Puppet Theater in the Door Frame

Article excerpt

All the world's a stage, including the space defined by a door frame. This easy-to-sew puppet theater is suspended between two doorposts, creating a place where children can act out dramatic fantasies.

Quilted fabric surrounds the stage opening, which remains covered by a curtain until show time. When the performance begins, string through plastic rings draws the curtain up dramatically. The stage--quilted fabric reinfroced with cardboard--is suspended between two wooden dowels and held by a decorative cord. Tassels attached to the cord where it frames the top of the stage add a final flourish. The theater rolls up for easy storage. Materials cost about $36.

For the panel, you'll need: 1-1/3 yards of 45-inch-wide quilted (or other substantial) fabric 1 yard double-fold bias tape to match quilted fabric 8 yards double-fold quilt binding to contrast with quilted fabric Metal spring-tension curtain rod to fit the width of your doorway 2 wooden dowels: one 3/8 inch wide and 20 inches long, one 1/2 inch wide and 30 inches long 2 wooden beads, 1-inch diameter, or drawer pulls (optional) Wood glue One 5-1/2- by 16-inch piece of carboard or foam-core board 2-1/2 yards 1/4-inch cording 3 tassels (optional)

For the curtain, you'll need: 1 piece contrasting velvet or other fabric, 22 by 28 inches 18 plastic rings, 1/2-inch diameter 4 yards twine 1 wood strip, 1-1/4 by 21 inches 1 cup hook

Making the quilted panel

Using the full width of the fabric, cut a 35-1/2-inch-long piece; cut a 10- by 35-inch piece from the remainder. With right sides together, machine-stitch between E and F, as shown in the diagram, allowing a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Trim one edge of seam, press the other edge over the cut edge, and machine-stitch. On right side of fabric, pin folded quilt binding, wider side up, over the seam, and top-stitch both edges in place.

Next, round off bottom corners of the fabric as pictured. Encase the bottom and side edges in quilt binding, placing the narrower side of the binding on the right side of the fabric. Baste, then stitch close to inner edge of binding.

To make a casing for the metal spring rod, turn under top raw edge of the fabric 1/4 inch. Turn under another 1-1/2 inches; pin, then secure with a zigzag stitch.

Lay the fabric panel flat and cut an opening for the stage, as shown above, leaving lower edge AB uncut. Fold down the flap that results and baste the matching bias seam tape to flap's side edges. …