How to Make a Junk Sculpture Dragon

It is quite ironic that this post is about a craft project – I don’t do craft. At all. But Matilda was very excited when a note came home from school inviting all students to take part in a Junk Sculpture competition for the last day of school. Her enthusiasm was catching and I found myself quite interested in what she would come up with.

It is also handy that we are a family of hoarders so we have copious amounts of junk to use in such situations. Throw in the collection of bits and bobs that my husband always keeps for making terrain for his miniature wargames and we are perfect contenders for a junk competition!

Matilda spent a good part of the morning sourcing items for the project and coming up with an idea. She finally settled on making a princess dinosaur (I know, where did that come from?) and then we worked together to find the right items to bring her highly original idea to life.

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The pieces that came together to make the junk sculpture (apologies for the dodgy quality of the photo!)

We used a nappy box, tissue box, cereal box and a small medicine box to make the body and tail of the creature. We then added a juice bottle for a head connected to be body by a paper towel roll. A small disposable shot glass cup was used for a nose and two thick paddle pop sticks provided horns for the creature.

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The head being attached to the body

It was at this point that Matilda decided it looked more like a dragon than a princess dinosaur (thanks goodness!) so we then set about looking for some wings. Two small coat hangers were the solution and then some foam offcuts from a set of green foam mats were added as the spine for the dragon.

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Matilda and her dragon prior to painting (again, apologies for the dodgy photo…)

Matilda had a go at using the hot glue gun (under close supervision) and also enjoyed helping to spray paint the primer.

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Matilda carefully using the hot glue gun

Once it was all dry we gave her some green paint and she went to town bringing her green dragon to life. Unfortunately one of the horns came off during the painting process but it was easy to glue back on.

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Matilda painting the dragon (and her herself in the process…)

Matilda had a ball – and nearly got more paint on herself than on the dragon!

All that was left was to attach the eyes (some glass pebbles from my husband’s terrain making stash) and decorate the dragon to Matilda’s taste. She decided to draw scales on the dragon using glitter glue pens, added some bright pink and purple yarn for hair (from my cross-stitching stash – yes, I do occasionally cross-stitch) and stuck on a long dragon tongue using a party blower!

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The completed masterpiece

Have you seen a better junk sculpture dragon?

Although it didn’t win the competition she was so proud to receive a certificate of participation and, according to her, it was the biggest sculpture that was entered (size really does matter to 5 year olds!)

As a family, the most important thing from this exercise was that we had a great time building it with Matilda and we loved how she totally enjoyed the process of bringing her creature to life.

Do you get into school craft projects with your kids? What has been your favourite project so far?

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7 Responses

  1. Caz says:

    That is really cook. My kids are craft mad. My 5 year old brings something along these lines (without the awesome paint works) home twice a week from kinder. My house is starting to drown in boxes, glitter and paper stuff. I love it and have encouraged her – but sometimes think life would be easier without all the cardboard crud!! I have to go thru her room a least once a month with a garbage bag have a clean out 🙂
    Caz recently posted..Where do you send a Mummy when she has broken down?

    • Kirsty says:

      Same here Caz. Matilda and Gilbert both regularly bring craft projects home made from various recyclable materials and I try to find homes for most of them. But we don’t do craft much at home (I’m not at all crafty – this was all Matilda and her dad!) so this was something a bit special for all of us!

  2. Marita says:

    It looks so cool and must have been so much fun to make. 🙂

    Heidi loves making things out of junk items but I have to discourage her from scavenging in the rubbish bin 😀
    Marita recently posted..A Dairy Rich Menu Monday

    • Kirsty says:

      It was fun – I’m not at all crafty and even I enjoyed the whole process. Having said that I can’t see this level of craft happening every weekend… You should send your girls my way, I always have junk laying about so they wouldn’t need to scavenge in the bin – I seriously need to clean my house!

  3. Bronwyn says:

    This is really awesome. What a great way to get together and have some great fun and make something out of things that would probably just be put in the trash! What a valuable and practical lesson on recycling and creativity.
    Bronwyn recently posted..Grateful for TED

    • Kirsty says:

      Thanks Bronwyn. It was fun to do and Matilda really enjoyed the whole process – I can see more craft projects in my future these holidays!

  1. October 13, 2012

    […] last year my most popular post was my sole craft post – How to Make a Junk Sculpture Dragon. The irony of that popularity burns me even […]

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