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Dowel Puppets

Put on a puppet show with fun dowel puppets that kids will love to color!

A kid having fun with fun dowel puppets

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

A few hours

Estimated Cost


Tools and Materials


  • Handsaw
  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Glue
  • Markers for coloring puppets


  • 10" x 12" white adhesive shelf liner, #223760
  • 2 - 1/4"-diameter x 36" oak round dowel, #19416
  • Valspar interior/exterior gloss white brushing enamel, half pint, #46140

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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Project Resources


Step 1

Cut each dowel into three equal lengths using a hand saw. Paint the dowels white.

Step 2

Print out the puppet patterns. Cut the stencils out roughly, leaving space all around the animal. Don't worry about following the shape yet! Cut out twelve pieces of shelf liner approximately the same shape and size as the untrimmed stencils.

Step 3

Glue the stencils to the non-sticky side of six pieces of shelf liner.

Step 4

Once the glue is dry, cut the bottom edge of each puppet so it's flat. Color the puppets with colored markers.

Step 5

Remove the backing from the colored puppets and adhere to the dowels. Then, remove the backing from the other trimmed pieces of paper and adhere to the back of each dowel puppet. The sticky sides should meet at the dowel. Trim any excess paper around the puppet.

Step 6

kids coloring the dowel puppets

Have the kids cut around the puppet outlines. Then they're ready to perform!