How to Make Lion, Rat and Beetle Puppets

Create lion, rat and beetle puppets using paper bags or recycled materials. Paper bags can be used to make all sorts of animal puppets including cows, pigs, bears, owls and dogs. Plastic bottles can be reused to create beetle puppets and can be painted and decorated as desired. Juice bottles are best for creating such puppets as they can fit the hands of both adults and children. Smaller plastic bottles can be used to create finger puppets and as materials for larger puppets.

Cut out a lion mane from yellow construction paper. Use the scissors to make a large square hole in the middle of the mane. Cut one side for slipping the mane on the bottom of the bag to create the face; the side that's cut can be glued or taped back together.

Take another paper bag and use it to cut out ears and arms. Cut nose, eyes and claws from black construction paper. Pink construction paper can be used to make the inner ears and cut white construction paper to make teeth.

Glue claws to the arms before applying arms to the bag. Follow by gluing the arms to the front half of the bag's side pleats. Attach the ears to each corner of the face (the bottom of the bag) and glue teeth under the face.

Glue on the eyes and nose. Allow to dry.

Fold the two square edges of the of bottom of the paper bag under to form the rat's pointed head. Glue to keep edges in place.

Cut a nose and inside of the ears from grey and pink construction paper. Use grey construction paper to form whiskers and the ears. White and black construction paper is used to make the eyes.

Glue the ears to each corner of the paper bag (the bottom). When dry glue the inside of the ears. Finish by gluing on the whiskers, nose and eyes. Allow to dry.

Take an empty plastic bottle (minus the lid) and cut a large hole big enough to fit your hand through in the bottom. Cut a slit up the side of the bottle to the middle of the bottle and cut a hole in the middle side. This hole will be where your fingers go to make "bug legs." Use the scissors to round all sharp edges.

Use a black marker to draw on the bottle. You can follow the indents in the bottle or make your own designs. Cut out the upper front of the bottle to make a mouth. Cut the top part only from this section and leave the bottom part so it hinges down, which will create movement in the mouth when using the puppet.

Brush pink paint on the inside of the bottle so you can still see the marker lines you made. Use yellow paint to make designs on the bottle's inside as well. Let the paint dry for about 20 minutes. Then use blue paint to colour the entire inside of the bottle. Do not worry about painting over the pink and yellow paint as it has already dried.

Cut out two wings from a small plastic water bottle. Cut an oval shape into each side of the water bottle to make wings. Paint the wings any colour you like. Paint on the inside of the wings so the paint will not chip off if the puppet brushes against something. Let the wings dry for about 30 minutes.

Poke a hole in the top of each wing and make holes in the sides of the body where you want the wings to go. Put the metal brads through the holes in the wings and fit the wings into the holes on the sides of the bottle. Open the brads from the inside. Take two black pom poms and use them as eye pupils and two white pom as the whites of the eyes; glue both eyes above the mouth. Take a pink pipe cleaner and wrap it around the top of the bottle to make antennae and shape as desired.


For the beetle puppet: you can draw wings on the small plastic water bottle before cutting them out. You can also put the first wing cut on top of the bottle to use as a pattern to make the second wing. Wear a black glove when using the puppet to create beetle legs.


Keep scissors and glue away from small children.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper bags
  • Construction paper in assorted colours
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Markers
  • Large clear plastic bottle
  • Small clear plastic bottle
  • Two small black pom poms
  • Two white pom poms
  • Paint brush
  • Yellow paint
  • Pink paint
  • Dark blue paint
  • Pink pipe cleaner
  • Black marker
  • Two metal brads
  • Brown glove
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About the Author

Kent Page McGroarty has worked as a writer since 2006, contributing numerous articles to various websites. She is a frequent contributor to the health and fitness sections of the online magazine EDGE Publications and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Saint Joseph's University.