Skip to Content

Free clothespin animal puppet templates: A fun kids craft

We’ve got something cute and fun for you on the site today that’ll help the kids with their fine motor skills, and  give you something fun to do with a set of adorable animal templates. We have a free clothespin animal puppet templates printable to give away to you all. All you need to have a great time with the kids is a hot glue gun, and a bit of patience! Wooden clothespins, or clothes pegs in the UK, act as craft sticks in these templates to help make your animals. So great those little fingers ready, for your first puppet show:

The image features a promotional poster for 12 free printable clothespin animal templates, including cut-out crafts of a fish and seahorse, for children's activities.

In order to use these adorable animals – you might need to gather a few items first.


  • White card stock, which is easy to get on Amazon,
  • Big glob of hot glue, or just glue generally which works with wood, as you will be gluing onto this,
  • A home printer, we hope you already have one of these, but we LOVE Hewlett Packard models, and ours is perfect for this,
  • Scissors,
  • A set of clothes pins, or clothes pegs – there are 12 different clothespin animals to make with the templates so make sure you grab enough for that you want to do, and
  • Clothespin animal puppet templates – these are located a little further down this article. Look out for the button and the image.

It is worth noting that you could use double-sided sticky tape to make the puppets too, as well as glue. And if you wanted to ass a little extra color and design to the characters, how about a little bit of washi tape too?

You could also use construction paper or a small piece of foam to make the animals too, depending on how crafty you would like to get. We have just used paper, but it is, of course, completely up to you what you would like to do to make your creatures come to life. We know that some of our readers love a popsicle stick – but these crafts really do need clothespins as otherwise the animals won’t be able to open and close their mouths.

Using the puppets is actually a good way of improving the muscles of the hand because of the strength needed to operate the clothespin animal crafts mouths. It will also help with your kids finger strength and hand strength as well.


Once you have gathered your materials, then you need to listen up to find out how to put your animal heads and bodies together so you can create your clothespin puppets from the templates. This is an easy peasy activity, perfect for creating puppets to use in imaginative play.

  1. Cut out each animal along the dashed line. Some of the shapes here are a little complicated, so for smaller kids you might need to help them out a bit. The older kids should be able to do it, as long as you supervise the scissors. We wouldn’t want anyones little hands to get hurt making these.
  2. Cut the animal in half – along the dotted line – creating a top half and a bottom half for your puppets. You can hopefully see the puppet taking shape now.
  3. Lay a wooden clothespin on your work surface with the spring facing upward. This will enable you to see exactly where you need to add your puppet to make the finished items.
  4. At the bottom end of the clothespin, the end with the round hole, glue the two pieces of the puppet so the dotted line area sits where the two sides of the clothespin meet. As you can see here, this is the way that the clothespin puppet opens and closes its mouth. That’s your mouth line of course.
  5. Finally, allow the glue to dry and enjoy your puppets!

We know that this is wonderful simple – and with 12 animals for you to choose from there is a lot of fun to be had with the dramatic play for your kids. If you want, you can combine these with some of the finger puppets and backgrounds that we have on site for imaginative play as well. Giving you more puppets, and more play value and flexibility for the kids.

We’ve made a few of the puppets for you so you can see them in action before you download the templates – we hope you like the ocean creatures we’ve made here: the seahorse, the clam and a wonderfully colorful pink fish.

What do the clothespin animal [puppet templates look like?

We have 12 animals for you within the set of templates for making these clothes peg crafts. These ideas will hopefully mean that the puppets are perfect for kids of all ages. For our first six puppets we have:

  • Ocean life: clam, fish and seahorse, and
  • Duck,
  • Frog, and
  • Toucan.

As you can see from above, we have made the ocean life ideas for you so you can check those out after crafting. It is clear from the others how they will look though. The long line on each is where the mouth opens and closes.

For the remained six animals, we have:

  • Koala, fox and chameleon, and
  • Rabbit, lion and a hippopotamus.

These provide plenty of variety of animals for you to choose from, so your children should be able to find something that they really like and connect with.

How to make your own clothespin templates with other images

If they don’t work, perhaps you can make your own. All you need to do is fine some suitable images, perhaps through AI, or those that are available through clipart. Then cut them out, and create a suitable mouth line within the image. Cut along that line, and you have the top and bottom halves of your animals for the clothespin. Why not give it a go – its great fun to make your own animals and ideas based on our templates below.

Without further ado, here is the template for you all:

We really hope that you like these ideas as well as we do. Crafting with kids is so much fun, and these are a perfect animal craft – simple but fun. If you would like to see some of the other animal ideas we have on the site – why not check these out?

Bird and animal related activities on KiddyCharts

Some more ideas for what to do with the kids to inspire them around nature, animals and birds. We've got some lovely ideas, so why not check them out here.

There are more clothes[pin ideas off site, so have a look here too:

Other Clothespin crafts to try off site

Here are some more ideas for you to try out with your clothespin / clothes pegs that we think that your kids will love.

Thanks as always for coming to see us, and we really hope that you come again soon – don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter as well:

Take care,


An advertisement offering free templates for children's clothespin puppet crafts, featuring images of animals, with a call to action to download now.

Helen is a mum to two, social media consultant, and website editor; and this site is (we think) the only Social Enterprise parenting magazine! Since giving up being a business analyst when juggling travel, work and kids proved too complicated, she founded KiddyCharts so she could be with her kids, and use those grey cells at the same time. KiddyCharts has reach of over 1.1million across social and the site. The blog works with big family brands (including travel) to help promote their services, as well as offering free resources to parents of kids under 10. It gives 51%+ profits to Reverence for Life, who fund a number of important initiatives in Africa, including bringing running water and basic equipment to a school in Tanzania. Helen has worked as a digital marketing consultant (IDM qualified) with various organisations, including Channel Mum, Truprint, Talk to Mums, and Micro Scooters. She loves to be creative in the brand campaigns she works on. Get in touch TODAY!

Sharing is caring!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.