TL;DR: I created some paper bobblehead animal templates and I’m sharing them with you! You may use them freely for PERSONAL use. Librarians and teachers may use them in their libraries and classrooms. These templates should not be sold. If you want to share these templates with a friend, please send them the link to this blog post. You can find the templates at the bottom of this post.
At the library, we have a makerspace table that has a new activity each week. I’m putting together the activity for the first full week of January and I was looking for some inspiration, so I started browsing national holidays and came across National Bobblehead Day, which is on January 7th each year. (Also, did you know you can take a virtual tour of the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum? Check out their website for the tour!) I wanted to figure out a way to put together a DIY bobblehead activity, so I started browsing the web for templates. I found a few videos/blogs on making paper bobbleheads, and while they are lovely tutorials (here’s a unicorn and a bunny), they were mostly freestyle tutorials with no printable templates or they required a lot more pieces and cutting than what I was looking for, so I decided to create my own templates!
I was looking for an activity where I could provide the template along with minimal instructions, a completed example, and some photo examples. Fitting the template on a single page was also important, so written instructions must be limited. Ideally, kids could look at an example and figure out the process without a detailed list of step-by-step instructions. So, I grabbed a marker and some paper and started planning. I made a silly video with cute music that shows the bobblehead action on the mock template and the final template:
I started by hand drawing a mock template on a sheet of paper to start playing with space and size. My mock template was too wide in the body, so I knew I needed to make the body more narrow while keeping the oversized head. I also didn’t want the fuss of cutting out and gluing the whiskers, so I wanted a cat head that had the whiskers already on the face. I moved on to creating digital templates in Canva once I had my ideas organized from the mock template.
These templates fit on one sheet of paper, printed double-sided. Once printed, this craft only requires scissors and glue to complete. Once I had my first cat template sorted out, I was ready to create other animals! It was pretty easy since I’d already done the work of figuring out sizing and spacing. I found a lot of cute animal faces to use on Canva and went about creating more templates. I found ways to create stripes and scales, as well as add footprints to the bottoms of the feet (one of my favorite details!). The cats and dogs have paws, the unicorn has horseshoes, and the dinosaur has a three-claw print.
The Bobblehead Animal Template Files
Here are the files! You may use them freely for PERSONAL use. Librarians and teachers may use them in their libraries and classrooms. These templates should not be sold. If you want to share these templates with a friend, please send them the link to this blog post.
Bobblehead files are organized by type: Animals, Mythological Creatures, and Pokémon-Inspired. I’ve also created some blank templates that you can customize however you want – find those in the “bobblehead blanks” file. It’s a pretty simple template to work with and easy to add in or swap out pieces as you see fit. Add wings to a cat. Give the unicorn a dinosaur tail. Create your own custom heads and tails. Put your imagination to work and have fun!