How to Kill a Dinosaur

Like many other people, I sometimes fall victim to Pinterestitis, which is the technical term for believing that you can do shit that you very clearly are incapable of doing.

Thanks to Pinterest and other sites of its ilk, I have been going through a phase in which I troll construction sites and dumpsters for the crafter’s gold, aka pallets and scraps of wood. I have amassed a large collection of these, which are covered in dirt and weird bugs and piled in the garage, prompting my husband to ask me once a week, “So, are you actually going to use these, or …”

“Yes. Yes, I’m going to use them, and I’m going to blow your effin’ mind when I do.”

One of the first projects my shaking hands wanted to tackle was to use the wood to make a cutout of a dinosaur for my Jurassic-obsessed son.

I saw a picture of this shark cutout (which is freaking awesome, BTW), and thought, “How hard can this be?”

Pallet shark (800x533)[8]

My overly trusting neighbor let me borrow his jigsaw. “Here is an extra blade, just in case,” he said.

Psh, extra blade. I’ve never used a jigsaw, but I’m positive I won’t need that, because the picture of the shark cutout looks flawless and so super easy to do and I don’t even need instructions because I HAVE PINTEREST BRAIN!

I started my project by drawing a dinosaur on a section of an old wooden fence I found on one of my dumpster diving adventures. It was located directly above a terrifying creature that scurried away when I lifted it off the ground. In true Pinterest fashion, I made a homemade cleaning concoction to soak the wood in before I drew this:


God, it’s so freaking good already. All the other moms are going to be like, “Whoa, you’re amazing!” And I’ll be like, “Oh, that? That’s just something I did while I was waiting for our delicious, homemade dinner to cook. I’m perfect! Look, no stretch marks!”

I picked a Brachiosaurus, because I figured a T-Rex would be entirely too difficult. Those little arms and rows of razor-sharp teeth? I mean, I’m totally sure I could handle it. Maybe next weekend.

As you can tell, I’m super awesome at drawing things free-hand, which is a sure sign that I would be a master at sawing this bad boy out of there, right?


Well, my first attempt with the jigsaw started great until part of the tail chipped off. No biggie. It adds character. REAL art has character. I decided to abandon the tail temporarily to focus on the legs. (Also – I gave myself some bonus points for doing this on top of our outdoor grill space instead of using a workhorse or other fancy table that a “pro” would do. I’m a true do-it-yourself-er!!)

Small mis-step coming up: While cutting by the legs, I realized that the leg boards are not in any way attached to the rest of the dinosaur boards. Those things were just going to fall right off if I sawed around them.


That wouldn’t stop Supermom, so it sure as hell won’t stop me. I’ll just pry some of these boards loose and hammer in some new boards on the back. What a problem-solver I am! When people ask about the super cool wall decor in my son’s room, I’ll impress them with my back story.


Well, I don’t feel like getting tetanus today.

I’ll deal with that later. This is art! It’s unpredictable! It’s fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants! Me and my trusty jigsaw are going to make this wall hanging. We’re going to make the hell of this wall hanging!


Or … I’m going to kill the dinosaur.

I cut off his head. I decapitated him. It took me only a matter of moments to take down one of the largest creatures to ever roam the Earth.

And for some reason, it didn’t stop me. I still thought this could be salvaged. I just started hacking into the thing.


I was just trying to make cuts that made sense when clearly there was no sense in even starting this project in the first place.

I finally turned off the jigsaw (whose blade I DID break, in case you were wondering) to hear screaming coming from the little voice behind me.

“What are you doing to that dino???” cried my 4-year-old son. I hadn’t heard him come outside, where he apparently witnessed the entire bloodbath. His eyes, once bright with the hopes of a beautiful Brachiosaurus to lord over his bed, were now filled with the tears of a million extinct species.

I looked from my weeping son to what was supposed to be my masterpiece, my Facebook brag, my pièce de résistance.

“Well, buddy, I guess I killed it.”

I abandoned the wood. It sat outside for days, baking in the sun and attracting vermin. I suppose I should have given the poor thing a proper burial. I considered a Viking funeral in the pond in our neighborhood, but Pinterest didn’t have any tips on eco-friendly, HOA-friendly, do-it-yourself pyres.

To this day, I still find little scraps of wood around the grill. I quickly hide them before my son catches a glimpse. I don’t want him having any violent flashbacks of his mother relentlessly sawing into his prehistoric playmate.

The story does have a happy ending.

Using another piece of the fence, I decided to do this:



It’s supposed to be a Brachiosaurus, though it kind of looks like a dog. Or  what I assume the Loch Ness Monster would be if it came ashore. Or like a ferret with long legs.

See, that’s the thing about really, really, REALLY impressive art: It makes you think. Man, all the chicks on Pinterest are going to HATE ME for how sweet this thing is.

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Kate Meier

Kate Meier

I'm Kate. My hair is always in a ponytail and I know most shows on PBS Kids by heart. My house nor my two kids are ever really clean. Writing is my catharsis and currently my meal ticket. I found my first gray hair recently and attribute it to sleepless nights and the constant fear of screwing up my 4-year-old and 21-month-old children.