Festival way back in September the kids got to see a wonderful puppet show. When we got back home they wanted to make their own puppets to have a puppet show. I loved the idea and we got started right away. We made paper-mache heads and then they got buried in our craft closet waiting for me to figure out a pattern for the body. Holiday prep started and well, they were totally forgotten.

A few days ago Pixie brought me one of the heads she found when digging through the craft cabinet. "Can we finish our puppets?" she implored. "Yes, sweetie… I just need to figure out the body part." So this weekend I dug through the scrap fabric and came up with a pattern for the body. I just finished mine… but I promised the kids that they can work on theirs this week now that I have a plan.

Here is part one of paper-mache puppets… Making the Head.

First I will direct you to our Dinosaur Eggs post if you need to go over the basics of paper mache. Once you got the general idea you can see that this project is just a variation of that one.

In this case we used smaller balloons… softball sized. Use good balloons. We had some cheap ones and they keep leaking air and collapsing our heads. I had to un-tie and re-blow up one of the balloons (that was covered in wet paper mache… fun, fun). I’ve never had that problem before when we’ve done the larger eggs.

After we got a couple layers on the balloon we balled up some paper to add the facial details like eyebrow ridges and noses.

Put another layer of paper over the facial details to smooth it all out. Let dry over night.

When dry pop the balloons and pull them out through the hole. Unlike the eggs, you want to leave the hole… in fact you might even need to cut away a bit to make it bigger… about the size of a quarter.


Now you can paint a face on your puppet.

Once that is done and dry, check in for Paper-Mache Puppets Part Two: Making the Body and Part Three: Adding the Hair.

Michelle ~ Wee Folk Art


  1. Fabulous! I just finished a puppet theatre for my girls recently. They would love to make these to go with it! thanks.

  2. I’m a kindergarten teacher searching for fun ideas for next year…this at one time would have seemed so ambitious to try to 20 four-to-six year olds…but I’m more courageous now! This would be so fun. Will get a practice run this summer with my own little ones. Thanks!

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