Teen Librarian Toolbox
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TPiB: Doctor Who – How to host a BRILLIANT 50 year anniversary party (at home or at your library)

This month, my tween edges a little closer to teendom.  And later this year, Doctor Who is turning 50!  On November 23rd they will air the Doctor Who 50 year anniversary special at the same time, everywhere.  So we are doing double duty here, hosting a Doctor Who themed birthday party for my Tween and putting together a Doctor Who program for our library in November in anticipation of 50 years of our favorite Doctor.  Below are some great ideas that would work well in a library, given the time and space constraints we often have.  Pick and choose what works for you, step into your Tardis, and see where you end up.  Don’t forget to put our YA Books for the Doctor Who fan recommendations on display.

Duct Tape Doctor Who
Image found on Tumblr

I don’t know about your tweens, but mine are obsessed with Duct Tape.  And this is good because it makes for some easy (albeit kind of expensive) programming.

Duct Tape Bowtie Necklaces (Because Bowties are Cool!)
Simple really, follow these instructions and make Duct Tape bow ties.

Duct Tape Rose Pens
Fans of the companion Rose can rejoice and make this rose pen. Out of Duct tape, of course.  Instructions for a Duct tape rose can be found here.

Duct Tape Tardis Purse
This is the best craft idea ever because the Tardis is the coolest spaceship ever.  There are a couple of different ways you can make a Tardis bag out of Duct tape.
Version 1: http://ducttapecase.wordpress.com/tardis-duct-tape-bag/
Version 2: http://redditgifts.com/marketplace/product/doctor-who-tardis-duct-tape-purse-tardis/

Doctor Who Crafts

Make Your Own River Song Journal
Technically, you can make a River Song Journal in a variety of ways.  Just Google make your own journal, pick one that you like and make yours blue.  However, there is a great tutorial here for making an actual River Song journal for purists.

Make Your Own Weeping Angels
You know those holiday angels you have sitting around in your basement or garage?  The ones you put at the tops of trees?  Spray paint them silver.  Not an awesome craft per se, but it would make for some great party decorations. 

Cybermen Headbands
What you need: headbands, silver spray paint and pipe cleaners.  Spray pain your headband silver and let it dry.  Use your pipe cleaners to create the thingy majig that would go across the top.  You’ll have to do this by eye using a picture because I couldn’t find a pattern, but it isn’t hard.  Connect two pipe cleaners, wrap a pipe cleaner around the middle for the middle part, and attach it to the bottom of your headband.  When you wear your headband, you now are rocking some serious Cybermen headgear.  If you don’t use silver pipe cleaners, use your silver spray paint to finish off your look.

Build a Dalek 
There are plans everywhere online.   In the end all you really need are some boxe, foam balls cut in half, and paint.  Here is a simple example using everyday household items.

Robot Building
I recently had a two part tech fun program.  On day 1, we took a bunch of donated tech and took it apart.  It was fun and it allowed my tweens and teens to see what the inside of the technology they use everyday looks like.  On day 2, we took those bits and pieces and used them to make robots.  Not functioning robots, because I don’t know how to do electrical work, but things that looked like cool robots.  I feel like this would be a fun Doctor Who program because it fits right in with the verse.  Maybe one of your tweens or teens will even create the next major villain for Doctor Who.

Dalek and Tardis Fuse Bead Crafts
Use your fuse beads to make Doctor Who themed keychains (or zipper pulls) and more.  Here is a pattern for a Dalek. Here is a pattern for the Tardis.

Doctor Who Shrinky Dink Jewelry
You can make Shrinky Dinks at the library using a toaster oven.  Purchase blank sheets of Shrinky Dink pages and go to town creating Doctor Who themed pieces.  Then, watch the shrinking magic happen.  You can use your pieces on keychains, jewelry or even as ornaments.  In fact, string them and make Doctor Who themed garland.

Dalek Bags
You can buy draw string bags from places online like Oriental Trading.  Buy solid colors.  Bust out some black fabric markers and color in circles.  Tada, you now have a Dalek bag. There is an example in this awesome birthday party outline.

Paper Snowflakes (The Snowmen)
In one of the most awesome Christmas specials, snowmen attack.  They show snowflakes with menacing faces and it was both sinister and cool.  We’ve all cut snowflakes out of paper, but can you make some scary ones?  Give it a try.

Make Your Own Villain/Alien
Use the classic Exquisite Corpse activity to create unique and totally original creatures that the Doctor might encounter in his travels through space and time.

Weeping Angel Barbie
You can buy a bunch of Barbies at a thrift store and use these instructions to make a Weeping Angel.

Fimo Clay Tardis Necklacs 
Use Fimo clay to make a Tardis necklace.  Follow the Fimo instructions on the package and use any of the numerous pictures available online for a model.

Tardis Tin
Use old Altoid tins.  Paint Tardis blue.  Decorate.  As a bonus, you can make Doctor Who art/quotes Marble Magnets to place inside.

Doctor Who t-shirts with stencils (or bleach pens)
Use stencils or bleach pens to make Doctor Who themed t-shirts. Instructions for bleach pen shirts can be found here.

Create your own Doctor Who light faceplate
Take a light switch cover and paint it Tardis blue.  Add some white.  Tada, a Tardis light faceplate. Or, you can print off your favorite pictures (to size) and Mod Podge them.  Actually, you can do this really for just about anything.  Mod Podge is cool.

