How To: Shadow Puppet Box

Here's a fun and easy DIY. It's a creative way for kids to come up with stories and act them out or even just to learn about shadows and how they work.

You can use this with or without a backlight (or just some twinkle lights, a battery-operated candle, etc). If using without a light, you'll need a brightly lit space.



  • cardboard box (like a snack food box)
  • white tissue paper or kite paper
  • paint
  • skewers
  • black construction paper
  • tape
  • glue
  • scissors
  • box cutter blade
  • ruler
  • battery operated light (optional)


1) Draw a decent-sized window on one side of the box. Use your ruler to get the edges straight and then cut out this window with your box cutter (be super careful! Don't let kids do this part). You'll also want to cut the edge off of one side of the box so you have space to insert your shadow puppets.






2) Paint the box however you want! I used black paint but you can do whatever you like best. Let it dry completely before moving onto the next step.




3) Cut a piece of tissue or kite paper to fit into the box and glue it onto the window opening. You'll want to make sure there's a bit of overhang otherwise you won't be able to glue it down.




4) Now that the shadow box is done, it's time to make the puppets! Grab some cookie cutters, or you can free-hand some shapes instead if you'd prefer! I used the Gluckskafer mini animal shape cutters from the shop. Trace your shapes onto the black construction paper and cut them out.




5) Tape the skewers onto your cut-out shapes. And you're done! Now your shadow puppet box is ready to play with! Make up all the stories, and let your creativity run wild!



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