At just $10 to $30, they're worth the expense (even if you're not sure what to do with a shadow puppet). Artist Andrea Everman is a professional model-maker who started doodling one day with a laser cutter.
Those doodles led to an entire line of Shadow Puppets that Andrea sells online and at Craft Fairs.
From the website: The puppets are cut from 4ply mat board, so they are quite sturdy. I join the moving parts with brass fasteners and then glue the puppets onto bamboo sticks. The laser cutter lets me cut the highly detailed parts rather quickly, so I can sell the puppets for an affordable price.
Andrea even offers how-to instructions for making your own shadow puppets, as well as lesson plans for teachers.