Dinosaur Footprints

About: My name is Jason Poel Smith. In my free time, I am an Inventor, Maker, Hacker, Tinker, and all around Mad Genius

What if you walked out into your backyard one day and saw a trail of giant dinosaur footprints? After a few seconds of confusion and disbelief, the excited little kid inside you would take over. You would grab your safari hat and go chasing after that dinosaur.

In this project, I am going to show you how to make giant dinosaur footprints. You can make them as decorations for a party. You can use them to prank people. The choice is up to you.

Step 1: Watch the Video

Here is a video walkthrough of this project.

Step 2: Materials

Here are the materials and tools that you will need for this project.


Plywood (or other sturdy construction board)






Step 3: Find or Make a Dinosaur Footprint Design

The first thing that you need is a design for your dinosaur footprint. There are a lot of different kinds of dinosaur footprints to choose from. I recommend using a footprint that has well defined toes such as the footprint of a theropod. This makes it a little easier to distinguish it as a footprint.

You can either find a design online or just draw one yourself. I have included the image that I used for this project.

Step 4: Transfer the Footprint Image to Your Board

Now that you have your image, you need to transfer it onto your board. If you want to trace the image, you can print it out at the appropriate scale and cut it out. Then trace the cutout with pencil. Or if you are a good freehand artist, you can just draw the image straight onto the board.

Step 5: Cut Out the Footprint

Next, I used a jigsaw to cutout the footprint. This will be the template for our footprints.

Step 6: Select a Location for Your Dinosaur Footprints

Now you need to decide where you want to make your dinosaur footprints. Sand is by far the easiest material to work with. So locations like beaches, volleyball pits, and sand filled playgrounds work great. Loose dirt and slightly wet mud can also work pretty well. Grass covered areas are difficult to work with because the grass needs to look crushed. It can't just be dug up and removed. Gravel doesn't work at all because you can't get a well defined shape in the rocks.

Step 7: Trace the Shape of the Template on the Ground

Place your wooden footprint on the ground. Then using a stick or a small garden shovel, scratch the outline of the shape onto the ground.

Step 8: Shovel Out Some of the Dirt

Using a small shovel, scoop out some of the dirt from the inside of the foot print. Be careful to stay inside the outline.

Step 9: Set the Wooden Template Back in the Hole

Place the wooden template back into the partially excavated hole. Press it down firmly. If you are using a relatively thick board, you can just stand on top of it. Then remove the board. You should see the outline pressed into the next layer of dirt. This will help to keep the shape well defined as you are removing the dirt.

Step 10: Shovel Out More Dirt

Using a small shovel, scoop out some more of the dirty from the hole. Be sure to stay inside the impression that you just made with the board. The easiest way to do this is to scoop the dirt toward the center of the footprint. This will prevent you from accidentally going outside the outline.

Step 11: Finish the Footprint

Continue removing dirt from the hole until you are happy with the depth. Using your small shovel or your hand press down on the bottom of the footprint to even it out. The bottom of the hole should look smooth as if it were pressed down.

If you want to make the footprint look even more realistic, you can build up the dirt around the foot print. This will make it look like the dirt was pushed out to the sides. Just make sure that the dirt looks rough and natural when you are done. If the dirt looks brushed or swept, around the hole it will ruin the illusion.

Step 12: Make a Trail of Footprints

One dinosaur footprint is cool. But a trail of dinosaur footprints is much more impressive. Use the same procedure to make each additional footprint.

Space the footprints out about 10 feet apart (smaller if you use a smaller footprint). Don't position them in a straight line. Shift the footprints to the left and right to give the appearance that they were made by the right and left feet.

Try to find a good way to end the trail. You can have the footprints go off into the ocean or into a forest. You can also use the footprints to lead people to a birthday party or an event at the children's museum. Use your imagination and have fun.

Prank Challenge

Runner Up in the
Prank Challenge

Guerilla Design Contest

Participated in the
Guerilla Design Contest

Animals Contest

Participated in the
Animals Contest



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    11 Discussions

    Devrim A

    3 months ago

    You could stick them on the soles of your shoes and romp around in them. It wouldn't work well in dry sand, but it would be excellent in mud or wet sand!


    2 years ago

    Funny idea


    3 years ago



    4 years ago

    Brilliant idea. I'm gonna lay down some dinotracks in my sons kinder garden.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice. I especially like the idea of using it to lead people to a party.


    4 years ago

    This is an awesome idea, I love it! :-)


    4 years ago

    Mhmhmhmhmhmhmhmhm :D