Tinfoil Sculpture Art Lesson

It can sometimes be a challenge to find affordable art lessons that are both creative and meaningful for middle school students. 

Last week my student teacher showed me an art project she worked on at school: tin foil sculptures. We wanted to combine the elements of both Dance and Art so we decided that the tin foil person had to be in a dance shape. 

  • Tinfoil - one roll per 25 students
  • Newspaper (could also use plaster strips if allowed) for paper mache and to cover desks for easy clean up
  • Paper mache paste or wallpaper paste
  • Acrylic or Tempra Paint
  • Paint brushes, water containers, paint trays
  • Review `form`as an Element of Art
  • Review Dance shapes or movement forms (Twist, Bend, Stretch, Curve, Angle, Spin, Twirl)
  • Have students sketch out possible dance shapes, and get teacher approval before working with tinfoil
  • Give each student 1-1.5 feet of tinfoil 

  • Make two cuts 5 inches deep in the top of the tinfoil
  • Make one cut at the bottom of the tinfoil 5 inches deep
  • Form a head from the middle piece at the top
  • Form two arms on either side of the head
  • Form the legs of tin foil person
  • Ensure the either one leg or arm is able to be glued to a piece of cardboard as a stand

  • Rip newspaper up into long thin strips (could also use plaster strips)
  • Put newspaper one piece at a time into paper mache glue and smooth it out around your tin foil person
  • Let dry for 24-48 hours then apply paint after a quick lesson on the colour wheel and colour selection
  • Once dry students can add features and details with a sharpie marker

This art lesson could be differentiated for various grade levels by making the shape and colour selection easier or more difficult. 

I would also do this at the beginning of a school year as an introduction art piece. Students could create themselves and make the cardboard into something that represents them like a surfboard, skateboard, hockey stick etc.


  1. Such a cute art lesson. I bet your students absolutely loved it!

    Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings

  2. Our art teacher has done a similar project, stopping at the tinfoil sculpture. I LOVE the addition of the papier mache! Thanks for sharing!

    The Teacher's Desk 6

  3. This is just adorable and so creative!! I have never seen anything like this before. Thank you so much for linking up:)
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  4. You can wrap with tape which is much cleaner for teacher/students, though probably more expensive. I have gone to just tin foil with a scratchboard background. Mostly because this is rather time consuming.


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!

Back to Top