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Plaster of Paris Fossil

Many fossils are bones that have turned to stone or a stone impression of a bone after the original bone rotted away. Here’s a very simple activity to simulate fossils that you can use in conjunction with a study of archaeology, dinosaurs, etc.


waxed paper
1 cup of soft clay that will not harden overnight
a clean bone or stick
petroleum jelly
1 cup plaster of Paris
½ cup water


1. Lay the clay on the waxed paper making sure the clay is soft and pliable.

2. Coat the bone or stick (some whatever object you use to create the fossil) with petroleum jelly.

3. Press the object into the clay, then remove it. Make sure it has left a good imprint.

4. Coat the imprint with petroleum jelly.

5. Pour the plaster of Paris into a mixing bowl.

6. Add enough water to the plaster of Paris to make it creamy.

7. Pour the plaster over the clay and imprint.

8. Let it harden overnight.

9. The next day peel off the clay.

The fossil is now is complete.


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