Princess and The Rock

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Monday, 5 August 2013

变脸木偶 / Changing Faces Puppets

The heavy rain this morning rendered us homebound. Princess and The Rock were initially quite disappointed about not being able to have their playground / bubble / chalk time but it turned out to be a fun morning of crafting.

变脸 or Changing Faces is an ancient Chinese dramatic art that is part of the Sichuan opera. Performers wear brightly colored costumes and move to quick, dramatic music. They also wear vividly colored masks, typically depicting well known characters from the opera, which they change from one face to another almost instantaneously with the swipe of a fan, a movement of the head, or wave of the hand. The following is a short video of this amazing form of art:

The puppets we made in the morning were inspired by the Changing Faces. They were not sophisticated but it was still fun that the puppets could change their faces!

Materials needed:

  1. Drawing block or card stock
  2. Markers / colour pencils /crayons or any preferred medium
  3. Sticky tape
  4. Glue
  5. Pencil
  6. Scissors
  7. Paper fasteners
  8. Wooden ice-cream sticks


1. Draw circles on the paper, using something round as a template (I used a mug).

2. Cut out the circles.

3. Draw faces of different expressions on the circles.

4. Stack the "faces" together. (I recommend not more than four for younger children so that the "changing of faces" would be easier for them to manage.)

5. Poke a hole through all the "faces" and insert a paper fastener through the hole and flatten the back of the fastener.

6. Stick a wooden ice-cream stick on the back of the last "face" with sticky tape.

7. Ta-da! Now you can start changing the faces of your puppet!

  • You can draw animal faces or monster faces if you want to, your imagination and creativity is the limit!

  • I tried with animal faces and found that the paper fastener did not work too well due to the addition of ears. I replaced the paper fastener with a loop tied with a piece of yarn, so that when I turn the face, the ears of the face below are visible.

I hope you like this easy-to-make Changing Faces Puppets. Do show me your wonderful creations if you try it out! :)

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