DIY Retro Halloween Hand Puppets

If you’re like me, you’re already super excited about Halloween! And good news, you have lots of time to craft (and then play with!) these DIY hand puppets inspired by retro Halloween decorations. Puppet shows are perfect for toddlers and an affordable way to keep children of all ages entertained. This cute devil cat and ghost dog are fun to decorate and kids can add their own personal touch. This tutorial will give you a simple puppet design of a cat and dog that you can easily customize to create your own spooky characters for starting your personal puppet collection. You just need some fabric scraps, stuffing, felt, and a few basic sewing skills to make them. Kids are going to love them!!

what you need:

what you need:

  • Fabric scraps
  • Felt
  • Stuffing
  • Pompoms
  • Needle and pins
  • Embroidery thread / fabric pens
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun / fabric glue
  • Printable template


Step 1
Download and print the patterns. These templates are quite small, so scale them for your hand making sure your fingers will fit in the pattern. Use the same body pattern for the cat and dog. Transfer the body and heads patterns onto fabric leaving, a 1/4″ seam allowance. Transfer the ear shapes to felt and cut them out.

Step 2
Lay the head shapes backwards onto body shapes, right sides together and matching up the neck seams. Pin and sew each head and body all along the neck. Lift the heads and iron to flat seams.

Step 3
Lay down the pieces with right sides together. Sandwich and pin felt ears in place, then sew the front and back pieces together all around the edge, leaving the bottom of each puppet open. You can stitch a narrow hem at the bottom of the puppet or leave it as is. Clip the curved seam allowances and turn right sides out.

Step 4
Raise the body up and pull the inside neck flaps out of the head. Pin and stitch along both sides leaving the bottom and top open. Stuff the head through the neck and then poke a hole with your fingers in the stuffing when finished. Push the neck tube into the head to block the stuffing and to allow easy control of the head.

Step 5
Now cut out the eyes, bow ties, nose and mouth from templates. Draw the faces on the puppets and glue the felt pieces in place.

Step 6
Stitch the face details using thick embroidery or perlé thread or if you want a quicker method just draw the faces on using a fabric marker. Your retro puppets are ready to go! I hope you enjoy making and playing with these naughty fellows!

Happy Halloween crafting!