Twinkl dinosaur pterodactyl paper toy craft model educational printable graphic design Alex Gwynne
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About This Project

This series of dinosaur paper toys was designed for Twinkl in 2017, the set includes 10 models, including 4 smaller designs, the series was designed to scale in difficulty so children of different key stages would be able to build different dinosaurs.

The triceratopsstegosaurus and ankylosaurus were designed to be simple paper crafts, with more rounded out and simplified edges to make construction quick and easy, where as the tyrannosaurusspinosaurus and pterodactyl were more complex and featured more advanced paper engineering. A single page including three smaller paper toys, the archaeopteryxdeinonychus  and dunkleosteus bridge the gap by being simple toys, but on a smaller scale requiring more advanced hand to eye coordination.

The series was designed in a single working week, which will sound impressive to fellow paper toy designers but was a pretty standard turnaround time for the workplace I was in.

The pterodactyl was a single page toy and consisted of 4 pieces, half of which build the pterodactyl itself, and the other half were left to build the optional display stand which helped give the model the illusion of flight.

The model was built by sandwiching two parts together, both of which were 6 sided pyramids. One piece built the chest, legs and one half of the head, the other piece built the back wings and second half of the head. By pushing these parts up against each other it meant I could carry on the angles of the shape to create the wings and neck, and because the head was attached to both pieces it left the head attaching to the neck at a mid angle between the two.

The wings used a curved section to make the model more stable and the wings more resilient to bending or creasing, in turn using this curve also lowered the amount of folds needed to construct the model. A membrane runs between the body and wings which adds more strength to the model and also helps round out the pterodactyls shape, despite it being a hard edge with just a rounded texture applied to it.

The head features a section that folds up inside of itself , resulting in it poking out ever so slights from the crown of the skull. This piece locks at 90 degrees making it easier to access and glue. The eyes of the model are used as tabs to attach the two parts of the head together, but this also helps add depth and layering to what would otherwise be a flat face.

The base attached to the bottom of the pterodactyl and met at the floor in a perfect circle.


Alex Josephine Gwynne is a graphic designer and paper engineer with over a decade of experience designing paper toys and paper crafts.

Alex has turned their obsession with paper based design into a career designing for a wide verity of clients including game developers, book publishers and educational providers. Their constant drive to create engaging paper products and international exhibition pieces has lead to numerous awards and seen their work featured in news papers, magazines and BBC television. Overall Alex believes in the power of paper as a 3D medium and lives by the mantra “limitation breeds innovation” striving to find elegant solutions to complex problems.


Twinkl is a digital educational publisher, creating digital resources for teachers to use in the classroom with children of all ages.

I worked for Twinkl as a graphic designer and paper engineer for three years creating hundreds of educational paper crafts for use in the classroom and at home. As Twinkl offers the paper crafts as part of their subscription model none of the work I designed whilst with the company are available for download on the Fold Up Toys website, but are available though Twinkl for subscribers.

Change Log

 01/29/2019 – Portfolio item uploaded to FUT website

17/04/2019 – Updated to 2019 template.


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