Introduction: Foilsaurus Creations

About: Storyteller, Entertainer, Former Librarian...and he owns more than 1,500 neckties.

About twenty-five years ago, I was asked to run the summer programs at a library branch. The theme was "Dinosaurs." I created a dinosaur game, wrote a dinosaur story, made sail-backed dinosaurs out of toilet paper tubes, and...learned how to make dinosaurs out of aluminum foil.

(I know that many people call it "tinfoil," but real tinfoil was replaced by aluminum foil as cheaper and easier to use shortly after World War !!. Tinfoil went the way of the...dinosaurs, but people still call aluminum foil tinfoil, even if the box has "Aluminum Foil" written all over it...but I digress. In this Instructable, I will call it "foil," although there are other foils of silver and gold...but I'm digressing again. Sorry.)

This Instructable will show how to make two types of "Foilsauruses" (foil dinosaurs):

  • Brontosaurus (Thunder lizard / Long-neck)
  • Tyrannosaurus Rex (Tyrant Lizard King / Sharp-tooth)

Have fun, and don't forget to like and vote for 2021's Tinfoil (There's that word, again!) Speed Challenge!


  • Foil - Cut your sheets in 3-by-2 proportions, but this isn't a hard-and-fast rule. Twelve-inch-wide rolls can be cut in 8-inch for small dinosaurs, or 18-inch sheets for larger ones. Eighteen-inch rolls can be cut in 12-inch or 27-inch lengths...more or less. Another option is to use the foil sheets, roughly square, that come boxed for use in catering and restaurants.
  • Scissors (optional) - Used to make cuts in the foil, but it can be torn by hand. They also come in handy if the cutter on your box of foil tends to cut raggedly.

Step 1: THUNDER LIZARD - Cutting Remarks

To make a Brontosaurus/Apatosaurus -

Lay out a sheet of foil, a narrow side towards you. Cutting away from you, make two cuts that will divide the sheet in three, but only cut 1/3 of the way up the foil. Turn the foil so the cuts are away from you, and make another pair of cuts going 1/3 of the way up.

Step 2: THUNDER LIZARD - She's Got Legs

Crumple one of the outside strips toward the center to make a leg, but don't tear it off the sheet. Crumple lightly at first.

Repeat the process with the other three outside strips. There will be unsmooshed foil between the legs.

Step 3: THUNDER LIZARD - If You Like My Body

Crush from the sides to form the body.

Step 4: THUNDER LIZARD - the One With the Waggly Tail

Take one of the un-smashed end-pieces and squeeze it carefully along its length to make the tail. Press the drushed legs to make them stumpier.

Step 5: THUNDER LIZARD - Funny Face

Starting from the end nearest the body, squeeze the last strip of foil in to a long neck, but don't go all the way to the end.

Form the end of the strip into a dinosaur head,. If you work it so some foil is tucked in, it will look like it has an open mouth. If the head is just a lump, you can say that this dinosaur isn't much of a talker!

IF YOU WANT YOUR BRONTOSAURUS TO LOOK FATTER, you can take a strip of foil that is about the width of the distance between the two sets of legs, wrap it around the body, and squeeze it into a texture that matches the rest of your dinosaur.

Step 6: TYRANT LIZARD KING - Make the Cut

To make a T. Rex -

Lay out another sheet of foil with a short side facing you (You might want it to be smaller than the sheet for the Brontosaurus, since a Tyrannosaurus was about 40 feet long, while the Brontosaurus was over 60 feet from tip to tail.).

Make two cuts away from you, dividing the sheet in three, and going about 1/3 of the length. These will be the big hind legs.

Instead of making another pair of cuts at the other end, make two pairs of cuts going across from the two sides for those itty-bitty front legs/arms. Leave a good-sized section at the end for the massive head of the monster.

Step 7: TYRANT LIZARD KING - I've Got a Crush on You

Crush the leg sections, but longer than the Brontosaurus legs. Leave the ends looser for the next step.

Step 8: TYRANT LIZARD KING - I Wanna Hold Your...Claw?

Crush the side panels for the T. Rex's arms, making the ends a little lumpy, so you can fashion them into the claws.

Step 9: TYRANT LIZARD KING - If You Like My Body....

Crush the area between the hind legs and the arms to make the body.

Step 10: TYRANT LIZARD KING - Wag That Tail

Smash the tail area to make it long and skinny.

Step 11: TYRANT LIZARD KING - Heads Up!

Start smashing that un-squashed section into the shape of the head, with part of it as the lower jaw.

IF YOU HAVE A TYRRANOSAURUS SCRAWNY, wrap extra strips of foil around the body and the thighs.


These Foilsauruses are poseable, so you can make scenes with them, create stop- motion animation with them, or use them as a framework for papier-mache.

Whatever you do, HAVE FUN!

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