After Jon and I had been married for a few years Jon’s parents went on a trip to Europe. Knowing our love of theater, puppeteering and European toys in general, they returned home with two pop-up puppets for us. I have loved having them around (as have the boys) and have often looked over at them, and thought, “you know, I really need to make my own version of one of these”. And after I made these Halloween paper mache puppets, I knew right away, I wanted to do a version of these in pop-up form. So for Easter this year, that is just what we did.
TO MAKE THE RABBIT:
1. To get started on this, I created the paper mache rabbit head using the same technique I used in my Halloween puppets. I liked the sort of rough, vintage look of things so I kept the head a little imperfect. If you want to spend time smoothing the paper mache down, you can get a more refined look to yours.
2. When the rabbit head was dry and painted I then cut out a neck hole, making sure it was just slightly larger than the wooden dowel that I would be using to pop this puppet up and down. For this puppet I used a 5/16″ round wooden dowel and cut the length to be 19 3/4″ long.
3. I then stuffed the head with knit fabric (you could also use newspaper) on the sides, and a bit on the top, so that the dowel would fit snugly when it was placed inside the head. I then put gobs of hot glue on the top part of the dowel (about 1 3/4″ from the top) and quickly placed it in the rabbits head. I then let this dry and sit for a few hours.
4. While the head and dowel were drying and setting, I created the salmon pink knit jumper in the same fashion as I did for the cat and pumpkin puppets. I then decided that our little hopper needed a bow tie and created one out of the fabric I would be using for the cone.
5. Once the dowel was securely set in the head, I placed the gathered end of the knit jumper onto the base of the rabbit, and hot-glued it securely to the head and dowel. I then hot glued the bow tie on afterwards (yes, I am kind of obsessed with hot glue – but you could hand sew the bow tie on if you wish). I then let that dry and set while I worked on the cone base.
TO MAKE THE CONE:
(I might suggest making the paper mache head and cone on one day, let them sit overnight and then paint and assemble the puppet on the next day).
FINISHING THE PUPPET:
1 Once the rabbit puppet and cone base were complete, I was ready to assemble it all together. I did so by placing the bottom end of the wooden dowel (with the rabbit head and jumper attached up top) through the cone. I did this by starting at the wide end of the cone and pushing it through the smaller hole at the bottom of the cone.
2. I then, once again, grabbed my hot glue and simply placed a ring of glue on the inside of the top of the cone and glued on the base of the rabbit jumper. I let this dry and sit for a bit.
3. I then added a piece of velvet ribbon around the top of the cone.
4. Let everything sit and dry for a couple of hours.
5. Once everything is set and dry, bring your Littles out and have fun, fun, fun with your new “hop-up” bunny puppet!
And fun, fun, fun is just what the boys had with our new little bunny friend. I love how easy it is for Little O (3) to puppeteer our new friend. He’s really become quite the master.
And little A is quite the fan as well. They love taking turns creating puppet shows for one another.
The possibilities for pop-up creatures are endless and I’d love to have a go at a few more of these. I’m thinking a little bear, a squirrel and an elephant would be so cute.
What sort of creature would you have popping up out of your puppet?