Leprechaun puppet

This amazing little leprechaun is made from a paper cup! He talks, he walks, he dances. Sure he doesn’t have arms… but he’s an Irish dancer so that doesn’t stop him having some mighty craic. Make your own leprechaun puppet for some St Patrick’s Day fun.


Paper cup, A4 coloured paper (green, pink, orange, black), scrap of gold cardboard, scissors, glue stick, two plastic bottle tops, pair of googly eyes, cord (I used rainbow paracord from the dollar store), sticky tape, Lotta leprechaun template


1.  Cut your paper cup down evenly down the sides and fold the bottom in half.

2.  Now it’s time to turn this base into a leprechaun by decorating him with coloured paper.  Paper cups come in different sizes so we can’t give you a complete template.  Instead, use this template (Lotta leprechaun template) to help you get your paper to wrap nicely around the cup. Measure your cup and either add or subtract from the template so it fits your cup.  To start with, he needs a pink face, a green hat and clothes.

3.  Cut strips from the orange paper.  Glue one end onto the cup to create hair and a beard. Once the glue is dry, curl the ends with a pencil so they sit up nicely.

4.  Add the finishing touches — googly eyes with orange eyebrows, a golden buckled belt and a four leaf clover on his hat.

5.  Poke a hole in the middle of your bottle caps. Thread a piece of cord through the holes, tying a knot in each end to secure it.  Find the middle of your cord and tape it onto the back of your puppet.

Now your puppet is ready. To operate him, just place your hand on the ‘mouth’ at the back of the cup.

Love this guy and want to make more puppets? Check out my ebook Lotta Fun With Puppets for heaps of puppet projects (with complete templates and photo instructions).

Lotta fun with puppets ebook


Jumping kangaroo

Australia Day is coming and what is more Australian than a kangaroo?  This one jumps almost as well as the real thing with the help of some elastic bands. Quick and easy to make, fun to play with and a great way to celebrate Australia.


Two paper cups, two elastic bands, scissors, glue stick, bamboo skewer, colouring pencils, A4 card, printout of the template (you can download it here: Lotta jumping kangaroo)


  1.  Print out our template. If you can, print it on A4 card so your kangaroo will last a little longer.
  2. Colour in and decorate your kangaroo.  You could  make him even more Australian by adding some Aboriginal art inspired dots.

3.  Cut out the cup wrapper and glue it onto one of the paper cups.

4.  Poke four holes in your wrapped paper cup, at opposite points (like a cross).  An adult can use the pointy end of your scissors to get the holes started, then the kids can open them up with a bamboo skewer.

5.  Cut your rubber bands (so they aren’t circles anymore).  Feed one rubber band through the opposite holes, allowing a little slack, then tie a knot in both ends.  You can use your bamboo skewer to help poke the rubber band through the holes.

6.  Repeat with the other rubber band.

7.  Now your kangaroo is ready to jump. Place the kangaroo cup on top of another paper cup, pull down and launch.  Visit my Instagram profile to see a video of him jumping.

Lotta magazine | Magazine for kids

You’ll find more great art and craft projects for kids in my magazine. Click above to see all the issues.