How to make a puppet with an empty bottle and a broom stick

How to make a puppet with an empty bottle and a broom stick

Introduction: Bottle Bug Puppet!

This instructable known as a Bottle Bug Puppet is fun to make, easy to make, and fun to play with! But this is no ordinary puppet. People would expect puppets to be made out of fabric, but this one is made out of plastic bottles!Why out of plastic bottles you ask?Instead of throwing away bottles after your done drinking all the juice or water in them, you can make something creative out of it like this bottle bug. And sure, you can always just put the bottle in the recycling bin, but why do that when you can recycle it this way!

Step 1: 1. Materials

These are the materials I used to make this puppet.

– Different colors of craft paint
– Permanent pens
– Paint brushes
– One big plastic bottle (any shape)
– One small plastic bottle(any shape)
– Scissors
– Bread Knife
– A little help of a parent
– A black glove (optional)
– Hot glue gun

Step 2: 2. Lets Get Started!

Yay! Now you can start making it.

With the BIGGER bottle, draw a circle going around the OUTSIDE bottom of the bottle with a sharpie. Make sure that you don’t put the circle to high up on the bottle or else your puppet will be to short. After this, you probably need a parents help unless your comfortable using a knife. Get the bread knife and cut around the bottle where you circled it. This will create a space to put your hand through. (To soften the edges where you cut it, use the scissors and cut off all the jagged parts.)

Step 3: 3. Finger Space

Now you need somewhere to put your fingers to make the bug look like it’s crawling. On the bottom of the bottle, (you can choose any side to be the bottom) draw what looks like an egg on a stick on the OUTSIDE of the bottle with a sharpie. After you’ve done that, cut along the lines with scissors. The line at the bottom is what leads you to the circle so it wont be so hard cutting it out. Make sure that when you stick your hand into the bottle and out the hole you just made, the hole is big enough for you to stick all of your fingers through the hole. If the hole is to small, cut it so its bigger.

Step 4: 4. Add the Details

In this step, you give the bug eyes and other buggish details. Get the sharpie and draw in eyes, spots, and any thing else you want. (instead of trying to draw in the bottle, draw OUTSIDE of the bottle so its easier)

Step 5: 5. Wings

When your done with step 4, just leave that part of the bug alone for a little because now it’s time to make the wings! The beginning of making the wings is basically like the beginning of making the body to the bug. Draw a circle around the outside of the bottom of the SMALLER bottle. Try cutting around the bottle where you made the circle. If that’s to hard, you might need to ask your parent to cut it off with the bread knife.

Step 6: 6.

I know I know, these pictures probably look very confusing. Especially this one. So, I will try to explain this the best I can. Get the sharpie and draw a big oval shape on about half of the bottle, then cut it off using scissors. When you cut that part off, it should look like the second picture.

Step 7: 7. Wing Details

Now After step 6, draw a line going through the center of the oval shape thingy. But don’t make it go all the way or else your wings will be split into 2 pieces! After you’ve drawn that, cut on the line all the way until the line that you drew stops. To add detail to the wings draw different designs on the outside like lines or swirls. In the end you should have two peices, the body and the wings.

Step 8: 8. Paint the Body!

When you paint the body, MAKE SURE TO PAINT INSIDE THE BODY SO IT LOOKS GLOSSY, AND DON’T GO INTO THE OTHER LINES! What I mean by don’t go into the other lines, I mean that you go around the circles and other designs that you made on the bug. For the mouth, make sure you don’t accidentally paint it the body color. When you paint the details try staying inside the lines so it doesn’t interfere with the body color.You can make your bug any color you want!

Step 9: 9. Paint the Wings!

Now we can paint the wings! I only painted part of the wings because usually, most bugs have clear wings. But if you wanna make your bug a butterfly, go ahead and paint everything! (remember, paint in the inside part of the wings and body so they look glossy!!)

Step 10: 10. Antennas

Remember the bottle you used to make the wings? Well, we are gonna use that to make the antenna. Cut off 2 thin strips that are about 3 inches long off the leftover bottle and color in the INSIDES of the strips with sharpie.

Step 11: 11. Attach Everything

Attaching all the parts to the bug is kinda tricky. I really recommend using hot glue instead of any other glue. First, glue on the wings so they’re at a certain angle that makes the wings kinda stand up and not just laying on your bugs back. Next, glue on the antennas.

Step 12: 12. Puppet Time!

Now, stick your hand through the opening and stick your fingers through the hole.Your fingers are the puppet’s legs. I recommend wearing a black glove when you do this because then they look more like bug legs instead of plain fingers.

