17 Mar 2014

Shadow Puppet Crafting Tips

Shadow Puppet Crafting  (for the Overhead Projector)

Tools : : :
-exacto blades & mats to cut on 

-pencils & pens 
-needle­nose pliers & wire cutters

Materials (mostly found in the recycling): : : :

-cardboard (cereal boxes for small puppets & corrugated for larger) colorful translucent plastics (plastic bags, fruit holders, theatre gels, transparencies etc...)

-material for textures (fluff, scrap fabrics, rubber bands, twigs from the forest etc...)

-clear tape !!! (
use clear tape, not scotch. also, we don’t like to use wet glue for puppets on the overhead projector (it takes too long to dry) or glue gun (it leaves smudges on the projector).    

-wire (steel or copper)

-clear plastic sheets 

Here’s a few ideas for crafting shadow puppets. 

FYI,  None of these is “the right way” to make a puppet, we encourage people to experiment!!! and come up with their own ideas.

Basic Shadow Puppet Design:
1. Draw something on cardboard (can be any size~ 1⁄2 an inch to 4 feet long) 2. Cut it out (exacto on a mat)
3. Attach a wire (bend both ends of the wire into small spirals before attaching) For larger puppets you can use a chopstick or dowel instead of a wire.
Add color and interesting textures! 

Moving Parts:
You can use a small piece of wire to make a joint by spiraling one end, poking it through, then spiraling the other end. Flatten both spiralled ends of the wire against the puppet. You can also make a joint with thread or floss, knotted at the front and back. To make the movement work best, you need one fixed handle (wire, stick or cardboard) attached to the body of the puppet, and one movable handle (wire or a strip of clear plastic) attached to the moving part.
You can also experiment with flexible materials to create moving parts. Cloth, rubber bands and shredded plastic all have interesting movement possibilities. 

1. Use a piece of cardboard slightly larger than the projector surface 2. Cut out an empty space of any shape you want with an exacto Frames let the screen have a different shape ­ think outside the box!

1. Get a 4 inch wide strip of cardboard, at least as long as the projector surface (or longer) 2. Decorate it with whatever landscape you’d like
The landscape can sit at the bottom of the image for puppets to walk along, and you can experiment with pulling it up to see underground, turning it over when gravity stops working, etc... 

You can use photocopies of images, or you can make marks on a sheet of clear plastic. You can use overhead projector pens, ink, paint or whatever you want to try. Most paint and some ink

appears grayish or black no matter what color it is. Paint or draw something while projecting! Scratch or wipe it away! Good times!
You can also attach colours a transparent sheet to create settings with more depth and texture. 

Messy Stuff:
Try a glass pan with materials in it on the projector for different effects. Careful not to spill! Some of the materials we have tried: water, soap, molasses, food coloring, thinly sliced fruit, sand, flour, etc... 

Special Effects:
Some things reflect light in an interesting way. Experiment with sequins, shiny materials, etc... 

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