How To Make A Cereal Box Puppet (even if you have no craft supplies!) + an Ethel Merman Impression

I was gifted with 32 miniature boxes of cereal, which immediately threw me back into the summer vacations of my childhood. My mother used to pick up packs of miniature cereal boxes as a treat when we were at the lake. I didn't love it because of the cereal, though. I loved it because it meant I could make puppets out of the cereal boxes.

I have no idea if I made this up or if someone taught me how, but it turns out that it’s still a lot of fun 30 years later, even if you find out that you’re completely out of glue, construction paper, or any other serviceable craft supplies.

How To Make A Cereal Box Puppet
(even if you have no craft supplies!)

One: Get a miniature cereal box

Get yourself a miniature box of cereal. My cereal boxes came in a variety pack, so I chose to destroy a box of raisin bran, because bran turns my guts into cement and raisins are evil. If you hate the cereal inside the box you are destroying, too, feel free to take perverse pleasure in it. It’s not weird. Really. I just did it.

Two: Saw through the front and sides

Use a serrated knife to saw the box through the middle width-wise. Take care only to saw through the cardboard on the front and sides of the box, because you need the back side of the box to remain intact.

Three: Empty the box

Empty the box of all of its contents, including the plastic liner.

Four: Fold the box in half

Fold the box in half and press a tidy crease along the fold.

See? Potential!

Five: Paint the box or cover it in paper (or peanut butter)

This is where the project has the opportunity to go a little off the rails if you, like me, find out that your glue is ten years old, you’ve lost your construction paper somehow, and your markers and craft paints have all dried up.

Personally, I would suggest that you paint the box with craft paints or cover it with glue and paper. Being out of all of those things, though, I, of course, went the peanut butter route en lieu of glue.

And, because I am ever so resourceful, I, of course, decided to use the bran flakes en lieu of paper.

Are you still with me?

Six: Give your puppet a face

Now you’re ready to decorate your puppet with eyes, ears, hair, antlers, and whatever else you feel moved to use to create your character.

I found out that the bran flakes made gluing on extra features a little difficult, so I chose to settle for two eyes made out of the raisins. Really, at this point, I wasn’t making myself any promises. I was covered in peanut butter up to my wrists and had bran flakes stuck between my toes.

But it worked, and voilà! Birdie was born!

Seven: Let your puppet express itself

Birdie wanted to show off her Ethel Merman impression while singing a morbid song from her childhood, so I gave her the stage. She does go on a bit, and her Merman could use some work, but it’s worth the full two minutes, I swear. Her timing near the end is impeccable.

Take it away, Birdie!

The above entry's original version was published at Aiming Low in October 2011.