Maker Monday: Clothespin Puppets

Maker Monday Clothespin Puppets bring silly fun to those all-important engineering problem-solving skills. It’s a blast to set kids up with an idea and supplies and let them loose to create!

Begin with a clothespin. We found over-sized clothespins at a craft store, but the normal-sized clothespins work, too, on a smaller scale. We considered how the clothespin opens and whether to go vertical or horizontal with our puppet creatures. And we loved the idea of a tiny surprise inside that shows itself when opened!

There are endless designs to be imagined: Consider a frog with a fly in its mouth, a gift-wrapped present with a heart inside, or an egg that opens to a bright yellow chick! We went with a piranha with little fish inside and a monstrous flowering plant.



Paper, plain or colored



Glue sticks, school glue, glue gun or tape


Optional decorative items: Google eyes, yarn for hair, pom-poms, pipe cleaners, etc.

Begin with a sketch to get a good size estimate and determine where the cut will separate the two pieces.  Once you have a good idea, cut out and color. Cut into two pieces and attach to the clothespin. To make the little surprise appear, break a toothpick in half and attach to the back of the bottom side of the opening clothespin. Cut out the surprise item and attach to the toothpick.

As you can see here, we went in the other direction to make our monster flower plant that included pipe cleaner arms with leaf hands. Hello, Little Shop of Horrors!

Once your kids get the basic idea, see what kind of variations they can create!

For more Maker Monday projects and other fun stuff for kids, visit the Kidsburgh Activities page.