Collage Animal Marionettes

Children make marionettes from TP rolls , tissue paper, and painted beads.

Last summer in art camp, we made marionettes! I have a big bin full of TP rolls, so I went on Pinterest in search of something to make with them. I found that several different bloggers had made marionettes from their TP rolls. The crafty Maggy at Red Ted Art has made four different marionettes if you can believe it: a dachshund, a giraffe, a unicorn, and a bird. The crafty mom behind the blog Badut made another stunning bird marionette, (her blog is in another language but you can see from the photos how it was made). Then there is this horse marionette from Home Adventurer, this very cute pegasus from Life with Moore Babies, and this darling puppy from Parents Magazine.

Of course, we added our own twist with the collaging and painted beads. I was so happy with the way these tissue paper animals turned out!! They are so colorful, and I love that they aren’t one animal in particular. They can be any animal your child might have in mind! What a great toy for imaginary play.

Children make marionettes from TP rolls , tissue paper, and painted beads.

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Supplies needed:

~ toilet paper rolls (I think the white ones are from the Cottonelle brand)

~ colored tissue paper (you can buy squares, or buy larger and cut up yourself)

~ white glue

~ pony beads

~ wooden beads

~ straws

~ liquid watercolors

~ twine or yarn

~ hole punch

~ craft sticks

~ duct tape

Children make marionettes from TP rolls , tissue paper, and painted beads.

Children make marionettes from TP rolls , tissue paper, and painted beads.

Children make marionettes from TP rolls , tissue paper, and painted beads.

Process:

~ Each child got one full roll and one half roll. They collaged their two pieces with the tissue paper and white glue. I poured the glue into bowls and gave them brushes to use. This technique is a little less cumbersome than squeezing from a bottle.

~ We let the tubes dry overnight.

Children make marionettes from TP rolls , tissue paper, and painted beads.

~ The next day the kids came back to finish their marionettes. Before they arrived, I strung some white twine through some holes that I had made. I used the tutorial from Parents Magazine to figure all of this out.

Children make marionettes from TP rolls , tissue paper, and painted beads.

~ Each child got four wooden beads. They painted these first and then beaded their legs with pony beads while the wooden beads were drying.

Children make marionettes from TP rolls , tissue paper, and painted beads.

Children make marionettes from TP rolls , tissue paper, and painted beads.

Children make marionettes from TP rolls , tissue paper, and painted beads.

~ I cut the straws into four pieces and each of them got one piece for the neck.

~ I also made the craft stick holder, again using the Parents Magazine tutorial.

Children make marionettes from TP rolls , tissue paper, and painted beads.

Here they are hanging up for the parents to see at pick up. I love them!

Children make marionettes from TP rolls , tissue paper, and painted beads.

I couldn’t stop photographing them, they were so colorful and pretty.

YouTube video of children making marionettes from TP rolls, tissue paper, and painted beads.

Here is a short video where two of the children play with their marionettes. It was so cute because they told a story of two friends, and they never even said a word the whole time! They just instinctively knew what to do. Kids are so smart.

Children make marionettes from TP rolls , tissue paper, and painted beads.

I hope you give these a try, they are not nearly as intimidating as they look! If you do, then tag me on Instagram at @artbarblog.

xo, Bar

PS: Here is my Beginner Art Supply list, and my Favorite Craft Supply list, if you need help knowing what to buy to fill your kids’ art area.

PSS: Follow me on Instagram to see what I’m up to at the moment, and Facebook for tons more creative and artsy ideas.