Owl Paper Bag Puppet

Getting started: An owl paper bag puppet makes a wonderful spring art project. I like to begin this project by reading the book: Owl Moon, by Jane Yolen. The pictures of owls by John Schoenherr are wonderful. The photo on the right is an owl puppet in progress.

Art techniques: Drawing

About this project: To familiarize the instructor with puppet-making, you might want to look through the book Puppets and Masks by Nan Rump. Students will be delighted with the results of these wise looking owl puppets, covered in beautiful feathers. The art lesson can take two or three, one hour sessions. Have fun!

Materials needed:

  • white drawing paper (25cm x 35cm)
  • a selection of colored construction paper
  • scissors
  • pencils and erasers
  • oil pastels
  • brown lunch bags
  • white plastic glue
  • feathers

Part 1

  1. Show how to draw the shape of an owl face.
  2. Show how to draw the eyes, the nose and owl beak. I usually draw these on colored paper and cut them out and glue them on the face.
  3. Cut out the head of the owl.
  4. Demonstrate blending oil pastels, and repeat colors throughout the composition.
Part 2
  1. Draw colored waves on the belly of the bag to represent colored feathers. You can emphasize a few colors and patterns if you choose.
  2. Cut out two matching wings from white or colored paper. You may choose to color on those wings as well.
  3. Put hand in brown paper bag so that can open and close the bottom.
  4. Glue head on to the bottom of bag. Glue wings onto the sides.
  5. Add feathers to the wings and tummy of bird. Kids love this part.
  6. With especially fast workers, I have them color in the back of the bird while other art students finish up.
Save this in a notebook of art lesson plans for children. That's what I do. You now know how to make an owl out of construction paper.

Art Therapy Ideas: Most elementary art projects are a great way to start an art therapy session. The owl paper bag puppet is a great way to stimulate a child's imagination. Go over some of the character traits of an owl. Have your young client speak in first person, and be the owl. Make owl sounds. What do they sound like? Where would he/she like to fly? What sort of adventure would the owl like to go on? What would the owl like to say to other members in his/her family? Would it be fun living up at the top of a tree, or safely tucked inside an opening in the tree? It would be helpful if the therapist had another animal puppet and used it to create a dialogue. When you have the art piece speak, it's a gestalt art experience. To get more information on this topic, you can refer to the book by Janie Rhyne called: The Gestalt Art Experience: Patterns That Connect.