Paper bags have been an arts and crafts standby for years, and making a puppet with your children is one of the most popular activities. Doing this allows your children to be more creative and use their imagination; as an added benefit, you don’t need to spend money on an actual puppet, and the bag itself is completely recyclable.
Unfortunately, though the bag itself can be recycled, what is done to it during the puppetifying process often means that it needs to be sent to landfill. This isn’t done deliberately – people just aren’t aware of what can and can’t be added. That’s why we’ve written this quick guide.
You’ll want to start with a normal paper bag. Lay it down flat with the opening facing towards you, with flap showing at the top. Now is when you’d normally use paint and pens to draw on facial features and clothes, but these often mean that the paper is non-recyclable. Instead, draw on these features using coloured pencils.
You’ll also need to avoid gluing anything on. Gluing can be fun since it makes the puppet more interesting and interactive. Unfortunately, glue is a big no-no in terms of recyclability. If you really need to use extra pieces, just use a small amount of sticky tape instead. This can be peeled off when you need to throw everything away. However, you’re better off just colouring.
You can also make things more interesting by threading yarn though the bag. This is great to do up-top since it gives your puppet a suitable head of hair. Just make small holes and then thread pieces through, using knots at the end to make sure they don’t come out. You can also take advantage of the flap at the bottom of the bag. Try drawing a tongue underneath to give more of a 3D effect!
Your paper bag puppet can be just as fun without making the bag itself unsuitable for recycling, and all it takes is a few simple changes. Just give this new and improved method a shot next time the kids are home during a rainy afternoon.