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Put on a Puppet Show in a Pumpkin

This easy kids' project turns a plain pumpkin into a fun, interactive puppet theater full of gourd characters.

Kids playing with puppets in a pumpkin theater

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

Few hours

Estimated Cost


Tools and Materials


  • Paints or markers
  • Carving tool, such as a knife or Dremel


  • Pumpkin
  • Small gourds
  • 24-pack red shop towels, #509269
  • Madison Mill 1/4"-in x 36-in oak round dowel, #509269

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Step 1

Draw the stage shape on the pumpkin and carve it out. Use the photo as a rough guide to the shape and adjust based on the size of your pumpkin.

Step 2

Clean out the inside of the pumpkin.

Step 3

Carve a second hole in the back of the pumpkin. This is the backstage -- you will move the puppets around through this hole.

Step 4

Make the puppets. Paint faces on the gourds; stick dowels in the bottoms of the gourds (trim the dowels so the puppets are small enough to fit in the opening of the pumpkin).

Step 5

Cut the shop towels slightly larger than the opening for the stage, and then cut it in half down the middle to create two curtains. Cut a dowel that fits across the top of the stage and can be wedged inside the pumpkin. Glue the fabric to the dowel, and place it inside the pumpkin.

Step 6

A pumpkin theater play in action

To use the theater, put the puppets through the back opening. Let the play begin!