Picture of Cardboard Dinosaur Puzzle
pteranodon (2).jpg

I was recently act my local hobby shop and I picked up a bunch of 3D wood puzzles for my son to put together. They are really cool, but they are a little small.So I decided to take the design, blow them up 500% and make them out of cardboard. Now instead of just being a simple decoration on the shelf, it is big enough to decorate a whole corn of the ceiling and it is still light enough to hang.

In this project, I am going to share with you how to make large dinosaur skeleton puzzles out of cardboard boxes. 
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
The primary material that you need for this project is corrugated cardboard. For making a large puzzle, I highly recommend using double layered cardboard. If you don't have easy access to two-ply cardboard, don't worry. You can easily make your own by gluing two pieces of regular cardboard together. Spray glue works well for this. 

Step 2: Find or Make a Template

Picture of Find or Make a Template
The first thing that you need to do is find a template that you like. You can find quite a few with a simple Google search. My favorites are these two by instuctacles users kaptaink_cg and stevemoseley:

Stevemosley actually made his from scratch by scanning a picture of a T-Rex skeleton and modeling it with CAD software.

Another way to get a template is to purchase a small 3D wood puzzle from your local craft store, then scan it and enlarge it to the size that you want. I have included several patterns in Step 8 that I scanned from puzzles that I recently purchased.

In the end, I decided to use a pteranodon template that I got from Kaptaink_cg's instructable.
rick.jochem2 months ago

This was an awesome project. I made it with Corflute (real estate signs) with a 6 ft wingspan.

I spent some time drawing the outlines and have then as JPeg Files if anyone would like them. email <>

Oh.. and I added a Tail !


Awesome. Thanks for sharing.

sarahsrikumar4 months ago

Dear DIY Hacks and How Tos,

I would like to do for my son on his birthday T Rex and other itmes. Is it possible to give us in PDF format. Thanks


The T-Rex designs were referenced from these instructables:

Sorry, but I don't have a pdf creator on this computer. You can find free pdf creators online that can convert the jpeg files into pdf's.

cassie.friesen.5 made it!6 months ago

Made this for my daughter's fourth birthday party, which was Paleontologist themed. She really wanted to build a life size fossil. I didn't have any of the proper tools and labored on this with an Exacto knife for far more hours than I care to admit. The wingspan is easily over 6 ft long. She loved it!


Awesome! Thanks for sharing.

paulsroom7 months ago

I used 400gsm cardstock and made two of each image, cutting them out with a Silhouette Cameo, then sticking them together to make a 800gsm cardstock. This is about the limit of thin one can go with cardstock, but it does work. I made one adjustment - I moved the slot for the back legs to the top instead of where it is. Then I moved the middle slot in the back legs correspondingly. This means that this piece then holds by gravity like the ribs. I used A3 cardstock basing the whole structure on the largest the wing claw would fit - it's still quite large.

That is really cool!
Is it possible to get the file in vector format?

I converted the files to vector format and have them in dxf, svg, or Silhouette Cameo files.

Sorry, I just scanned the puzzles. But you can easily enlarge the pictures or trace them in an editing program.
Scamerman Run made it!11 months ago

It is cool :D

Congrats on the award. Well deserved.
quirxi1 year ago
Cooool ! Thank You !!! :)
Woodit1 year ago
Thanks for sharing, I will try it!
javl1 year ago
Nice model. Here is a related project I did with Jiskar:
Very cool!!
thanks alot!
(not a very good english)
poofrabbit1 year ago
Awesome this is great!