Tinfoil Sculpture Art Lesson


Here is a great tinfoil sculpture art lesson which can be adapted to any grade level. 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. This blog post contains affiliate links which are of no cost to the reader. If you make a purchase through the provided links this blog will receive a small commission to help with the financial costs of maintaining the site. ​ 



  • 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.

Art Sketchbook Assignment: Students work on their art projects at different paces. It is important that students have something meaningful to work on when they are done their art projects, and some of the class is still working.

I assign the sketchbook assignment as a yearlong assignment. I divide the school year up into thirds and set 3 different due dates.

This sketchbook assignment is a great tool for students to develop their artistic abilities. It is also really good for fast finishers or to leave for a supply teacher if you are going to be away.


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  • Brian Hopkins
    March 26, 2013 at 12:38 am

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

    Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings

  • A. Ackley
    March 26, 2013 at 12:51 am

    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

  • FourthGrade Flipper
    April 4, 2013 at 3:21 am

    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

  • Erica Carlson
    December 30, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    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.