Sheep Puppet Craft

Sunday, March 29, 2020

I am so head over heels for these little sheep. I have seen other marionettes like this on the internet, but I've never seen a sheep one. I figured since March is supposed to be "out like a lamb," this was the perfect craft for right now. We are under a tornado watch as I write this, though, so I'm not sure March got the memo.

T.P or Paper Towel Roll
Cotton Balls
School Glue
Black Paint, Marker, or Crayon

1. Cut holes in your cardboard tube.
Fold your tube in half, add two holes to the top and 4 to the bottom. The bottom holes will not be centered, leaving space for the head. For a better explanation, please look at the pictures below. Do not be afraid to draw guides, this will all be covered up. Folding the tube might leave it an oval shape, but that's okay! The oblong face shape actually looks more like a sheep!

2. Cut out the head, ears, and legs.
Trace the front end of the tube (the end with just one hole) on a piece of paper. Add tabs to your drawing, then cut it out. This piece will cover one end of the tube to make a face. For the ears you want to draw one ear shape with a tab on the top, then fold the paper in half and cut through both layers at the same time, giving you two ears that are the exact same shape.
You will also want to cut your straws, which will be your legs, at this time. I ended up liking the legs that were about 2 inches long the best.

3. It's time to make our sheep's face black! 
Paint the front end of the sheep up past the first set of leg holes.  Then paint both sides of the face and the ears.

4. Add the strings. 
When you cut your string for the legs, make sure they are double your straw length plus at least 5 inches. You will also need a very long string (at least 2 feet) that you will thread through the top two holes to create the puppet strings.
Thread the long string through the top and the shorter strings through the holes across from each other on the bottom.
To add the straws that make the legs, you will need to thread a straw through one leg, then tie multiple knots, and check that the straw doesn't slip off when tugged before trimming the end. Be sure to leave enough room for the leg to move when the cotton is attached, I left about an inch of string between the straw and the cardboard tube. Repeat this process with the other side of the string, checking to make sure you have left enough room on both legs before you trim. Add all four legs, then it's time to make this sheep fluffy!

5. Time to glue! 
Kids will love this part because, to get the cotton to stick, the more glue the better. I found that if you pull apart the cotton balls prior to attaching them to the tube the wool looks much more realistic. Glue as close as you can to the strings, but make sure not to cover the hole completely. I was even able to stretch cotton over the back end of the sheep, which makes for a cuter project.
When all of that is done and partially dry, it's time to add the face. Put glue on the tabs and then attach them to the sides. you'll have to hold these in place for a while. Then add the ears to the top.

6. Tie the strings onto a straw (or stick) and you're done! 
I added notches to my straw to give the string something to grip. See-saw the stick back and forth to make this he sheep walk!

I let Ro test the sheep when it was done, and he got a kick out of making the sheep dance. From an adult's perspective, I like that this craft has a rustic vibe without being too over the top. I feel like it's one of those toys that could also double as a decoration. It took me about a half hour to complete, and then at least another half hour for the glue to dry completely.

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