Begin a new family tradition this Christmas. Stage a Nativity scene shadow puppet play with kids! If you want to win a set, scroll down to participate in a giveaway.
A couple of years ago, I held a poll among my readers, asking what shadow puppet set they’d like to see me create. I got a lot of interesting answers. The one that popped up often was a Nativity scene, which seemed like a great addition to our shadow theatre. So I started to work on it, and this Christmas I’m happy to finally show it.
As a shadow puppet set, the Nativity set is one of my favourites, the other current favourite being Create-a-Fairy-tale set. I was working on them both at the same time and using all the skills I had learnt from making my previous shadow puppets. Granted, the previous ones were all based on 19th C fairy-tales, and I felt like I should use a different style for the Nativity set. The Nativity silhouettes are less frilly and more abstract than the rest of our puppets. Flowing folds of robes contrast with the spiky straw edges of the barn and the manger.
There are many characters in the play, so I tried to choose the essential ones. Depending on how many puppeteers you can enlist, you may want to reduce the amount even more. If we have a shadow puppet show with a screen and there are too many objects involved, I also often adhere a few right to the screen with a double-sided tape. That creates static objects and frees hands.
How to Make Shadow Puppets
Print them on piece of cardstock and cut with manicure scissors and a craft knife. Use a cutting mat or a cutting board. If you print them on a piece of white paper, one side will be black and the other side will be white. It doesn’t influence the quality of shadows! But if it bothers you, you can use a marker to blacken their back sides.
If you have a silhouette cutting machine, that will work too!
For sticks, I use bamboo skewers with the point cut off, attached to the puppets with a piece of tape.
And have the beginning of a new family tradition, with a mysterious shadow play retelling the ancient story of Christmas.
This Christmas, I’d like to share the pleasure of staging a shadow show with you and your children, so I’m giving away one complete Nativity set. The giveaway will run from Dec. 1 until Dec. 11. The winner will get a nativity puppet set shipped to their house before Christmas!
The giveaway is open worldwide.