How to Make a Human Skeleton Model

Updated February 21, 2017

You can construct a human skeleton model that demonstrates the complex interconnections of the skeletal system. The human body contains 206 separate bones. Small bones in the hands and feet account for about half of the total bones in the human skeleton. The skeleton model you make only needs to detail the bones you intend to label or discuss in the presentation. Make a human skeleton model that contains as much detail as necessary for the intended demonstration or science project.

Trace or draw the outline of each individual bone you want to include in the human skeleton model. The skull and vertebrae are often drawn as one central piece. Cut out and label all the separate paper bone patterns.

Place each paper bone pattern on the foam core board, and trace their outline with a permanent marker. Move at least 1/2 inch away from the last outline before tracing the next bone pattern.

Set the foam core board on a cutting board, and use a utility knife to cut out each bone. Lay out each bone cutout on a large flat surface in the arrangement it will be assembled.

Punch a single hole in the end of each foam core bone where it attaches to the next. Line up the holes on connecting bones, and press and secure paper fasteners through them. Hide the shiny metal fasteners with white nail polish or correction fluid if you do not want them to show.

Punch a hole in the top of the skull to hang the human skeleton model with fishing line. You could also stick the lightweight skeleton model to a wall with a couple of strips of strong adhesive tape.


Add cracks and lines to the bones with the black permanent marker to give them a realistic look.

Things You'll Need

  • Black permanent marker
  • Tracing paper or blank paper
  • Pencil
  • Printed skeleton diagram
  • Scissors
  • White foam core board
  • Cutting board
  • Utility knife
  • Single hole punch
  • Paper fasteners (brads)
  • White nail polish or correction fluid (optional)
  • Clear fishing line or adhesive tape
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About the Author

Jeffrey Brian Airman is a writer, musician and food blogger. A 15-year veteran of the restaurant industry, Airman has used his experience to cover food, restaurants, cooking and do-it-yourself projects. Airman also studied nursing at San Diego State University.