Hallway Puppet Theater Tutorial

November 06, 2012 |

My favorite projects are projects I have all the supplies for!  Since baby #2 came along, I can count on one hand the number of times I've stepped foot in a craft or fabric store. I used to go all the time and wrestle one child through it, but I just can't bring myself to try to wrestle two!  I'm probably saving loads of money (offset by the cost of child #2!) anyway.  This project was a great scrap buster for me, and it literally took me less than 2 hours.  I wish the picture did it more justice, but none of the hallways in my home have very good natural light, or any light at all.

You will need: 
An old bed sheet, or 3 yards of fabric
Several fabric scraps, about 5" x 5" for the bunting
1/4 yard of lightweight fusible interfacing
2 yards of ric rac
Coordinating thread
2 tension rods that will fit the width of your hallway or doorway

First I measured my hallway, which was 36".  I think this is pretty standard.  Many newer homes with really open floor plans may not have a good hallway spot for a puppet theater, so you could use a doorway instead! I decided on 50" as the finished height.  I figured 50" was taller than most little kids that would be playing behind it.

I used a $3.99 bed sheet from Walmart.  I think I originally bought it a couple of years ago because I was going to make a tent or a teepee - it felt practically free because I've had it for so long.  I added 1" to my finished dimensions (so I cut 2 rectangles that were 37" wide by 51" tall).

Using 1/2" seams, with Right sides together, I sewed around the perimeter of the rectangles like this:
So, I sewed across the top, then measured down 2" before I started sewing down the side.  I left 2.5" at the bottom not sewn. This is to leave openings for your tension rod pockets.  I left the bottom open so I could turn it right side out.

Before turning right side out, I folded the bottom edges up 1/2" and pressed them.  Then turn right side out.  Sew along the bottom to close it up, about 1/4" from the open edge.

My triangle template was 4" wide by 4.5" tall.  Cut triangles from the fusible interfacing.  Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of fabric. When you cut out the fabric triangle, leave about a 1/2" border.

Fold the border towards the back and press.

Lay out the triangles on the puppet theater until you find a layout that you like.  Pin the triangles to the fabric, and sew around the perimeter of the triangles (make sure to skip over any parts that lie over where the tension rod will go through).  Lay your ric rac along the triangle tops, and sew.  Be careful not to sew the ric rac where the rod pocket is at the top!

I wanted my window to be 17" wide by 9" tall, so I cut a square that was 1" smaller in each direction - so the window I cut out was 16" wide by 8" tall.  I also cut the window out of paper first (I used a paper grocery sack), and laid it on the sheet to get the proper placement.

I wanted to fold in 1/2" along each edge of my window so there was a nice, smooth seam, so at each corner, I measured out 1/2" in each direction (see dots).

Then I cut a diagonal slit in the middle of those two dots.

I folded the fabric to the inside, 1/2" and pressed. Then I sewed about 1/4" from the edge, all the way around the perimeter.

Insert your tension rod in the top and bottom pocket, and set up in your hall/doorway.

While some children would actually like to put on a puppet show, others will just want to be a goofball in the window. Let the show begin!


Becky said...

Molly! It is adorable! Love the way you finished the "window."

Kelly M said...

I'm totally making this. Thank you for the tutorial! You always amaze me :-)

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