Cat In The Hat Paper Bag Puppet

mateo_cat in the hat collage

Small fry is recovering from a nasty fever that left us couch bound all of yesterday. To pass the time and keep the little one content, we watched The Cat in the Hat Goes Camping more times than any human should in any given 24 hour period. Add to this the fact that the Cat in the Hat is one of our nightly books, it seemed an obvious choice for our next crafting adventure. Now that he’s feeling a little more energetic but still isn’t ready for public interaction, we opted for an adorable Cat in the Hat paper bag puppet.

The craft was a HUGE hit. Practicing his puppetry skills, on the other hand, could not have been lower on his list of interests. The Cat proudly took us residence on our fridge and was the first thing anyone who entered the house in the following weeks heard about.

One note I will make…

Mateo’s strong suit is not coloring inside the lines. Therefore, if I were repeating this craft (or walking someone else through it), I might have painted the stripes on the hat ahead of time. His enjoyment of the activity would have remained the same and we would have simply bypassed the frustration over not being able to paint where ever he wanted. Reluctant to give up the painting aspect of the hat? Another strategy would be to cover the white striped portions with masking tape and let your little one let loose with the red paint. Once it dries, simply peel the masking tape up and you’ll have perfectly placed stripes.

Wanna get started? Here’s how.

Mateo_Cat in the hat face


  • Brown paper sandwich bag
  • White and black construction paper
  • Googly eyes (you can also draw the eyes on)
  • Red and black paint
  • Glue
  • Scissors


  • To prep: cut a face out of white construction paper (simply an oval). Cut three black whiskers for each side of the face. Cut a hat out of white construction paper. To assist with keeping the stripe aspect going and prevent Mateo from painting the entire thing red, I painted a small red line on the top and bottom of each portion he was supposed to paint red. Then I instructed him to paint in between the lines. See above note about how well this went.
  • Have your little one paint the entire bottom half of the paper bag black.
  • While that’s drying, help them use glue to assemble the face. To save time and reduce the amount of steps (I mean, he loves to craft but he’s still got a two year old’s attention span), I drew the mouth and nose on the face ahead of time with a sharpie.
  • Next, paint the red stripes on the hat. (Or, be a little smarter than I and hand your little guy or gal a pre-painted hat to glue).
  • Once all parts are completed, have him glue the face on the paper bag’s flap.
  • Lastly, add the hat with glue. (A note: have your little one glue the hat on with a good portion of the hat’s brim covering the paper bag. Otherwise, it will flop backwards and lessen the effect.
  • Show your little one how to make it work like a puppet. Take a deep breath and contain your disappointment that they have zero interest in it being a puppet (maybe that’s just me……).


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