Introduction: Free Halloween Headless Robot Papercraft

About: I am a Graphic Designer by trade and a passionate crafter, tinkerer, and inventor at heart

Say hello to our Halloween papercraft for 2020: the Headless Robot!


For more details on how to extended this project for additional learning check out further resources in Step 14. Topics include science, stability, center of gravity, and how to balance an object.

- Giveaway has ended - If you did not get a message from us regarding the gift, please email with your username and we can look into it!

Post a photo of your Headless Robot papercraft or Tinkercad halloween background (here on this Instructable as an "I Made It", or on Twitter, or Instagram), and we’ll send you an Instructables giveaway pack! Find all the details of how to participate in Step 13.


  • Printed Papercraft (You can download the PDF on the next step.)
  • Xacto knife
  • Scissors
  • Cutting mat
  • Pennies or other small weighted objects ( beans, beads, bolts...)
  • Rule + Butter knife (Optional - for scoring the fold lines.)
  • Glue/tape (Optional - This papercraft assembles with no adhesives, but you can add a little glue/tape to make it sturdier!)

Paper Options:

  1. Cardstock: Use for a stronger more robust papercraft.
  2. Regular printer/copy paper: regular printer/copy paper is 100% ok to use, but will require a little bit more patience and care when assembling your papercraft so that you don't accidentally squash or rip them.

Step 1: Print + Cut Out the Headless Robot

Attached to this step are four(4) PDF patterns :

  • Small Headless Robot in color
  • Small Headless Robot in black and white
  • Large Headless Robot in color
  • Large Headless Robot in black and white

Choose the one you'd like and print out the Headless Robot pattern at 100%. Once it's printed, cut along the outer edge of all of the papercraft pieces.

Step 2: Special Cuts

Once you have cut along the outer edge of all your pieces there are a couple special cuts you need to make:

  1. Leg tabs: Cut along the black line that runs into the leg.
  2. Slots: Cut along the inner slot lines with an Xacto knife on a cutting mat. These slot lines are indicated by a thin black line with two dashes on either end. Be careful not to go past the lines when cutting. These line length are well suited for receiving their recipient tabs during assembly. (If you do overshoot them and are having trouble keeping your tabs in the slot - you can use some glue/tape to hold it all together)

Assembly Tips and Tricks:

  1. Pre-gouging your slots: After you cut your slots, they may be a little tight. I found that by pushing my Xacto knife through the slot, it made it easier to push the tab through it.
  2. Using your Xacto knife as a guide: If you are having trouble getting you tab into a slot, this can be made easier by putting the Xacto knife into the slot first and then slipping the tab in behind it. Remove the blade and voila your tab is in place!

Step 3: Bonus Credit - Scoring the Papercraft

Scoring your fold lines can make assembling a papercraft so much easier. I used the smooth side of a butter knife to score them and placed a ruler down parallel to the fold line to use as a guide for the scoring. Don't press TOO hard with the butter knife or you may rip the paper.

Step 4: Assembling the Legs

First, roll your leg piece into a tube. Slide the tab into the slot using an angled approach.

Straighten out the leg until the top and bottom looks flush and the tab sits snugly into the slot. Repeat for second leg!

Step 5: Assembling the Head

Fold along the lines and slip the two tabs at the back of the head into their respective slots.

Step 6: Assembling the Arms

Fold the arms in half where the fingertips meet.

There are two arm types to choose from for your Headless Robot. Two are classic and one has a bit of pumpkin stem coming off of it. If you want to build a robot with their pumpkin head ON their body, use the two classic arms. If you'd like build a fully Headless Robot, swap one of the classic arms for the one with the pumpkin stem on it (pictured above).

Step 7: Pre-folding the Torso

Fold along the lines. Fit the front tabs into the sides, then the top tabs. Tuck the back edges inside the torso and insert the last tab on the top of the torso. Doing this here will make assembly much easier later. :)

Now that we've done all our folding and cutting, it's time to assemble the Headless Robot!

Step 8: Attaching the Arms and Legs


Slot the tabs of each arm piece into the two angled slots on the side of the torso. Push the tabs through so the arms lie flat.

Slot the tabs of each leg piece into the two slots located on the bottom of the torso.Push through and make sure they are nice and secure.

Note: If you're worried about the arms and legs staying on, feel free to tape or glue down the flaps on the inside of the Headless Robot :D

Step 9: Attaching the Head

For this step you have two option for where you'd like your pumpkin head to rest:

  1. For a Papercraft with Head ON:Slot the tabs of the head into the two slots located on the top of the torso. Push through and make sure they are nice and secure.
  2. For a Papercraft with Head OFF:Slot the steam tab located on the arm piece into the top go the pumpkin head. Push through and make sure it is nice and secure. Tuck in the tabs at the bottom of the head so that they are not showing, or cut them off.

Step 10: Finish Making Your Torso

Slip the two tabs on each side of the torso into their respective slots.

Fold up the back of the torso, and slip the final tab into the neck slot located on the top back of the torso piece.

Step 11: Balancing Your Headless Robot

To make your robot more stable, we need to make sure that most of the mass of the papercraft is above the legs. To do this, re-open the torso and add pennies ( or any other small weighted objects like beans, bolts, beads...) until your robot balances.

To learn more about stability, center of gravity, and how to balance an object - check out Step 14 for additional learning resources :)

Step 12: All Done!

Ta-Daaaaaa! You are now the proud owner of your very own Headless Robot.

Want to make the Headless Robot some friends? Check out Mummybot, Frankenbot, and Vampire Robot! Be sure to check out the Instructables Halloween Contest for your chance to win big when you document your costume, decoration, prop, or spooky snack!

Step 13: Instructables Giveaway

- Giveaway has ended - If you did not get a message from us regarding the gift, please email with your username and we can look into it!


Here's how to participate:

  • Build your Instructables Headless Robot Papercraft or use the Tinkercad model below and create a Halloween background for your Headless Robot in Tinkercad.
  • Post a photo (or the Tinkercad file) of your Headless Robot in all its glory by clicking the yellow "I Made It" button at the bottom of this project,
  • Alternatively, you can enter by sharing your creation on Instagram and/or Twitter, and tagging @instructables and #HeadlessRobot. *note: You’ll have to follow us on each platform so we can DM you.
  • We must receive submissions and iterations of this project by November 9, 2020 (11:59pm Pacific Time) to be eligible for this offering.

Instructables staff will feature the best recreations of this papercraft project on our Twitter and Instagram Stories (and tag you, of course).

If you're going to create a Tinkercad Halloween background, you can use this Headless Robot Model to get started!! New to Tinkercad ? Take these starter lessons and learn how to design with Tinkercad.

Step 14: Extended Learning


science, stability, center of gravity, how to balance an object

Videos / Resources:

Mr. Wizard - How Center of Gravity Works

Balancing Sculptures - At home science experiment

Science Max - CENTRE of GRAVITY - Time 0:00 to 2:51