Join us for the next Festival: January 15-26, 2025

46 Great Things to Do This Winter: How To’s For the aspiring comedians, storytellers, and puppeteers

Blair Thomas, artistic director of the inaugural Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival (January 14 to 25) and cofounder of Redmoon, shares three easy steps for silhouette fun.

Shadow puppet illustration 1
1. Trace a photo of someone onto a thin piece of cardboard and cut out the shape.

Illustrations: David Preiss


Shadow puppet illustration 2
2. Detach one of the arms at the shoulder and reattach with a string.


Shadow puppet illustration 3
3. Glue a Popsicle stick onto the back, attach another with a string to the end of the arm, and—presto!—you’ve got a shadow puppet. Make a few more, hang a bed sheet in a doorway, and use a flashlight or bare light bulb to stage a show.