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How to Make Paper Mache Dinosaurs – Step-by-Step

Is your little one mad about dinosaurs? Find out how to make a paper mache dinosaur with our step-by-step guide, including top tips for cleaning up after!

It's pretty inevitable that at some stage your kids are going to discover the wonderful prehistoric world of dinosaurs! The great thing about this is, that these fascinating creatures appear in many films, TV shows, and books, so there’s plenty of resources you can find to help your child explore the prehistoric world.

There’s lots to discover, including tongue-twisting names like: diplodocous, pterodactyl, tyrannosaurus rex, and nothronychus – to name but a few! 'Tryceratops' is our favourite, as you can see from our fun dinosaur paper mache activity below! In this article we’ve also included some simple steps on how to make paper mache dinosaur eggs. Both crafts make great decorations for a dinosaur themed birthday party, or can simply be a fun activity to keep your child entertained on a rainy day.

Before you get stuck into this messy activity, make sure you protect surfaces and clothes. It might also be a good idea to check out our handy tips for removing stains like poster paint, in the stain removal section, in case any paint accidentally gets on clothes.  

How to Make a Paper Mache Dinosaur in 8 Simple Steps

You will need:

  • Newspaper
  • White glue
  • A basin
  • A cereal bowl
  • Water
  • A balloon
  • Thick cardboard
  • Two toilet rolls
  • Masking tape
  • Paint and a paintbrush
  • Googly eyes

To make your dinosaur:

Before you start, remember to always supervise kids with scissors and if you have very young children it’s best to do the cutting out parts yourself as these can be fiddly.dinosaur paper mache

  1. Blow up the balloon – this will become the dinosaur body, so don't inflate it too much!
  2. Prepare the paper mache: make a thin glue and water mixture in the bowl and rip the paper into inch-thick strips.
  3. Dip the strips of paper into the liquid and then layer them over the balloon. Balance the balloon on a cereal bowl and let it dry overnight.
  4. When the paper mache is dry pop the balloon, leaving the hollow shell in tact.
  5. Next, cut out a comb-shaped piece of cardboard and use layers of paper mache to attach it to one end of the body. Leave it to dry.
  6. Then, cut the two toilet rolls in half width-wise – these will become the legs. It may help to masking tape these in place, before paper macheing them to the model. Leave to dry.
  7. Add the finishing touches by cutting out a cardboard tail, and three front horns. Paper mache these to the model and leave it to dry for a final time.
  8. Paint the model and glue on googly eyes. Your tryceratops in now complete!

how to make a paper mache dinosaur

To make paper mache dinosaur eggs in 4 easy steps:

  1. As above, blow up a balloon. If you want to make things exciting for your child, slip a small plastic dinosaur inside the balloon before your blow it up!
  2. Now, paper mache the outside of the balloon and leave it to dry.
  3. When the paper mache is dry, pop the balloon and paint the shell.
  4. Your kid will love opening the completed dinosaur egg to find a baby dinosaur inside! A dinosaur egg with a hidden surprise inside can also make a fantastic present for a game of pass the parcel.

paper mache dinosaur eggs

After making paper mache dinosaur eggs, it’s a great idea to share some fun facts about dinosaurs with your kids.  

Did you know?

  • The longest dinosaur ever was a Seismosaurus. It measured over 40 metres which is as long as five double decker buses!
  • The dinosaur with the longest name was a
  • Velociraptor means ‘speed thief’ – although small in size, velociraptors were clever and quick hunters, they used their long tails to balance as they chased after their prey.
  • The argentinosaurus was the biggest and heaviest dinosaur of them all. They could weigh up to 100 tonnes, that’s as much as 20 elephants!

For more fun facts, check out these great resources for kids, here and here.

Did your child enjoy making paper mache dinosaurs and learning some fun facts? If you want to try out some more paper mache activities, here’s a few crafts you can try at home: handmade bangles, an erupting volcanco, or a hot air balloon.

Let us know how you get on with paper mache crafts in a comment below!