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Making Rod Puppets

Rod puppets are held above your head on a rod, or stick. A rod puppet can be a very simple cutout on a stick or have several moving parts controlled by additional smaller sticks. With a little experimenting, you'll come up with a puppet that looks just right!


  • pencil
  • tagboard
  • thin rods made of straightened coat hangers or wood dowels
  • scissors
  • strong tape
  • hole punch
  • paper fasteners
  • markers, paints, and fabrics


  1. Draw the character on a piece of tagboard.
  2. Decide what parts of the puppet must move. Cut out the figure and the movable parts.
  3. Use paper fasteners to connect the movable parts of the puppet.
  4. Use strong tape to attach a rod to the back of the puppet. Add a rod to the back of each movable part so that you can control it. A very long puppet, such as a snake, can be controlled with one rod for the head and another for the tail.
  5. Add yarn for hair, paint facial features, and add any other decorations needed to complete your puppet.

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