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DIY:  Build Your Own Bobbleheads!

SuppliesStep-3Inspired by the current temporary exhibition On The Road: Photography and the American Road Trip, we offer you an opportunity to build your own bobblehead:  you know, those hip-swinging, head-bobbing characters you can attach to the dashboard of your car to keep you company as you drive.  This is a quick and easy project, and you can create just about any shape you want:  pigs (like we did here), dogs, flowers, people, whatever you like!


White Model Magic air-dry clay
Washable markers
*A compression spring:  5 1/2” x 1 1/2”
Buttons, beads, sequins, wire, feathers, or whatever you might want to use to embellish your bobblehead!
Craft glue (optional)

Step-1*If you like, you can make your own compression spring by wrapping a strand of .5mm jewelry wire around a pencil.

Step-4How to do it:

Color your clay:  It’s easy to color your clay, if you want.  Just choose a washable marker and make a few strokes on the clay, then knead it in to work the color through. Keep in mind: the final color of the clay will be lighter than the color of the marker. To get this pretty pig-pink, we used a red marker.)


Step-9Make your character: split the clay into thirds. Use one third to shape the head, and the other two thirds to make the body. Don’t worry about adding embellishments yet, we’ll do that later.

Screw one end of the spring into the body of your character where you want the head to go. Screw it in about 3 or 4 rungs deep. Then screw the head onto the other end in the same way.



Now you can add details like the pig’s ears, tail, and face, plus embellishments: maybe you made a bird bobblehead that will need feathers, or a horse that needs a mane, or a hula dancer that will need some sequins and jewels! Press them gently into the clay.

You can use craft glue to hold them if you need to.

You can also draw on your clay to add more features, as we did here to make the pig’s legs and eyes.

When you are done, leave your bobblehead out to air dry. It will harden up in about 3-4 days!Step-6