Making Fossils

fossils, they fascinate the young and old alike.  They are the remains or imprints left by creatures and plants that lived thousands and millions of years ago.  They have been found on every single continent, even Antarctica!  While it takes eons to create true fossils, you can make some nice imitations for use for fun and teaching.  First, remember that there are several types of fossils, so there are several ways to make them, depending upon what is available!

Most fossils are impressions.  They can be leaves in coal or footprints in old river beds such as found in Glen Rose, Texas.  These are the easiest fossils to make.  All that is needed is something to imprint the item.  This can be a dry, hard dough, or even simple plaster.  Now you take the item you want to “fossilize” and stick it in the dough or plaster.  You can let it sit and then after a short time, carefully remove it.  Now bake the dough or dry the plaster and you have your imprinted fossil!  It is simple and you can do shells, bones, sticks, leaves or even make “dinosaur tracks” using a chicken, have it walk through your stuff!  To make the imprinted fossil look more authentic, you can also try clay, which is basically wet mud, or take fine sand and mix it with glue, do the imprints as it dries.  This is a mold or inset fossil, now you can make a raised one!

Take your mold and let it fully dry.  Now you can use that to pour something in and it will make a cast fossil.  This often happens in the wild when different types of soil get together and layers form.  For your purposes, of you made the imprint using plaster or dough, now fill the impression with wax.  It can be sealing wax, a wax candle, or even melted wax crayons!

There is another type of fossil, though some purists might claim it is not a true fossil.  There are prehistoric insects embedded in amber!  The insects can be collected around any old lights or even off the grill of the car.  You then buy resin at any hobby shop or craft store, color it with clear dyes and then embed the insect!  It can look very real!

Fossils, fun to find and fun to make!