How to Make a Paper Mache Dinosaur

Want to show your kids how to make a papier-mâché dinosaur? With a little planning, this is an easy dinosaur art project to do with kids.

We’ll give you step-by-step instructions on how to make a paper stegosaurus, but you can make it with any other dinosaur. Ready to enter the world of paper mache? Let’s go!

How to make dinosaurs with Mache paper

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Who doesn’t love dinosaurs? We definitely do!

Handmade dinosaur paper mache

Be sure to check out these dinosaur coloring pages – your kids can color them first and once they’re done and forgotten, they can be used as materials to create papier-mâché sculptures .

Paper mache dinosaur craft

How to make a paper Mache Dinosaur (Stegosaur)

What you need:

  • paper mache glue (we have collected the best paper mache glue recipes)
  • newspapers or other old papers
  • carton
  • duct tape (masking tape, masking tape, duct tape – anything)
  • drag
  • paint and paint brush
  • toilet paper rolls (5 pieces)
  • balloons (one large balloon and one water balloon)

Step-by-step instructions

If you don’t use store-bought glue, the first thing to do is make paper mache glue.

Plan the dinosaur’s body shape

Have children think about the type of dinosaur they want to make and think about the materials that will help them achieve their desired shape.

For any type of paper mache dinosaur, a large balloon is a great starting point for making the body. Quadrupeds like stegosaurus, triceratops or diplodocus are easier to build because four legs will support them, while T-rex is a bit more complicated and you will also need to consider weighing down its legs (e.g. For example, stick some pebbles in ) so that the dinosaur can balance on its legs.

See also Addition and Subtraction Activity with a Toilet Paper Roll

For our stegosaurus, we’ll use a large balloon as the body and four toilet paper rolls as the legs to start things off.

You can cut the shapes to make them fit the balloon more tightly, but this is not a necessary step.

Create body shape

Secure the pins to the ball with tape – you don’t need to be super sturdy as you’ll be securing them with strips of newspaper dipped in papier-mâché.

If you are doing this project with young children, it’s best to be a little bolder when gluing the legs to the body as it will make it easier for them.

Add the first layer of paper

Start adding the first layer of paper. For this project, it’s best to start with longer strips of paper dipped in paper mache glue and glue it so that one strip covers both the base and the balloon. This way, once the glue dries, the legs will be attached to the body.

Slowly work your way around the dinosaur.

Flip the dinosaur

Let the glue dry a bit, it doesn’t have to be completely dry, then flip the dinosaur over. You can use the bowl as a stand to keep the dinosaur from swaying left and right.

Proceed to cover the belly as well as complete the legs. It’s best to use a combination of longer strips of paper as well as small pieces of torn newspaper.

Make dinosaurs out of paper mache

Slowly do each leg.

Dinosaur body made of paper mache

Once completed, you can let the first layer dry.

Make discs and tails

While the body dries, make the panels for your stegosaur and tail.

See also 20+ Bat Crafts for Kids

The cardboard has an outline drawn on it

Take an old piece of cardboard and draw an outline for the tail and plates.

Cut them all out. The panels will still be good but the tail will need some work.

The dinosaur tail is made of newspaper and tape

Take a piece of paper (newspaper, leaflet…) and roll it into a ball. Measure the tail edge and press in to shape to fit the tail.

The dinosaur tail is made of newspaper and tape

Secure it with tape. Rinse and repeat (on both sides of the cardboard tail) until you are satisfied with the shape of your dinosaur’s tail.

The dinosaur tail is made of newspaper and tape

Glue the tail to the body like you did with the legs.

The dinosaur tail is made of newspaper and tape

Neck and head (and plate)

The first layer of paper mache must be dry before moving on to this step, it doesn’t have to be 100% dry but it has to be almost dry.

Glue a roll of toilet paper onto the dinosaur’s body to make the neck.

Stegosaur structure made from papier mache

Glue a small water balloon to the end of the toilet paper roll for the head.

Stegosaur structure made from balloons and toilet paper rolls

This part can be a bit difficult for younger children so they may need some assistance.

Glue each panel to the dinosaur’s back (you can also go ahead and attach the tail but we recommend gluing another layer of newspaper-dipped mache first).

Stegosaur disc made from cardboard

One or two layers of new paper

Start adding another layer of paper, focusing on the plates, neck, head as well as tail. Smaller pieces of newspaper work best when working around the plate.

Unpainted paper mache dinosaur

Once this layer is dry, add another layer (and another depending on the type of paper you are using).

Note: if you’re unlucky like us, the balloon may burst, so it’s best not to wait too long between adding new layers. However, accidents can sometimes be a good thing – when we made this dinosaur, the water balloon appeared after the first layer was added and it formed a very nice shape for the dinosaur’s mouth. long. long.

See also 3D Ladybugs Paper Craft

Drying and coloring

Once you have all your layers, let the paper mache dinosaur dry completely. With this final step, it is extremely important that the glue is completely dry so it is best to let it dry for a day or two.

Paper mache dinosaur painting

Acrylic paints are great because they will add waterproofness to your child’s creations, but other types of paint are also great for this project.

Paper mache dinosaur painting

Take your time drawing the dinosaur. Apply one coat or more. A coat will often help see through some of the newspaper, which can add charm to your papier-mâché dinosaur.

Paper mache dinosaur painting

Although the panels are quite sturdy at this stage, it’s best to be a little cautious when painting them.

Paint on eyes. Make a white circle and let dry. Add more details (you can use acrylic paint markers to draw finer details).

Also, draw on some toes on your papier-mâché dinosaur’s feet.

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