Make fairy puppets with our printable shadow puppet templates and let your children stage a shadow puppet play, based on myths and folk stories about fairies!
The idea of fairies always appealled to me. In my childhood, I remember dreaming of finding a little person, rather like a small doll, that I could look after. I imagined how I would bathe it, dress it and share my treats with it. I really liked the idea that a crumb of my cake would seem huge to my little friend!
I’m pretty sure that even then I knew that fairies were not real, but the idea seemed promising, and so I kept on dreaming. The theme of fairies kept coming back in my art. One of the first projects I made for this blog was a fairy tree house. It was supposed to be for my son, but I think now that it was really for me. I had so much fun designing fairy furniture from pieces of wood! A few years later, I made a fairy door from craft sticks, again, mostly for the enjoyment of crafting it, and then another one from rocks.
It was when I was working on a fairy lantern that I really thought a lot about fairies. I drew silhouettes of them – one with a flute, a couple dancing in the air, and a few climbing upon mushrooms. Because, when you’re that small, climbing onto a mushroom must be a pretty impressive feat!
The fairies seemed to lead a busy life, but they were glued to the lanterns. That gave me an idea for a set of fairy shadow puppets. Fairy puppets could be moved around. They could go on adventures. There could be stories told about them.
Printable Fairy Puppets
The fairy puppet set is made to inspire open-ended shadow puppet play and storytelling, based around fairies. It includes the silhouettes of six fairies, a snail, two mushrooms, a bunch of flowers, and a lantern.
While making the set, I liked to imagine how they would organize their daily routines and what they would make their everyday objects from. What kind of houses would they live in? Mushroom houses or pumpkin houses? Maybe, they would herd snails and slugs?
Here is their pumpkin house. I actually based it on the fairy pumpkin house we made last year.
My favourite fairy is this snail herder. He has a stalk in his hand for herding small beasties.
But he doesn’t always heard snails. Sometimes he rides them instead.
The real size of the pumpkin house is smaller. It was supposed to act as a background. But by moving it further away from the screen and closer to the source of light, we could make it bigger. Experimenting with light and shadows is an important STEM component to the shadow puppet play!
Here is the pumpkin house in its full scale.
Shadow Puppet Play
So, how to organize a shadow puppet play? It’s quite simple.
A flashlight is enough for a start. Just point the flashlight at the puppet and let it cast shadows on the walls. You can have a bit of shadow puppet play before bedtime every now and again and tell stories with puppets.
If you want to have a proper theatrical performance, add a simple cardboard puppet theatre or invest some time into building a sturdy vintage-inspired theatre from wood. It would be surprisingly easy to spectacular performances at home for friends and family behind a screen of parchment paper!
How to Make Shadow Puppets
If you want to cut the shadow puppets yourself, there are several ways you could go about it. Read a detailed post with a video about it here.
In short, you can cut the shadow puppet patterns using traditional tools (scissors and a hobby knife) or using silhouette cutting machines (Silhouette or Cricut). The first takes a little longer, but doesn’t require any special tools at all. The second is very easy and fast, but requires an investment in a specialized machine. Our designs for shadow puppets are saved in PNG format, so that they can be used for either method.