by Jessika Hepburn, Editor
Crafting for & with children is one of my all time favorite things to do- throw in some creativity, recycling & puppets and I’m sold! So when Shelly of Andrews MacMeel invited me to participate in a blog tour for Diana Schoenbrun‘s newest book Puppet Play, I was happy to jump on board. 20 puppets made from recycled mittens, gloves, towels, socks, leg warmers & socks? Yes! And our celebrating mamahood month is the perfect time to bust out our glue guns & make something out of nothing with our little ones. A mama’s arsenal of parenting tricks needs to be full of projects like these- not only do you get to make something fun & teach a lesson about recycling/reusing, but then you can send them off to see what stories they can create with their new toys. Puppet Play is also great for kids who are reading on their own to browse through-I will definitely be pulling this one out for those “but Mom I’m bored” moments.
Read on to the end for a chance to win a copy of Puppet Play!
The book is full of detailed tutorials and patterns for making pirates, wizards, dragons, elephants like sweet Betty up there, cats, clowns, kangaroos & way more (there is even a punk rocker puppet!). Sadly my copy arrived a bit too late in time to make one of the puppets & put on a show for you, but Ila & I are already plotting a madcap musical featuring a few of the characters filling this book. Take a little sneak peek by watching the super cute trailer below or check out the full length video here.
I also caught up with Diana by email to ask a few questions about the book, her journey as an artist + some other juicy bits like a little look at her studio, sketchbook & a work in progress….
1. Hi Diana, your work and books are so original & fun! I’m excited to introduce you & your new book to Oh My Handmade readers. Can you tell us a little bit about Puppet Play and what inspired you to write/create it?
There are 20 puppet projects to make in the book with recycled and repurposed materials found around the house. A lonely sock becomes a wizard puppet. A glove without a mate turns into five little pig puppets. And that tired dishtowel transforms into a lively banjo player puppet—all at very little cost. There are easy-to-follow directions are accompanied by how-to illustrations. Also included are full-color photographs of puppets, as well as a chapter that guides children through creating and presenting their own puppet show.
I was inspired to write this book after teaching a craft puppet workshop with children. The children were creating characters with socks and other found objects. I realized how easy it was to reuse and make puppets with many household resources. Recycling and thinking green are important concepts to show children at a time when we need to be more aware of our environment and planet. The projects are great for parents and children to do together.
2. Oh My Handmade is mostly a community of makers & we would love to hear about your creative journey, how did you get to where you are today?
As a child I was always making things. Art was my favorite subject in school. My parents and my art teachers were a great influence and supporter of my artistic development. I attended the Rhode Island School of Design as an illustration major. My experience at RISD introduced me to techniques in 3D illustration and soft sculptures. After college I worked in educational publishing as an art assistant. I also did freelance illustration and taught creative writing and puppetry workshops with children. I currently work at Puppet Heap Studio.
3. Each month we explore a theme, this month we are Celebrating Mamahood and talking about how mothering & the influential mothers in our lives, have helped shape our work. In what way have mama’s/mothering guided or influenced your art or your path as a maker?
My mother who was a teacher was influential to my development as an artist. I remember admiring her embroidery and cross-stitch work she did when I was a child. I really enjoyed art that had color and texture. Many of her creations were displayed on the walls in our home. She collected artwork and taught me to appreciate art. Also, most of my family vacations involved going to a museum. She was the first person to show me how to thread a needle and teach me basic sewing. I was not allowed to have video games growing up but I always had art supplies! If I ever complained I had nothing to do she always reminded me I could go make something or draw something. I am thankful that she always pushed me to think creatively and use my artistic skills.
Learn more about Diana and her work by visiting her website & Facebook page + following her on Twitter
Enter to win a copy of Puppet Play:
By leaving a comment below about this post & interview or why you would love to get your hands on this creative book!
Can’t wait or didn’t win? Buy your own copy right here.
This giveaway closes on Tuesday May 10th at midnight EST with the winner announced at the bottom of this post the following day. By entering this giveaway you are agreeing to the oh my! handmade giveaway policies.
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! Thank you to everyone who entered & congratulations to Judit with her wonderful comment. Sometimes random.org doesn’t seem random at all! I hope you love your new book: )
Betty the elephant is just too cute!!
I agree that Betty is too cute!!!! I used to make simple sock puppets for Katie when she was about a year old and she loved them – since she was about 6 months old she loved when I would put socks on her hands and she would pretend they were puppets too. We have a few cute videos of this from when she was about a year old. Anyhow – great giveaway! 🙂
I loved reading about how her mom encouraged her artistic talent. My daughters love to color, cut, glue, draw, and create. I’d love win to keep my kids happy and busy.
Great interview! I would love to win one of these for me & my 2 year old 🙂
Hi! I’d love to make kangaroos and dragons with my little son! Thanks! (Is the giveaway open to international readers?) Anyway, best regards from Barcelona, Spain!
I love doing crafts with my kids, especially ones they can enjoy over and over. Puppets are a perfect example of that.
Oh! I would love to make up stories to go with these!!!
Too cute! and so much fun! I can’t wait for my little guy (22 months) to enjoy doing crafty projects and this would be perfect.
too cute! i’d love to craft my way through the book with my daughter this summer.
as a mom of 5..soon to be 6 in a few weeks time Id love to make some of these Adorable puppets with the kids for hours of playtime Im sure– even while this momma is in bed or feeding a newborn- the children can surround me in imagination! LOVE LOVE !! thank you soo much Diana!
Wow! This looks like such a fun book. I really like being able to repurpose old things into something new, and I think my almost-two-year-old sweetie girl would love some puppets!
I love toys/activities that involve open-ended play and upcycling. This one has both – score!
What an insipiring post (as usual). I can’t wait to try my hand at making some of these!
Hello! I found your site through the Book Blog Tour. I enjoy it very much here. You have a very cozy atmosphere. I would like to win, please!
Love the quirky puppets, and they are simple enough for kids who are learning sewing to make themselves.
I would love this book to make some puppets with my kids. We were given a puppet theater but not many puppets. They could get so much more creative with some of those cuties.
I love her thoughts about how puppet making can also be green with the reuse of found objects. I have so many single socks that I have saved because I can’t bear to trash them so this book would be a fantastic way to have fun with my little guy and be green!
I am a child support worker by day, and an addicted crafter 24/7!
I make sock animals to raise money for charities too.
This enchanting book would be an amazing tool for working with children who need special one to one support. Story telling can be an important part of getting a child to open up about trauma, wishes and feelings. I would love to add this lovely publication to my resources.
Thanks for your time!
I have a 4-year-old who would love crafting and using these with me!!
I’d love to have it, is it possible to win if I’m from Serbia? My kids love when we make something new from something old, even more- from something they used to wear and still love. To use it in play is the best part.
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