Never made a gigantic puppet before? Not a problem. We have assembled a wonderful resources page full of instructions and templates for making beautiful puppets, masks, costumes, and other parade art. You will also find images below from other events like this one across the country for inspiration. Enjoy!
Puppet Making Resources and Handbooks
2023 Giant Puppet Making Manual-We put together this manual for our giant puppet building workshops and want to share it with all of you! It includes specific rules and guidelines for our parade, as well as instructions for papier-mâché, armatures, rigging, and more.
Cattywampus Raccoon Mask Template– This is a free mask template created by Cattywampus to make a simple animal mask and paws out of cardboard.
The Puppeteers Cooperative – This website is an incredible resource with information about giant puppet construction and templates for 68 different giant puppet projects. A great place to get started!
Procession of the Species Art Handbook– Learn how to batik, make giant wings, bamboo rod puppets, masks, and more!
Giant Puppet Parades and Theatre Companies
Bread and Puppet Theater (Glover, VT) – The radical granddaddy of community based puppet organizations was created in the 60’s by Peter Schumann.
The Cleveland Museum of Art’s Parade The Circle (Cleveland, OH) – Parade the Circle was created by Robin Van Lear as a community outreach program and has been going on for more than 30 years.
In The Heart of the Beast (Minneapolis, MN) – This wonderful puppet non-profit uses the puppetry arts as a community building and social justice tool and has greatly influenced Cattywampus. Their Mayday Parade is a wonderful place to find inspiration for your parade creations. (You can find lots of wonderful images under Mayday photo links)
Paperhand Puppet Intervention (Saxapahaw, NC) – Our Executive & Artistic Director Rachel Milford interned and worked for this puppet troupe in 2010-2011 and learned much of her puppet building skills there. Paperhand performs beautiful full length shows at the outdoor Forest Theater in Chapel Hill, NC and facilitates smaller puppet parades all over North Carolina. There website has many images to draw inspiration from.
Procession of the Species (Olympia, WA) – This was the first community art parade Rachel participated in back in 2009. The Procession of the Species has been an annual event each Earth Day in Olympia for over 27 years, celebrating our connection to the natural world through giant puppet, costumes, and masks. Below you will find a wonderful Parade Art Handbook with instructions for making a variety of different creations for the parade.
Spiral Q (Philadelphia, PA) – This community arts non-profit hosts puppet parades that raise social consciousness and use the puppetry arts as a vehicle for social change. Spiral Q has been a tremendous mentor to Cattywampus Puppet Council over the years and we’re so grateful for the ways they’ve helped to shape and grow our work! Their Peoplehood Parade is now in its 22nd year.
Images from other Parades!