One of my New Year’s resolutions this year was to take a greater plunge into woodworking. I have dabbled into it here and there but never really got completely hooked. When it all comes down to it though, it’s a lot like sewing. A bunch of precise measurements, cutting (okay, one is with a saw) and hard work (oh yeah and muscles). So…they may not be exactly the same but hey, if I could teach myself to sew I could teach myself to chop some wood. I called up my woodworking buddy Damon and we got to work. You can get almost all the supplies at Home Depot and you don’t need any crazy power tools. Sound easy enough?
Keep reading for the step-by-step tutorial for how to make a Wooden Tabletop Puppet Theater…
Wooden Puppet Theater
First, you need 4 pieces of 1×6 inch wood cut to 24 inches and one piece cut to 24 3/4 inches. Also, get yourself one piece of Solid Wood Egg and Dart Casing (13/16″ x 2-1/2″x RL) cut to 21 3/4 inches. We cut it ourselves, but you can get it all cut for you at Home Depot. Buy some of these nails and a hammer.
Gather together your 1×6 inch wood cut to 24 3/4 inches and your Egg and Dart Casing. Cut down 2 pieces of 1×2 inch wood to 19 1/4 inches.
Sand down the edges.
Prime all the pieces. You should use a primer and paint with little to no VOC as a healthier and safer option.
After they are done drying paint them your desired color.
Now, lay out those 4 pieces of 1×6 inch wood. Using a fabric spray adhesive coat one side of the wood and lay a piece of fabric over it. We chose to use Cosmo Cricket Circa 1934, Novelty Dots Gold from Fabricworm. You want the fabric to be at least 2 inches wider and longer than the wood, but exact measurements are not vital as long as it’s larger than the wood.
Glue them down.
Position your 4 pieces of fabric covered wood like this (I didn’t use the fabric pieces of wood so that you could get a good glimpse of exactly how they should be positioned). Positioning them this way will keep the theater nice and strong.
Nail the pieces together on each side in 3 places.
When it’s all together it should look like this. Messy, I know. We’re about to get to that.
Take a razor blade and cut around one face of the box. Cut away all the fabric.
It will end up looking like this. See how the other side still has all the dangling fabric?
Flip the theater over. Set the 24 3/4 inch piece of painted wood at the bottom. Hammer it down.
Take the 2 pieces of 19 1/4 inch wood and set them on the side. Hammer them down. That piece of wood in the middle of the theater is the Egg and Dart Casing flipped over to dry. Set it on top and hammer down.
The fabric will still be loosely hanging on the edge. Take the razor blade and snip it off now.
Prime the outside of the box. You could technically paint all of it at the very beginning but we chose to do it once it was all assembled.
Paint it all over.
Now for the curtains. Cut two pieces of burlap to 12 1/2 x 19 inches.
Fold the top over about 1 1/2 inches and pin down. Choose a preferred color of embroidery thread.
Sew it down and thread your mini tension rod through. You can also get this mini tension rod at Home Depot.
Leave your curtains as is or decorate them. I used felt, scrap fabrics, My Mind’s Eye for Riley Blake, So Sophie, Dots Blue and Sandi Henderson Secret Garden, Garden Tapestry Speckle to make the flowers and bird. Then, I hot glued it down. You could also sew it all down. Set the curtains behind the egg and dart casing and you’re ready for your first performance!