It’s time I gave my marionettes a place to play! I hope you are ready for an ambitious project today, because this 3D puppet theater is a challenging, but very rewarding build.
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Standing at over 18″ wide and about 17″ tall, this is my largest paper craft project to date! And though I typically try to use cardstock I already have in my stash, I did end up making a special trip to the craft store in order to pick out some extra special material for this one.
If you missed the marionettes I share recently, be sure to check those out. They are designed to fit in the space provided in this 3D puppet theater, and are a fun addition if you don’t have dolls of your own on hand!
- Hot Glue
- Precision Craft Glue or a Glue Stick
- Foam Tape (optional)
- Decorative Ribbon (optional)
- Decorative Gems (optional)
- Bone Folder (optional)
- A Cutting Machine or X-ACTO knife
- My Free Template
How to Make It
1. Use your cutting machine or X-ACTO knife, along with my template, to cut out all of the 3D puppet theater pieces.
Note: If you are using the SVG files that includes the score lines, don’t forget to set them as such in Cricut Design Space and attach them to their shapes before sending them through your cutting machine. I used a lime green color to mark the score lines, so hopefully that helps! If you’re having trouble with the score lines, check out this video.
Prepping All the Pieces
2. Layer together the decorative pieces like so. (Don’t be thrown off by the two pieces pictured in the center/bottom of the first photo. I ended up removing the two longer tabs in the design later on.)
With all the framed pieces in place, attach any matching pieces together (i.e. the left and right side panels, the two center/top pieces, and the two center/bottom pieces).
Next, find the three backdrop walls (three rectangles of the same size, but with the center one having a tab on the left and right side). Attach them together and layer the decorative pieces on top.
Assembling the Front & Sides
3. Attach the left and right side pieces to the front/bottom piece, aligning it with the bottom edge.
Next, attach the top/front piece to the two front columns. Attach the columns to the tabs on the left and right side pieces, as well as the tabs on the front/bottom piece. This will create the framed opening for the stage.
Assembling the Stage
4. Connect the two stage piece together. Use the tabs to connect it to the inside of the front/bottom piece as well as the two side pieces.
Note: I had used the green paper for the stage originally, but I changed my mind later on. Now, in the file, the stage pieces are black and easier to discern from the others. I ended up making my own, black stage later on, in order to add some more contrast.
Next, layer in your curtain pieces using foam tape or hot glue. Start with the center curtain and work outward/down.
Add the two back/bottom pieces on for stability (there is only one tab on these in the finished design, so don’t worry that these look a little different).
5. Finish the structure by attaching the large back wall.
Add some decorative ribbon and gems to the finished theater to give it an even more polished look!
In all honesty, I got the idea for this project before I the idea for the marionettes. But I figured that I couldn’t make a stage and not put anything on it. So, as cute as these guys are, I mostly made them as an excuse to design this over-the-top puppet theater!
I use Adobe Illustrator for all of my designs, and a Cricut Maker to bring my creations to life. For tips on creating fun paper cuts like this one, see the FAQ section on my website. Also, be sure to check out the other fun freebies available on my blog!
Enjoy putting my 3D puppet theater together. And don’t forget to share your elaborate, finished project with me on Instagram!
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