Kids LOVE puppets, and hand puppets are one of the best ways to keep them entertained on a rainy day.
They’re also easy to DIY!
Here’s a list of my favorite hand puppets that you can make. Some are great for kids to make independently, some are perfect to make side-by-side with your favorite little one, and some are works of art that you can make in secret and surprise a kiddo with at the next holiday!
1. Basic hand puppet pattern. This is the simplest hand puppet pattern, which really means that it’s also the best! You can use this pattern with paper or fabric, felt or tons of unusual materials, and its clean form will allow you to embellish it to turn it into absolutely anything.
2. Crocheted princess hand puppet. Those of you who crochet can make these beautiful princess hand puppets, thanks to the full tutorial that’s provided.
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3. Crocheted unicorn hand puppet. If you’re going to crochet a princess, you should probably crochet her a pet unicorn, too, don’t you think?
4. Crocheted woodland hand puppets. And if your princess and unicorn are going to be romping in the woods, they probably need some woodland creatures to romp with, yes?
5. Felt parrot puppet. I haven’t actually seen the movie that this project is based on, but you don’t need to, because the parrot puppet is perfect just as it is.
6. Sock puppets. Sock puppets are the gold standard of hand puppets. This tutorial teaches you the basics of making a sock puppet–the creativity is up to you!
7. Horse sock puppet. Here’s one embellishment that will come in handy–turn that sock puppet into a horse!
8. Professional-style puppet. If the puppet that you want to build is more Muppet than sock, then you want to check out this tutorial series on building real, professional puppets.
9. Waldorf-style glove puppet. Here’s a true work of art that you could make for a kid you love. These Waldorf-style (don’t know what that means? Here’s an example of a Waldorf doll I made once upon a time!) glove puppets are highly detailed and made entirely from natural materials.
10. Kid-friendly sock-puppet. Here’s how to make sock puppet-making even more kid-friendly!
11. Bunny puppets. I LOVE these bunny hand puppets–they’re so simple and yet so sweet! The keys to such beautiful puppets are 1) the high-quality wool felt and 2) the hand sewing and embroidery.
12. Fleece hand puppets. Fleece is another fabric that cuts and sews just as well as felt and makes a great substitute.
13. Nativity hand puppets. Need to put on a puppet show of the Nativity, and you need a full cast of characters? Here are patterns for the full stable and all the people.
14. Star Wars paper bag puppets. Other than the googly eyes, these Star Wars paper bag puppets are completely recyclable!
15. Sweater puppet. Let THEE Martha Stewart show you how to use old sweater scraps and felted wool pieces to craft a hand puppet.
16. Wooden spoon ladybug puppet. You can make this simple stick puppet from any disposable spoon, whether it’s wooden, bamboo, or plastic, although it looks best with natural materials as a base.
17. Sock giraffe. This is the cutest giraffe puppet that you’ll ever see–do you have a brown sock to make it with?
18. Felt rat puppet. Although this puppet requires some sewing, felt is super easy to work with.
19. Zoo animal puppets. After you get that rat finished, it’s time to move on to the rest of the zoo animals!
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20. Fuzzy sock puppet. If you don’t want your sock puppet to look like it’s made from, well… socks, use fuzzy socks!
21. Googly eyes on puppets. Store-bought googly eyes are made of plastic, and even DIY versions typically use ping-pong balls. Here’s a way to make googly eyes that uses natural materials!
22. Paper dog hand puppets. I’ve shown you a lot of sewn puppets here, but these are made out of good old paper!
23. Paper beetle hand puppets. If you like crafting with paper, you’ll also like these beetles, which can be colored any way you please to make any kind of beetle you fancy.
24. Sock puppet masterpiece. If you’re wondering how an adult could make a sock puppet that’s more work of art than kid craft, then here’s your answer! This sock puppet is gorgeous, functional, and best of all has a complete tutorial to make one of your own.
Do you know of any great tutorials for DIY hand puppets? If so, please share them in the Comments below!
P.S. Need even more ideas for gifts for little ones? Check out all of these handmade baby gift ideas!