Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Family Theater

Family Theater

This spring cleaning has at the very least cleared up all my homemade Christmas posts. Nothing like catching up from 5 months ago. It has actually taken me that long to return back to my craft space as well. Sometimes when I get into overload craft mode I need a break. I usually head to the comfy side of the couch with a good book.

Here is the last of the holiday crafting. A puppet theater was in need around here and I decided to give it a go. I looked at lots of designs on-line and most of them made me wonder the same will that little fabric window hold its shape when being played with. I imagined inserting wooden dowels and the like...but in the end decided that a simpler style would work better for me. 

If you can make a square curtain you can make this theater. All I needed that I didn't have at home was three tension rods. I had yards and yards of the purple fabric from an old closet curtain project (lucky me I had already finished the edges). 
Please pardon the cruddy pictures - next time it is up I will try to get a new pic - and maybe one without the vacuum cleaner in the window!
Once you have the tension rods all you need to do is create the three "curtains"

1 - BOTTOM CURTAIN: This is just a flat panel of fabric with the edges finished. You can fold over and do hems or you could use double sided bias tape.

2 - TOP CURTAINS: This is essentially the same as the bottom curtain - except that you would cut it in half lengthwise and make two smaller curtains. This way the puppeteer can slide the curtains in opposite directions. this is especially good as you can now accommodate just about any size puppet - you will have no window hole to puppet size ratio problems.

3 - FINISHING CURTAIN - This is actually another curtain I had hanging around from an old apartment. In those days storage was limited so I had a lot of things tucked away on an old bookshelf...since I didn't want it all visible I made curtains on tension rods to hide some of the "stuff" behind. 

I just took the white curtain (which you can make as plain or fancy as you want) and had it embroidered with our theater name.  Since I work in the promotional field as a day job I took this piece to our embroidery department at work (which is lucky for me run by my mother - who never refuses a project for LittleA). You could do the same at a mall embroidery booth, or with applique letters or just puff paint and fabric markers. If you are really skilled you could probably just do the embroidery work yourself.

* Remember that each curtain piece needs to have a rod pocket so that you can install the tension rod when done.

* Feel free to add trims and sparkles as you wish. I used the purple pom-pom ric-rac to add some color to the plain white curtain piece.

* Another idea I have is to attacha piece of white fabric sheet with either Velcro or another tension rod. This way we could shine a light from behind and use the same piece to do shadow puppet theater.

LittleA received some really fun puppets for Christmas from family members who knew she was getting the theater. She has a big hairy monster, a ballerina, and a wolf. She also has some finger puppets that have been around for awhile. But she has even used just her regular stuffed animals to put on shows. I just love hearing her change her voice for all the players. 

If you make a theater - be ready to get in on the action. As much as LittleA likes to put on plays - she always requests to see one as well!

1 comment:

Jess said...

it looks great! i've been wanting to make a puppet theatre like this for the longest time - i even have the three tension rods sitting around, and a bunch of puppets. just need to get sewing... i love the embroidery.