Introduction: Turn Trash Into a Fossil

Picture of Turn Trash Into a Fossil

Welcome to Faux Fossil Building. I chose the Tyrannosaurus Rex because of my own Childhood Dreams of Owning a fossil of my very own. I will show you how to build a T-REX using recycled paper, recycled cardboard and a home made mold.

Step 1: Things You Will Need

Picture of Things You Will Need

What you will need.
1. Hot Foam Cutter $20.00 USD(optional) of a Steak knife (free).
2. Foam Insulation $2.50 USD
3. Paper (recycled)
4. Cardboard (recycled)
5. Plaster $13.00 USD
6. Blender
7. Oven
8. Coffee
9. White Glue $2.00
10. paint brush

Step 2: A Good Picture

Picture of A Good Picture

I found a picture of a T-rex on the Internet. I traced the image using Illustrator or you can free hand if you feel comfortable. Just make a Pattern that suites you.

Step 3: Tracing Patterns

Picture of Tracing Patterns

I blew the Image up using a graph. I made the T-rex the size that I wanted. Use Signboard or Cardboard when making the graph for your resize. Signboard helps to keep your knife or foam cutter steady while tracing the outlines.

I then used an exacto knife to cut out the T-rex pattern. I Glued the cut out Pattern to the Foam using white Glue only, spray glue will melt the Foam. I found this out the hard way and had to make a new foam T-REX.

Step 4: Cutting Foam

Picture of Cutting Foam

Cut out the Foam using either a Hot Foam Cutter of a Steak knife. I found out both work just as well and a Steak knife is free.

Step 5: Make a Mold

Picture of Make a Mold

Make a Mold of your Foam T-Rex Using Plaster of Paris. Make sure you glue (white Glue) down Foam original to Wax Paper. This will allow Plaster to release from the surface that you place it on and by gluing it down you will not have any under cuts under the plaster.

Spread Plaster evenly over your original at least two inches thick. Spread plaster at least three inches past the boarder of your original.

Let plaster shell dry for 24 hrs and then demold.

Step 6: Pulp Your Paper

Picture of Pulp Your Paper

Place cardboard and Paper into Water for 24 Hrs and let it Soak. Stir occasionally to let water permeate all of the Paper. Place saturated paper into a blender with a little bit of water and blend until you end up with a pulp. Place white pulp into the teeth area and Pulped Cardboard into the Skull area. I blended a combination of white and brown pulp to make up the rocks behind the T-REX.

Step 7: Bake Your T-rex

Picture of Bake Your T-rex

Place Mold and Pulp into an Oven for Four Hours at 200 degrees or until paper pulp has dried. Check occasionally because paper will burn if left in the oven to long.

When the T-REX has dried carefully demold. Use old coffee to highlight dark areas. Glue a hook onto your Faux T-REX Fossil and enjoy your work.


mckinlay-boy (author)2010-08-09

Wondering of using this method for a school project. Wondering how much the final product roughly weighs. Thanks

It is really lite. Maybe 5lbs.

John Sielaff (author)2009-08-02

Thank you Porcupine mamma I had alot of fun making this project. I will be posting some more in the future.

porcupinemamma (author)2009-08-02

I like it! I like it! :0)

heathergdavis (author)2009-04-20

This is so creative! I am going to try it with my kids this summer.

bobjoy (author)2009-04-13

Very creative and cool John. My grandson will love this.

shanewinn (author)2009-04-09

Great project one of the best!

John Sielaff (author)shanewinn2009-04-10

Thanks Shane I am glad that you like my project.

Oblivitus (author)2009-04-06

Step 1:Litter. Step 2:Wait 10 million years.

John Sielaff (author)Oblivitus2009-04-06

My T-rex only takes a couple of hours instead of Millions of Years.

Oblivitus (author)John Sielaff2009-04-07

Yeah, but my plan takes less work. :)

dwinn3443639 (author)2009-04-05

I am going to give this to my daughters school they will love it!

It does make a good project for kids the material is recycled and non toxic.

fish finder (author)2009-04-06

this gets my blood boiling!

scral (author)2009-04-05

Pretty cool! Looks like you could make just about anything you want with this method!

John Sielaff (author)scral2009-04-05

Yes you could make any model that you wanted and make anything out of Paper.

DIYDragon (author)2009-04-04

That's pretty cool. I always wanted to make a table or something with some 'faux fossils' in it. I'll remember this, and see if I can make it work. : )

John Sielaff (author)DIYDragon2009-04-05

To make a Table Top I would use Cement instead of the Cardboard method. Cover your original with Silicone Caulk first and after that has dried then pour your plaster over the Caulk Shell. Your Plaster will form a mother mold and then you can pour your cement into the Silicone. Instead of using coffee to color your T-rex use acid in varying strengths. This method will make a better table top. The T-Rex I made from Paper is a better wall hanging because it is light and easy to hang.

mg0930mg (author)2009-04-01

This is really cool. I love this. Five stars. Favorited.

John Sielaff (author)mg0930mg2009-04-02

Thank you. This is my first Instructable I love to make things and this web site has really helped me out with alot of my projects.

mg0930mg (author)John Sielaff2009-04-02

Oh yes. Sorry, forgot to do this. WELCOME TO INSTRUCTABLES!1!!!!!1!!11!1!11!!1!1!!1!!! /dramatic welcoming. In all seriousness, I hope you show more of your amazing projects on here.

John Sielaff (author)mg0930mg2009-04-02

Thank you for welcoming me. This is the best web site and community that I have ever come across. I will post more projects. I have a Ton of em that I have made throughout the years.

mg0930mg (author)John Sielaff2009-04-02

Yay! Subbing.

ChrysN (author)2009-04-01

That looks really cool! We get a lot of foam like that at work as packaging material, I've wondered if there is a good use for it.

John Sielaff (author)ChrysN2009-04-02

Foam is great and easy to work with.

About This Instructable




Bio: I own Barney's Carpet Cleaning in Boise, Idaho 83705 our number is 208-343-5577
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