Saturday, December 11, 2010

Paper Bag Santa Puppets

Here is another Christmas craft we did this week. And here was the major lesson that I learned: This activity is too hard for 2-year-olds! Yes, soon after we began the Paper Bag Santa Puppet craft, it became clear that I had overestimated their abilities. I had planned to put the glue on for them, so that they just had to place and push each item onto where I pointed. I broke each step up, and was very clear and visual in my instructions. I even did the first step myself, before starting the craft with them. It was still too difficult.

Aidas and L. working on the puppets while the others were still napping.

I realize I should probably know better than to try a formal craft with children this age. I guess I just got overzealous because of all the fun crafts that come to mind in the Christmas season. So...basically, it was ME who made some fantastic Santa puppets today!

Doesn't L.'s face say it all?

I have decided to go ahead and post the instructions for this because it is a really great craft for older children, perhaps 3 years old and up? I have modified the original instructions to suit a child who can do more of the parts himself.

It is helpful to complete a Santa puppet yourself, first. This way, the children have a model. They have a general idea of what their puppet should look like and will understand better when you are giving them instructions.

Here are the instructions for making one puppet.

  • brown paper bag (large size) 
  • red construction paper
  • black foam (or black construction paper)
  • Elmer's white faux fur 
  • large googly eyes 
  • Aleene's Tacky Glue
  • school glue 
(Note: All of these items are available at Walmart)


Black foam cutout:  rectangle measuring 5 and a half inches across, and 1 inch down

Faux fur cutouts: 
  • pompom - circle measuring 2 inches in diameter
  • hat trim - rectangle measuring 6 inches across and 2 inches down
  • beard - crest shape measuring 6 inches across (The length is up to you. I made an opening for Santa's mouth about 1 inch from the top. To do this, just fold the beard in half after you have cut it out. Then, cut out a triangle shape on the folded side by making two small cuts: one across, and one diagonally up.) See image below:

Red construction paper cutouts: 
  • body - rectangle measuring 5 and a half inches by 10 inches)
  • hat - measuring 6 and a half inches across - make the end of the hat, where the pom pom will go, half an inch wide (The shape is really up to you. I made the hat rise up a few inches, then curved the top over in a semi-circle shape, LIKE THIS:) - scanned image

  1. Place the brown paper bag on the table with the flap facing the child, and at the top. Flip the flap back, and glue (using the school glue) the 'body' just under the crease. (The child will probably need your help to hold the flap back while she is gluing.) The part below the flap should now be covered with red construction paper.
  2. To give Santa a hat, spread a line of school glue horizontally across the top of the flap. Press the bottom of the hat onto the glue.
  3. Spread some Tacky Glue all the way across the bottom of the hat, and press the fur trim on.
  4. Dab a bit of Tacky Glue onto the tip of the hat, and press the fur circle on.
  5. Glue two googly eyes onto the flap of the bag, just below the fur trim of the hat. (school glue)
  6. Spread a line of Tacky Glue along the bottom of the flap, and press the top of the beard onto it.
  7. Lastly, give Santa a belt by gluing the foam horizontally just below the middle of the 'body'. (Tacky Glue)
Your Santa should look something like this:


    1. How fun! Thank you for the clear, detailed instructions, too.
      Merry Christmas,

    2. Thanks, Nancy! Have a Merry Christmas!