DIY: Make a Fish Rod Puppet


Follow along to this video with the written instructions below.


  • Fish and Lacing Patterns (click here)
  • Foamcore 8.5 x 11 piece
  • Foam Paint Brush
  • Scissors
  • Xacto knife/blade
  • Pencil
  • Marker
  • White Glue and Water
  • Masking Tape
  • Tissue and foil paper
  • 2 Skewers
  • Hole Punch
  • 30″ Ribbon or Fabric Strip



1. Print Fish Pattern and Lacing Pattern onto white cardstock paper

2. Use scissors to cut Fish Head and Fish Tail from the pattern. Use a hole punch to punch holes where indicated

3. You may either:

  • Decorate the pattern itself (skip to #6)
  • For a sturdier fish, trace your patterns onto foam core (#4 and 5)

4. Trace your pattern onto foam core. Use the Xacto blade, slicing layer by layer to cut out the head and tail. This will give you a clean line (sawing with the knife will create jagged edges). 

5. Use the the skewer tip to poke holes through the foam core where indicated. Then use the pencil tip to make those holes larger, twisting slightly as you go. 

6.Lay the head and tail of the puppet where indicated on the Lacing Pattern. Follow the numbers and arrows to lace the ribbon through the holes, then tape in place. Use a pencil or skewer to help move the ribbon through the holes, or tape the edge of the ribbon tightly like a shoelace. (Great practice for fine motor skills and hand/eye coordination). 

7. Place the masking tape vertically to attach one skewer  to the fish head and one to the fish tail (for a more secure fit, first place double stick tape underneath each skewer). 



DECORATE: Paint, Color, or Collage!

A COLLAGE is a combination of materials that make one piece of art. Here’s how to get started:

1. Thin the white glue by mixing in a little bit of water.

2. Use a foam brush to cover the surface of your fish (do one side at a time.)

3. Tear colorful tissue paper, construction paper, newspaper, etc. Layer paper on your fish, brushing on glue as you go. When all of the pieces have been added, spread a top layer of glue on all surfaces to seal the pieces together. This will also create a light glaze to make your fish shiny.

4.When the glue dries, add accent details by drawing with markers, gluing pictures, shiny paper and googly eyes.


Hold a puppet rod in the fingertips of each hand. Twist your fingers to move the tail and head. Move your hands in opposite directions to make the puppet look up and down. Swim your puppet in different directions and different speeds, eat underwater plants, and get creative!

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