Twinkl dinosaur Spinosaurus 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 triceratops, stegosaurus 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 tyrannosaurus, spinosaurus and pterodactyl were more complex and featured more advanced paper engineering. A single page including three smaller paper toys, the archaeopteryx, deinonychus  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.

My main objective for the spinosaurus was to make it appear different to the tyrannosaurus. We now know that the spinosaurus would have walked on 4 legs rather than standing on two as depicted in popular media, however with projects such as this we often have to embrace the public consciousness version of the creature rather than the more accurate portrayal. The spielbergian version.

Whilst creating a second large theropod there was temptation to re-use elements from the t-rex to both lighten my workload and get the project finished quicker, which wasa constant pressure a the time. However I wanted to differentiate the two dinosaurs and chose to make a new template with a leaner, more nimble looking figure.

Unlike the t-rex the spinosaurus is just 1 page despite it including a base, because its template was so compact. The model consists of 4 pieces. The legs of the model are thinner than that of its counterpart and use small sections that jut out and join together on joints to give the illusion of thickness whilst also acting as a way to add stability to the model. The head of the model is effectively just a hexagonal based pyramid that gets cut off before reaching a point, the mouth is curved on the flat template, and when built this helps give differentiation between the top and bottom jaw, making the bottom jaw appear thinner and more pointed. The head attached to the body using a slot and two tabs which hold onto a peg created by the two neck sections being glued together. Unlike the t-rex, the model wan’t very stable on its own and had to be added to a circular base. Given more time this could have been fixed by moving the bottoms of the feet further towards the head, but time limitations required a quick fix, resulting in a simple tabbed base.

The iconic fin like spine of the dinosaur is a separate piece to the body and helped solidify a colour motif along the rest of the models texture as it becomes more red towards the tips to give the impression of blood running though the skin like flaps of the spine. The spinosaurus has the most complex texturing of any model in this series having a red colour insert as well as featuring a zebra like green stripe pattern along its back to make the skin seem more aquatic.


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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