Foil Sculpting

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How to Sculpt with Tinfoil

This guide shows you how to sculpt a skull with tinfoil in three simple steps! No experience or special tools necessary.

Why tinfoil, you ask? Because it’s a cheap, easily accessible material that almost everyone has at home! Tinfoil is great at holding its shape and can be used in place of steel armatures and chicken wire as the base for your sculpture. At the end of this tutorial, you could choose to bring your creation to life by adding modelling clay on top! Whatever works for you and your creativity.

Let’s get started…

tin foil skulls sculpting how to

You will need

  • Tinfoil sheet: twice the length of your arm
  • Spoon
  • Your hands
tin foil skulls sculpting how to
tin foil step one sculpting skull

Step 1: Form the basic shape

Identify what the main shape of your sculpture is. With a skull, that main shape is round like a ball. Grab your tinfoil sheet, fold it in half and start to form a loose, round, sphere-like ball. We want to capture lots of air here, so don't press too hard.

Tip: Adding clay later? Use the matte side, rather than the shiny side, as the clay sticks better.

tin foil step one sculpting skull
step 2 plan out the features

Step 2: Add the features

Start pinching and pressing in where you think the main features are for the skull. Start with getting the eyes aligned first, then move onto the nose, and then the eyebrow arches and cheekbones. Take your time here: you’ll be reducing the size of the ball with every press.

If you’re not satisfied with the shape, don’t fret, you can start again! Remember to recycle your unwanted sculpture, if you can.

step 2 plan out the features
step 3 refine tinfoil features spoon

Step 3: Start refining

Once you’ve got the basic shape, you can begin to work on the finer details, making the lines and contours more visible with light presses. You’ll see that the skull will slowly emerge! Use your spoon to etch details like teeth, then use the flat edge to smooth out your creation as a finishing touch.

step 3 refine tinfoil features spoon

Share your creation

That’s your creative exercise for the day! It takes all of five minutes, so grab that tinfoil and start making cool stuff. Our crew have created all sorts of creatures and characters from tinfoil, including giant dinosaur skulls, dragons, hamsters, tree-beings and more!

📷 Be sure to take a picture and share your work with us on social media. We’d love to see your creations! Just tag @wetaworkshop or #craftwiththecrew