Step 13: 13. DONE!

CONGRATULATIONS! You have just made a bottle bug! If you liked this instructable, please vote for it! 🙂

How to make a puppet with an empty bottle and a broom stick

How to make a puppet with an empty bottle and a broom stick

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A musical physics project from Science Buddies

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Key concepts
Sound waves

Have you ever blown across a bottle’s top and made a pleasant, resonant sound? If so, have you wondered exactly how that note is made? A bottle is actually what is called a “closed-end air column.” Clarinets and some organ pipes are examples of musical instruments that work in the same way. In this science activity you will use bottles to investigate how the length of a closed-end air column affects the pitch of the note that it makes.

Some musical instruments produce sound from vibrating strings, others from vibrating reeds and still others from resonating columns of air. In this activity you’ll try a simple example of the latter type of instrument: narrow-necked bottles that are partially filled with water. These bottles will function as closed-end air columns, which are basically tubes that are open at one end but closed (or covered) at the other.

How do musical instruments make the sounds that they do? All sound is made by vibrations that travel through the air. Specifically, these vibrations cause patterns of air compression that travel as a wave, with air pressure increases being followed by decreases. This is how sound itself is a wave. The pitch of the sound we hear depends on the frequency of the wave—how quickly an increase in air pressure is followed by a decrease. Higher pitches have higher frequencies.


  • Three identical narrow-neck bottles (They can be glass or plastic.)
  • Permanent marker
  • Ruler
  • Water


  • Make sure the bottles are clean and empty.
  • Try blowing across the tops of the bottles you selected to make a resonant sound. Do this by holding the bottle upright (so it is perpendicular to your face). Touch your lower lip to the edge of the bottle, pursing your upper lip and blowing gently over the opening. When you get the angle and airflow just right, you will hear a musical note as the air column in the open bottle resonates. How does the bottle sound? If you cannot make a note by blowing over the bottles, try using different bottles for this activity.


  • Measure the height of one of the bottles. Using the permanent marker and ruler, make a small mark at exactly halfway up the bottle. Fill this bottle with water up to the mark you made.
  • On another bottle make a small mark at exactly three quarters up. Fill this bottle with water up to the mark you just made.
  • Leave the third bottle empty.
  • Blow across the top of the empty bottle, as you did before. Make sure you can make a clear note. Then blow across the top of the half-full bottle. How does the note that the half-full bottle makes compare with that made by the empty bottle? Is the note from the half-full bottle higher or lower in pitch?
  • Then blow across the top of the bottle that is three quarters full. It may take some practice to make a note from this bottle. How does the note this bottle makes compare with the one made by the half-full bottle? Is it higher or lower in pitch than the half-full bottle?
  • Overall, how do the notes made from the three bottles compare with one another? Why do you think that is?
  • Extra: If you have a piano, electronic keyboard or other musical instrument (or an electronic tuner), you could try comparing the notes from the bottles with the notes on a real instrument. Alternatively, you could try slowly filling a bottle with water, checking what notes it makes as it becomes fuller, and compare those with a real instrument. What notes does it sound like the bottles are making? Can you figure out a relationship between the three notes from the bottles used in this activity?
  • Extra: Try repeating this activity but use bottles that are different shapes and sizes. Does the shape or size of the bottle affect the note it makes? What about the height of the bottle or how full with water it is (or the level of remaining air)?
  • Extra: If you have narrow-neck glass bottles, instead of blowing over the tops of the bottles try lightly tapping them (below the waterline) with a wooden mallet. How does the note produced by tapping a bottle change with its water level? Can you explain how this works?

Observations and results
Did the empty bottle produce the lowest pitch? Did the bottle that was filled three quarters full with water make the highest pitch?

When playing a musical instrument that is a closed-end air column, such as the bottles in this activity, the pitch of the note that is made depends on the length of the air column. In other words, the pitch depends on how much water has filled up the bottle and how much empty space remains. This is because the pitch of the sound we hear depends on the frequency of the sound wave that can be created within the bottle’s air. The shorter the air column (that is, the shorter the height of the air in the bottle) the higher the frequency. And the higher the frequency the higher the perceived pitch. This is why the empty bottle should have produced a sound wave with a lower frequency than the others and the bottle that was nearly full (three quarters full) should have made the highest pitch.

