Vintage Inspired Pop-Up Puppet

By craft contributor Caitlin

DIY vintage puppet @yestohoboken

I was wandering through an antique store the other day and I found an adorable vintage pop-up puppet. It was a little out of my price range but I knew it wouldn’t be too hard to make one of my one.

Pop-Up Puppet

So this weekend I tried it out! Once you gather all the items you need, you can whip this project up pretty quickly! It’s the perfect gift to make for or with your little ones!

Keep reading for instructions on making your own pop-up puppet…

vintage pop up puppet

-Cardboard cone (Make sure your dowel will fit through the hole in the bottom or trim the cone so that it will fit.)
-Spray adhesive
-Hot glue gun
-Sewing machine
-Needle & thread
-1.5″ and .5″ wooden balls
-Embroidery thread
-Paint & paint brush

diy pop up puppet

-Use spray adhesive according to directions on the outside of the cardboard cone. Roll fabric onto the cone making sure there are no wrinkles.

pop up puppet

-Trim excess from each side and trim some from the top and bottom, leaving a little bit extra to be folded inside the cone.

vintage puppet

-Hot glue the extra fabric to the inside of the cone at the top and bottom.

pop-up puppet diy

-Cut out a t-shit shape with the fabric folded across the top. Be sure to measure that the bottom will wrap around the outside of the cone and give about 1/4″ for seam allowance. Cut out two mittens and a collar out of the felt.

vintage puppet diy

-Turn your fabric “t-shirt” inside out and put the mittens inside with the thumbs facing up and the flat edge of the mitten right along the seam. (You shouldn’t be able to see them.) Sew along the “arm” and down each side but leave the bottom open.

diy puppet

-Flip the t-shirt right-side out and then you can use hot glue or the spray adhesive to attach the collar.

vintage pop-up puppet

-Sew the buttons along the front of the shirt.

diy puppet

-Hot glue your dowel inside the shirt right in the middle along the top.

vintage puppet diy

-Paint a face on the 1.5″ wooden ball and then you can hot glue the embroidery thread on the top for the hair. I added pom-poms for a little crown! Hot glue the head to the the top of the dowel. You can also drill a hole in the bottom of the wooden ball and push the dowel and fabric into that and glue in place to make it more secure.

pop-up puppet

-Now slide the bottom of your shirt over the top of the cone (and the dowel should go out the bottom of the cone) and glue in place. Then glue the ribbon around the top to hide the unfinished edge of the fabric. Glue the .5″ wooden ball to the bottom of the dowel and you’re done!

Final 6



This looks so familiar to me — I think I had a puppet like this growing up, but had completely forgotten about it. What a great project!

This is delightful. I had all kinds of puppets growing up and they were one of my favorite things.

I found mine at Michael’s! If you search paper mache cone on Amazon you can find quite a few options too.

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