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PVC Puppet Theater Tutorial

Ok, it’s PVC Puppet Theater Tutorial time!  Just to remind you what we’re making, I’ll show you everything again.

PVC Puppet Theater with felt backdrop and velcro scenery!

We’ve got curtains that open and close, revealing a felt backdrop.

PVC Puppet Theater with felt backdrop and velcro scenery!

There are two backdrops that slide back and forth on shower curtain rings.

PVC Puppet Theater with felt backdrop and velcro scenery!

Velcro scenery that sticks to the backdrops and cute little puppets!

PVC Puppet Theater with felt backdrop and velcro scenery!

So fun for the kids to set up in different ways!

PVC Puppet Theater with felt backdrop and velcro scenery!

First off, I always like to give credit where credit is due.  The idea to make a PVC puppet theater came from Tammy at She Wears Flowers.  Go check out her theater tutorial as an alternative to this one.  I actually used it to make a different theater for my niece.  To make my puppet theater you will need 3/4 inch pvc pipe.  I got four 10 foot pipes and then cut them down from there.  So fun to see the guys at the hardware store wondering what the heck a girl is doing with all that pipe!

Here’s your hardware store shopping list:

  • Four 10 foot 3/4 inch pvc pipes cut to the following lengths:
    • 46 inches x 2
    • 36 inches x 4
    •  23 inches x 2
    • 19 inches x 2
    • 12 inches x 4
    • 6 inches x 4
    • 1.5 inches x 2  (You can’t see these in the photo, but they are between the two tee joints on the bottom.)
  • 8 tee joints
  • 4 side out elbow joints
  • 4 end caps
  • PVC pipe cutter

I worked up a couple diagrams to show you how everything fits together.  Here is a printable diagram so you can remember where everything goes after it’s been put away.  I’ll be labeling all of my pipe pieces with letters.  Here is a photo with the lengths labeled.  Not as confusing as it looks, I promise!

PVC Puppet Theater with felt backdrop and velcro scenery!

Here are all of the joints.  Make sure to get ones that are not threaded.

PVC Puppet Theater with felt backdrop and velcro scenery!

To make the rest of the theater, you will need:

  • 1 yard curtain fabric
  • 1 yard bottom fabric
  • 2 feet ribbon
  • velcro
  • 1 yard dark blue or black acrylic felt
  • 1 yard light blue acrylic felt
  • 8 shower curtain rings

Cut your curtain fabric into two 21 x 27 inch rectangles.  Hem one short side and both long sides on each curtain by folding over 1/4 inch and then 1/4 inch again.  Iron both times and sew down the length of your fold.  For the top, short side, iron down 1/2 inch and then another 2 inches and sew close to the bottom fold.  This will make a casing to slide the curtains over the pole.

Cut your ribbon in half and fuse the ends to prevent fraying (I like to use a lighter).  Sew the ribbon to the back of each curtain about 13 inches from top.  Add a small piece of velcro to the part that you just sewed down and another to the other side of the ribbon.

This makes it easy for the kids to tie back the curtains.

To make the bottom part of the show, cut a rectangle of fabric 36 x 32 inches.  Hem both of the shorter sides  folding over 1/4 inch twice.  Make a casing on the longer sides by folding over 1/2 inch and another 2 inches.

Hold everything up to your puppet theater to make sure everything is going to fit right before you sew.

For the backdrops, cut your felt into 23 x 35 inch rectangles.  I just took a hole punch and punched four holes into the felt.  You will need to stitch around the holes to reinforce them.  I didn’t want to do a lot to make the backdrops fancy because I know they are going to get messed up with all of that velcro going on and off of it.  Using acrylic felt makes it cheap and easy to replace.

I’m still working on the patterns for the backdrop pieces and puppets, but I’ll get those up soon.  Until then, get to work on your puppet theater!  **edit: you can find the patterns for the scenery and puppets here.**

PVC Pipe Puppet Theater
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Danielle L Desjardin

Wednesday 6th of November 2019

I love this idea! I spent a lot of time looking for the perfect diy puppet theater for our son who turns 3 on Monday. He loves playing with the puppet theater at the library but I didn't want a small tabletop one like theirs. Your plans were fantastic! They were also extremely clear which made buying supplies plus building really easy and stress free. The only change we made to the design was making the four 6" pvc actually four 12". This allowed our boys more room to move in between the backdrop and front. I also added two small side curtains to hide the boys while they put on a show. I can't wait to look further into everything else you have posted on your site for ideas! Thank you for taking the time and effort to put together these great tutorials!

Jessica @ Cutesy Crafts

Thursday 12th of December 2019

I'm so glad it was helpful, and I love your additions!

Brenda

Thursday 25th of July 2019

I love this idea! Have been looking at it for some time now. I think I want to use it as a double backdrop for prom, weddings and parties. What do you think??

Jessica @ Cutesy Crafts

Wednesday 31st of July 2019

You could, but you would probably have to make it much larger.

Bailey

Saturday 2nd of June 2018

This is adorable! Totally making this for my niece!

Jessica @ Cutesy Crafts

Saturday 2nd of June 2018

Thank you! She's going to love it!

Noah Rogers

Tuesday 10th of January 2017

This is fantastic! I was looking to make several of these for our church, as we didn't want to make them out of wood (as another poster mentions - splinters mainly). We were going to build a different version from a plan we found online, but this might be better for us. Thanks for taking the time to put this together! We will put it to use.

Jessica @ Cutesy Crafts

Tuesday 10th of January 2017

You're welcome! So glad that you are able to use it. I love the PVC pipe because you can take it apart and store it!

Jaclyn Karabinas

Monday 19th of December 2016

This is perfect! I was going to build one out of wood for my daughter for Christmas but this makes SO MUCH more sense. THANK YOU!!!

Jessica @ Cutesy Crafts

Thursday 29th of December 2016

Yes, much easier than using wood! Glad you found it useful. :)

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