In fact, because the air column in the half-full bottle was half the length of the air column in the empty bottle, the half-full bottle should have produced a frequency that was twice the empty bottle’s frequency. (For more on the mathematics behind this, see the “More to explore” section.) Similarly, the three-quarter-full bottle should have produced a frequency that was twice that of the half-full bottle. When one sound wave is twice the frequency of another, the pitches made are one octave apart. (For example, the middle C note on a piano has a frequency of 262 hertz whereas the C that is one octave higher has a frequency of 524 hertz.) This means that the half-full bottle should have made a note one octave higher than the empty bottle, and the three-quarter-full bottle should have made a note one octave higher than the half-full one.

This activity brought to you in partnership with Science Buddies

We had great fun this weekend making a ride on Dragon Hobby Horse for St George’s Day. We’re delighted with how well he turned out. Can you believe he’s made from an old cereal box and a plastic rubbish bag?

We also made some armour and a shield from an old cardboard box too. I love it when you can create something with so much play value out of “nothing” so to speak. The only trouble is it makes me loathed to send anything to the bin or recycling centre just in case we can make use of it someday! I fear I will end up an old lady hoarder living amongst floor to ceiling mountains of toilet roll middles and empty washing up bottles!How to make a puppet with an empty bottle and a broom stick

We’ve all taken turns dressing up and riding our Dragon Hobby Horse and Cupcake has named him Henry. To begin with Henry was quite a roary, wild Dragon but seems to be a bit tamer now. Between you and me he doesn’t seem to be the brightest Dragon in the Fairytale but that’s probably a good thing or who knows what manner of mischief he’d plot and plan in cahoots with our Little Dragon Sock Puppet, who is quite mischievous enough as it is!

How to make a puppet with an empty bottle and a broom stick

How To Make A Dragon Hobby Horse

Supplies To Make A Dragon Hobby Horse

  • A large empty cereal box
  • A green draw string rubbish bag
  • A broom handle
  • Masking tape
  • Tissue paper (red, orange, yellow)
  • Paint (We used green but we think different dragon breeds come in different colours, so any would do.)
  • Scraps of card for features (Eyes, nostrils, horns.)
  • Stapler

How To Make A Gorgeous Dragon Hobby Horse For Pretend Play

I’ve taken a series of step by step photos which I hope will do a lot of the explaining. I’ve shown them against the background of the completed dragon so you can see what shape we’re aiming for easily.

Use the photo as a guide. Draw the nostrils on the bottom of the box and then the triangular-ish shape on both sides that will fold over later to form the snout.How to make a puppet with an empty bottle and a broom stick

Starting at the corner marked with an arrow, carefully cut along your drawn lines. Do not cut anywhere else. You will end up with a box looking like the one below with 2 side flaps and one long thin flap along the top.How to make a puppet with an empty bottle and a broom stick

Fold the two side flaps down and tape into place with masking tape. (If they are slightly too wide to fit the gap just trim them slightly.)How to make a puppet with an empty bottle and a broom stick

Push down the long thin flap so that it sits on top of the side flaps you’ve just taped and also tape that into place. You now have your dragon’s head shape. How simple was that? We cut little triangles into the back flaps next too.How to make a puppet with an empty bottle and a broom stick

Turn the dragon’s head over and snip a little cross into the bottom to make a hole to put the broom handle.How to make a puppet with an empty bottle and a broom stick

Paint the dragon, allow to dry and cut and stick or paint on his features. We also added some horns to ours but you don’t have to.

When it’s all dry you can attach your plastic bag. First cut the bottom seam off the bag so you are left with a tube. Repeatedly snip all the way from the bottom up to about a cm or two of the draw string to make lots of flowing tassels. Pull and tie off your drawstring so it is the right size to fit around the inside of the dragon’s head at the back where the triangles are and simply staple into place.How to make a puppet with an empty bottle and a broom stick

If you are adding some flames, cut them out of tissue paper, stack them together and cut a slit at the front of the dragon’s nose to poke them through. Then tape them into place on the inside.

Pop the dragon’s head onto the broom handle and take him for his first ride. Wahoo.

We also whizzed up some armour out of cardboard boxes cut to shape, covered with foil and decorated with a clip art dragon image. The edges are finished with reinforced tape.

How to make a puppet with an empty bottle and a broom stick Cardboard Armour and Shield Set. So easy to make and so effective.
Perhaps your children would like to design their own coat of arms to go in the middle?

We’ve had hours of fun together with our dragon and imaginative play. He’s very adaptable and has happily played the villain and hero with equal gusto. I think he’ll gladly play any game as long as he gets an apple as a reward; who’d have thought they’d be his favourite?

