Giacometti Inspired Figure Sculptures

Create some beautiful sculptural figure art with kids based on the work of Alberto Giacometti! Simple to create yet so effective, an as a bonus it is a great way to teach about body structure and anatomy with young children.
I have long been a lover of Alberto Giacometti’s iconic tall, thin figurative sculptures and have been lucky enough to have seen a few of them during my art history studies pre-teaching and pre-kids (aka when I was oh so much younger, sigh!) So it has long been on my wish list to try making our own version with the children, not out of his chosen material of bronze, of course, but simply using tin foil and tape.
Giacometti: Miniature Figures in bronze

We looked at Giacometti’s sculptures in some of my art books and in online galleries and noticed that some were created on a tiny scale and others in larger than life size, so that you can actually walk around them and through them in a gallery setting. We decided to keep ours small enough to be able to use them like puppets for interactive play and storytelling.

Lady walking through a Giacometti exhibit

To begin we started rolling a wooden skewer in a piece of tin foil, to give a little structure and support to the figure. We left a couple of inches of foil at one end without the stick in it so that it could later be folded to create a head. Cakie was able to do this by herself and my role was just to give help with the tape and instructions where needed.

Next she folded over the top to create the base for a head, then we tore another couple of small pieces of foil and wrapped those around to bulk it up. Using 4 longer strips, she then folded them over to create the arms and legs. We looked at how Giacometti elongated the limbs and made them as long as possible. She turned out the feet and hands herself and then we simply stuck them to the torso using tape.

When she had finished the first one she immediately wanted to make another one so they could be friends! The second figure turned out to be a ballerina queen and she wanted to show her dancing and moving. This was a lovely opportunity to talk about how we move our limbs when dancing and Cakie showed me some of her ballet poses that she has learned and we were able to replicate those in her figure thanks to the parts being so flexible and easy to reposition! A great little lesson in anatomy and movement. I absolutely adore the resulting figure that she made!
I suggested sticking another skewer into the bottom part of the sculptures so that she cold hold and move them securely while playing, but these are not essential and don’t add anything aesthetically to the overall look of the art work!
She then played with them and turned them into a king and queen who wanted to dance at a ball and fell in love with each other. I love the idea of interactive, story-telling art work SO much more than untouchable art behind a rope or glass in a gallery!

 And here they are lying side by side together.

 We also noticed how very similar in style these sculptures and Giacometti’s are to this beautiful wooden sculpture in our home, from Zimbabwe in Africa! No doubt this type of art was a key influence to his own artistic development when he was alive.

Today’s post is the latest in our series of Kids Get Arty! This children’s art celebration is hosted by Red Ted Art, Tinkerlab, Imagination Soup, Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas and Creative With Kids. We each look at a different artist and find creative ways to interpret their art and techniques with our own children. 
More Art Posts you may enjoy:
Cakie: 4.4
Pop: 2.9
Bean 10 mos
Please check out what my co-hosts are featuring today too and then link up any posts YOU may have relating purely to kids art. Thank you!


  1. says

    Wonderful. I love how the girls are playing with them too. We will definitely have to give these a go.

    Thanks for co hosting!

    (off to stumble and pin!)

  2. says

    What a fantastic idea! I LOVE Giacometti’s works…I once had to reporoduce them in an art program with but wire and string and I’ve been hooked on his art ever since. I never thought of using foil – brilliant!