Introduction: How to Make a Forest Dragon!

About: 18 year old artist who dabbles in a bit of everything! 100% addicted to coffee and painting @ElsiebsArt on insta, YouTube, and etsy!

I love dragons and have always wanted a pet dragon to go on adventures with. Since the world seems a little short on dragons, I decided to do the next best thing and make one. This little guy is about 6 inches long and sturdy and durable. He is a Forest Dragon, and covered in plants and moss, giving him a scruffy look but making him not very photogenic! He is super easy to make and I spent maybe 2 hours on him, but I went slowly, with lots of trial and error!

Whats so cool about this dragon is that you can make him however you want. After you get the basic shape, you can make him totally your own. If you don't have all the supplies- that's OK! Just improvise and he'll turn out fine! I promise!

One thing I would change if I could is to make him movable. Someday I would like to attach an electric system or at least parts you can pose.

Step 1: Supplies!

Most of the supplies needed you can find around your house. (with the exception of the Bird Wings- but more on that later)

  • Roll of Aluminum Foil
  • Hot Glue
  • Glue sticks for glue gun (obviously!)
  • 1 large marble
  • Pliers- optional
  • Dried Moss and lots of it!
  • Bird wings
  • Small polished stones of various sizes
  • Tacking nails- anywhere between 1 cm-2 cm

Step 2: Building the Structure

I like to create the body in 3 steps.

First, take a piece of Aluminum Foil about a foot long and place the marble in the center of it. Mold the aluminum around the marble and twist it, forming the neck and head. With the remaining foil, shape it into a ball, thus creating the front of the dragon's body. (see photo #1).

Using another sheet of foil about a foot long, create another ball for the dragon's lower half. It should be slightly larger that the first. (photo #2)

Now, using a ft. long sheet of foil, connect the two pieces together. You may have to use more that 1 sheet and this is where hot glue becomes very helpful. At this point, if any of the body seems un-proportionate, add foil to wherever it is needed. (Photo #3)

Next, add the tail. Simply use a piece of foil about 8" long and twist it into a tail, making one end wider than the other. If the tail seems too fat, use the pliers to really squeeze it together. Doing this, you can make it as skinny as you want. Connect the larger end of the tail to the dragon with glue. If you need, you can glue a small piece of foil around where you connected them just to smooth out the break. (Photo #4)

You do not have to stress out over these steps because the foil will be completely covered and most edges smoothed out. I spent approx. 10 minutes on this step.

Step 3: Adding the Feet and Snout

Once the body is complete, its time to add the legs. This is super easy, as you just take a 6 inch piece of aluminum foil and start twisting one end. When it is as long as you need it to be for the leg, crumple the remaining foil into a ball. It should now look like a lollipop of sorts. Bend the leg in half. (See photo) This will be the dragons back leg. Make another exactly like it and hot glue them onto the dragons body.

Now for the last part of creating the aluminum structure. Adding the dragon's snout.

Take a small piece of foil and crumple it into a triangular mess. DON'T WORRY! It really doesn't have to be perfect since we will be covering it later. Make one side hollow so that it will slide onto the dragons head. Hot glue it on and make the finishing touches.

At this point, if anything looks abnormal or un-proportionate, now is the time to fix it. My dragon's head looked too big, so I had to adjust it. Now is the time, because it will be hard to do later on.

Step 4: Moss and Bark!

This is the funnest and easiest step. Its almost impossible to mess up and you can really make your dragon your own.

First set out all the moss you have to work with so you can see it all. In my experience, it is always best to start with the darker colors and then move to the lighter ones. I started in the middle of the dragon and added the brown moss. I covered his flanks and shoulders with brown and also his stomach. Don't overdo it though! After adding brown, move to green to add color. Slowly work your way up to the head. Make sure that when you start on the legs, not to cover them completely with clumps of moss or they will lose their shape and become blobs! As I said, he will look scruffy and wild- but that was the look I was going for. Unfortunately, it also makes him rather un-photogenic.

When you get to the face, use very small pieces of moss and make sure that you get small details such as the point of his snout or curve of his head. With small pieces, I was able to add depth to his features. When you are completely done, you can gently pat him to keep the moss down and give him a slightly smoother look.

Step 5: WINGS!

*Disclaimer!* Before you get upset about my using REAL bird wings and call PETA about me, let me tell you that I did not kill the birds just for their wings. We have a murderous cat who loves bringing us dead birds. Instead of letting them go to waste, I will cut off the wings (and feet) and preserve them. This gets strange looks from my friends - most people don't expect a 15 year old girl to have a bird wing and foot collection! :)

Anyway, I used real wings as it added a lot to the dragon. But if you are fresh out of bird wings, here are a few other options:

No wings - this is obvious, but you could add spines, horns, or anything else instead of wings

Feathers and sticks - This sounds elementary, but if you can get glue a wing skeletal frame using sticks and add the feathers, it would have a neat effect. I have done things similar to this before, and it turns out great!

Cloth and Sticks - Using sticks, create the skeletal wing frame (like above) but instead of feathers, use cloth. Any type would work, faux leather or velvety cloth would be best.

Whatever works best, do it. Let me know in the comments below what you used! :)

Step 6: Finishing Touches

Finally! The last step!

Using various sizes of tacking nails, I added spikes to his tail. Once I hot glued them on, to make them look like part of him, I added a little more moss around them to hide the glue.

I did spikes all the way up his back and to his head. This is completely up to you as well as the spikes on his tail.

I added horns, and it gave him a playful happy look, by using shark teeth.

For the claws, I used 3 tacking nails per foot. I hot glued them from underneath so the moss would hide where I glued them on.

Step 7:

Hahaha! Just kidding! This is the last step! I promise!

The eyes: Now, I really really REALLY don't like how the eyes turned out. I couldn't find ANYthing to use as eyes and so I ended up using polished stones. This is only temporary, as I am going to try to find beads or gems to use instead. That being said, you should find whatever you think will fit your dragon. If you have any ideas, please let me know.

For small decorations and such, I tucked a few polished stone in among the moss throughout his body. It added a little bling without looking trashy. My goal was to make him look as natural as possible, and the stones really completed the effect.

Your dragon is complete! Yay! Add whatever you would like to at this point! Feathers, bones (yes bones), leaves, anything! Now that you know how to make one in a simple position, you can make a dragon say, rearing up or running.

I hope you enjoyed making him and let me see how it went in the comments. This is my first instructable too, so any advice you have would be appreciated! Thanks so much!

~Elsie B.

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