An example of circular Gallifreyan from Sherman’s Planet Instructable

Write your name in circular Gallifreyan 
Gallifreyan  at Sherman’s Planet

Doctor Who Trailer Maker and Comic Maker available at the BBC website.

Keep in mind, you can do some traditional crafts, like Bottle Cap Jewelry or Marble Magnets, and just give them a Doctor Who twist.  Here is a Pinterest page with some excellent examples of Doctor Who bottle cap jewelry.

Paper Crafts 

Doctor Who Paper Craft (tons online) like :http://manmadediy.com/users/chris/posts/702-free-download-dr-who-papercraft-templates

Various Masks from the BBC, including Weeping Angels, Gangers, and Smilers 

Printable Tardis Notecards

Printable Tardis Notecards

You can also use your Phone Apps and favorite quotes (or Publisher if you like) to create your own Doctor Who art.

Weeping Angels Tag

This game is outlined really well in this Facebook post.

Cube Stacking Contest
Take a bunch of old wooden blocks and spray pain them black to make them look like the cubes in The Power of Three.  Have contests to see who can stack the most amount of cubes in a short amount of time: say 1 minute.  This is a variation on the Oreo Cookie stacking contest.

Doctor Who Guess Who
Steal your kids Guess Who game and print off 2 pictures each of various Doctor Who characters, including all 11 (now 12) versions of the doctor.  Replace all the pictures in the game with your pictures and keep one set for the drawing pile.  You now play by the same rules as Guess Who, but have Doctor Who characters instead.  Follow these instructions from Instructables to learn more about customizing your Guess Who game.

Musical Fez
Play a version of musical chairs, but instead of moving chairs you pass the fez.

Doctor Who Bingo
Someone was kind enough to make these Doctor Who Bingo cards.  Thank you kind Doctor Who Bingo card maker.

Humans VS. Weeping Angels
Christie is adapting this Humans VS. Zombies games for an upcoming lock-in.


Dalek Cups
Get lidded cups, like Starbucks cups.  Spray paint various colors.  Add dots (markers or stickers will work)

Tardis Doorway
Supplies needed: a refrigerator box, box cutter, and lots of blue paint. You could also try and use butcher paper.  In fact, you could make one of those big banners and have your teens run through it like they do at football games.

Tardis Art
Decorate your own masterpiece and insert the Tardis somewhere.  Tweens and teens could literally use paper and paint to create any type of artwork and just paint the Tardis in.  I am, of course, referring to the episode Vincent and the Doctor.


Sonic Screwdriver Snack
Take pretzel rods and dip the tip of them in white frosting.  Then, coat the frosting in green sprinkles.  This will create an edible snack that resembles the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver.

Dalek Cupcakes
Here are incredibly simple instructions to make Dalek cupcakes.

Tardis Cookies
Use graham crackers, frosting and licorice to make Tardi themed snacks.

Ood Cupcakes
Use this as an example to make Ood looking cupcakes.  Cupcakes, frosting and soar strips. Yum.

Marshmallow Adipose
Use large and small marshmallows to create Adipose.

Snowflake cookies
Pretty self explanatory, use your snowflake cookie cutter and make snowflake cookies.  Let your tweens and teens frost and decorate their own.

Fish and custard
If you are daring, you can just make fish sticks and dip them in your custard.  I am not the daring, so you can use French Toast sticks or Swedish fish to represent the fish sticks and dip them in your pudding.

“Always take a banana to a party Rose. Bananas are good.”

Oh look – it’s number 12! Peter Capaldi (BBC)

Other Fun Tie Ins

Impressionist Paintings (for Vincent and the Doctor)
Shakespeare Readings (for The Shakespeare Code)
Do an interactive mystery in honor of Agatha Christie (or play Clue) (for The Unicorn and the Wasp)
Make a Volcano (for Fires of Pompeii) – Scholastic has an easy mini-volcano recipe on their site.

Don’t Forget!!

Trivia, trivia, trivia.  Match quotes to numbers to see if tweens and teens know which Doctor said them (you might want to concentrate on Doctors 9-11).

And, you can make all kinds of bookmarks, fan art and more using Doctor Who pictures, quotes, etc.  In fact, check out the official Doctor Who Tumblr to see amazing fan art that is quote heavy.

Turn your favorite Doctor Who quotes into wall art with this Peel Away Quote art activity

Additional Activities and Resources

Another fun Doctor Who themed party 
Maria Selke’s Pinterest Board: http://pinterest.com/lleullin/doctor-who/
Doctor Who Party Pack from BBC: http://doctorwho.tumblr.com/post/67307924465/we-made-you-a-doctor-who-global-celebration

Karen & Christie


  1. Thanks for the great ideas and inspiration! I recently did my own Doctor Who program… http://bit.ly/14QHe3T

  2. I *LOVE* the ideas and am now conspiring to have my own timey-wimey 50th party! Thanks!

  3. Great ideas – we're doing a themed event at our library. Can't wait!

  4. Great ideas – we're doing a themed event at our library. Can't wait!

  5. Good ideas and stuff, some of which I will be using or tweaking. I would like to point out that it should be “Bananas are good.” not 'Bananas are cool.'. It was a quote by Tennant's Doctor who does not have the same compulsion to describe things as cool that Smith's Doctor has.

  6. Great ideas. I'm using them for y doctor who theamed birthday party

  7. Hi! Do you have any additions based on Twelve and/or since this post went up? – Liz


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