We’ve also used him for a bit of Speech and Language Therapy. As many of you will have read before now, my son Crumb was born profoundly deaf. He wears bilateral cochlear implants which are absolutely amazing. He has fantastic spoken English now but still struggles to shout and project and to sustain looooong loud sounds. We took the opportunity to roar and shout with the dragon which was great fun too.

How to make a puppet with an empty bottle and a broom stick Here’s Henry the Dragon helping with some Speech and Language Therapy by encouraging looooong shouts and roars.

Children will have great fun bringing their dragon to life and developing its personality. It has to be said that our Henry is not very bright but very enthusiastic and will do all manner of tricks for an apple!

Dressing up and puppet props are a great way for children to develop their imaginative story telling and improvisation. They promote language and communication and offer a safe way to explore a huge range of emotions and scenarios, and children don’t even realise they’re doing all that learning, fab, fab, fab!

We hope you have lots of fun with this idea. Have you pinned it yet?

How to make a puppet with an empty bottle and a broom stick
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More Fun Crafts To Inspire Imaginative Play:

Author by Amanda Formaro on February 10, 2020 Updated on February 10, 2020

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I was poking around the Internet looking for some fun ideas for kid’s puppets and found myself in a wonderland of cuteness! The sheer number of ideas for kid’s puppets is astounding and I couldn’t just keep them all to myself. So I’ve put together a collection of some of my favorites, from finger puppets to paper bag puppets to shadow puppets, there’s a lot of ideas here to keep the kids busy!

How to make a puppet with an empty bottle and a broom stick

Kid’s Puppets You Can Make

I started a Pinterest board for puppet crafts because there were just so many ideas out there, I didn’t want to lose them! So be sure to follow that board too if you love puppet crafts the way that I do. 🙂

P.S. Some of the crafts collected here are puppets that I have made, whether they be on this blog or somewhere else. The rest are from other designers, I hope you love them all!

How to make a puppet with an empty bottle and a broom stick

How to make a puppet with an empty bottle and a broom stick

Paper Bag Puppets

  • Paper Bag Raccoon Puppets – Artsy Momma
  • Paper Bag Frog Puppet – Crafts by Amanda
  • Paper Bag Dog Puppet – All Kids Network
  • Nut Job Squirrel Puppets– Crafts by Amanda
  • Fandango Paper Bag Puppets – Chocolate Muffin Tree

How to make a puppet with an empty bottle and a broom stick

Finger Puppets

  • Easy Pipe Cleaner Finger Puppets – One Little Project
  • Monster Finger Puppets – Inspiration Made Simple
  • Minion Finger Puppets – Crafts on Sea
  • Spring Animal Finger Puppets – Happy Hooligans

How to make a puppet with an empty bottle and a broom stick

Stick Puppets

  • Storytime 3 Little Pigs Puppets – Learn Create Love
  • Paper Plate Clown Puppet – Crafts by Amanda
  • Farm Animal Stick Puppets – Crafts by Amanda

How to make a puppet with an empty bottle and a broom stick

Sock Puppets

  • Puppy Sock Puppet – AOK Corral
  • Girl Sock Puppet – Brave Turtle Creations
  • Giraffe Sock Puppet – Woo! Jr.
  • Dragon Sock Puppet – Kids Craft Room / My Little Three and Me

How to make a puppet with an empty bottle and a broom stick

Hand Puppets

  • Monster Glove Puppets – Hello Glow
  • Easy Mitten Puppets – Crafts by Amanda
  • Animal Hand Puppets – Krokotak
  • Shark Mitten Puppet – A Night Owl Blog

How to make a puppet with an empty bottle and a broom stick

Shadow Puppets

  • Shadow Puppet Printable Cut Outs – 100 Directions
  • Shadow Puppet Printables – Handmade Charlotte
  • Cereal Box Shadow Puppet Theater – Kix Cereal
  • Shadow Puppet Theater – The Nerd’s Wife
  • Three Little Pigs Shadow Puppets – In the Playroom

How to make a puppet with an empty bottle and a broom stick

Marionette Puppets

  • Shadow Puppet Theater – Free Kids Crafts
  • Unicorn Marionette – Red Ted Art

How to make a puppet with an empty bottle and a broom stick

More Puppet Crafts on the Blog

  • Halloween Paper Bag Puppets
  • Shadow Puppet Theater
  • Paper Bag Scarecrow
  • Wookie Finger Puppets
  • Paper Bag Pirate Puppet

I hope this collection of kid’s puppets has inspired you to make something! Remember, there are LOTS of toilet paper roll crafts that can be used as puppets too. You can find all of my cardboard tube crafts here.

This post originally appeared here on Dec 31, 2014.