I am obsessed with drawing on see through material with Sharpies. It’s like making stained glass. Try it out! This puppet is supposed to be the lead male character in the charming kdrama Dali and Cocky Prince.
This plastic shadow puppet is so much more fun than the paper version as the patterns show through! Shine a flashlight against a white piece of paper/surface and you can start your puppet show. I was tired so excuse the quickly drawn hands! egads.
okay so I drew these fast and her arms are comically long and her face uneven but they were fun to make. Next time, i’ll use a clear duct/masking tape as the grey stuff looks ugly.

If there was a contest for the most hermit-like family during the Omicron wave, I am certain my family would be triumphant. I recently made my mother a photo book of our year of staying inside and going nowhere and it included a photo of my kids in an East Village community garden holding those bug zappers that look like tennis rackets and swatting flies with them. As memory serves, a garden volunteer who was wearing rubber gloves and potting some plants, stopped to take pity on my bored-looking kids as we sat in the garden one weekend afternoon, handed my kids two bug zappers and showed them how to use it to kill flies. This made my photo album. I do not jest. Though we do have friends, I assure you, we do not have a pod. (We apparently missed the 2020 pod-formation window. You snooze, you lose!) Indeed, my six year old struggles to write a “weekend story” each Monday at school. For two weekends straight, I have threatened to take both kids to the Nazi stolen art exhibit at the Jewish museum, one of three desolate NYC museums I feel confident going to right now. (It’s a stellar museum but as it is our default, it’s lost some of its appeal). Last weekend, the four of us headed to the Museum of the City of New York where they had three exhibits, yes three exhibits that entertained us–the puppet exhibit for my 6 year old, an activism exhibit (for my son) and an interactive 1980’s music exhibit, in which I lost my husband for more than an hour. Did I mention there were free 1980’s video arcade games on the same floor. The Golden Ticket! To my surprise, my Roblox-obsessed daughter sat and watched a slow-paced 30 minute film of a shadow puppet show narrated by someone with a quiet, lilting voice. Indeed, I lauded my own ability to sit through this “entertainment.”

Some plexiglass shadow puppets on display at the Museum of the City of New York’s small but fun puppet exhibit.

After this exhibit, I of course, had to try to make some plastic shadow puppets with jointed limbs. I would like to make ones with plexi glass like the one pictured above as the thin acetate I used does not look like it will endure.

I hope you will try this simple and satisfying craft. You of course, do not have to make Kdrama themed ones but I wanted to, in celebration of Korean-American day. Happy day (already done) to my four Korean-American friends and family and to all of you appreciators of Korean/Korean-American culture. xoxo

What you need: acetate, a clear paper to drawn on with Sharpie markers.Scissor to cut out figure, an awl to poke hole in limbs and body, wire to connect body and limbs, wooden sticks to tape to the limbs and body with the duct tape and the wire cutter.
(Sadly, i did draw this bear).. Use Sharpies to draw your figure on the acetate paper. Get colored sharpies, they are so fun! Then use scissors to cut out the shape. Then cut off the limbs/parts you want to be able to move on joints so here, I cut off one of this odd bear’s legs.
I’ve never used an awl but it makes a great small hole in the plastic. Put a small hole by just pressing awl hard into plastic leg once.
use the awl to poke a small hole in the body of your character.
cut about three inches of wire and then twist one end twice in a circle. This will be used to connect the limb and body.
poke the metal piece through the limb and the body and then twist the wire twice in a small circle secure it. voila– a jointed limb! Then you just add the sticks to each limb with a small piece of duct tape. Was this the worst/ fastest craft tutorial you have ever experienced? I didn’t bother actually showing you the completed bear because the bear sucks. You can do better.

2 responses to “Fun Craft for Korean-American Day: acetate Kdrama shadow puppets”

  1. Maria Avatar

    Love the shadow puppets and your writing, of course!



    1. Elissa Avatar

      Thanks !! Miss you!


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