Make your own elephant marionette

Transform a milk bottle, yogurt pot and some string into your own elephant marionette puppet. Not keen on elephants? Change the colours and you can make a puppet of any animal…

What you will need

  • String – Five short thick pieces and six long thin pieces
  • Paper or card – For the elephant’s trunk, tail, ears and feet
  • Plastic milk bottle – We chose a four pint bottle
  • Yogurt pot – For the elephant’s head
  • Glue – You can use PVA, super glue or hot glue
  • Paint – The colour you want your elephant to be
  • Paint brush – To apply the glue and paint your marionette
  • Scissors – Be careful. You may need an adult to help you
  • Batons – One long piece and two shorter ones

Ready? Let’s get making…


Paint an empty yogurt pot grey (or whatever colour you’ve chosen for your elephant). Cut two ears and a trunk out of coloured paper and attach to the pot. Then draw on some twinkling eyes.

Illustration of Glue Ears and a Trunk


Paint the milk bottle the same colour as the yogurt pot. You may want to paper mache over the bottle first to help the paint stick better. Poke four small holes in the bottom of the bottle for the leg strings to poke through.

Illustration of a bottle being painted


Cut four circular feet out of some thick cardboard and poke a hole through to attach the leg strings.

Illustration of scissors and cardboard


Stick the two shorter batons to the longer one (as shown in the picture). Drill or poke a hole into each end of the batons ready to string your puppet. Attach the six long pieces of string from the baton holes.

Illustration of a String Baton Puppet


Attach the four short string pieces to the milk bottle, thread though the feet and knot at the bottom. Attach the last short string between the front of the bottle and the elephant head. Stick on the tail.

Illustration of an elephant puppet


Finally attach the other end of the long strings to the head, back and four legs of your elephant. And it’s finished. Now all you need to do is practice making it walk!

Illustration of a DIY elephant puppet