I developed a love for gardening from my grandparents (vegetable and flower) so don’t be surprised if you see plenty of gardening blogs from me. Anyway, in the past few years I have become a little obsessed with succulents and cactus. Probably because they do not demand much attention. One day while scrolling through gardening posts on Instagram, I came across these adorable dinosaur planters. I put a little thought into how they were made and realized that they could be made with a toy dinosaur and some paint. So I did some playing around and some experimenting and now I am ready to share my Dinosaur Planter DIY with you!

Step 1-Gather Materials

  • Dinosaur-I found one at Walmart for $1.00. You can probably find them at a garage sale for pennies. If it’s a little beat up, it’s okay, you will be painting over any imperfections. Just make sure it is made of rubber. The plastic kind are tough to cut holes in.
  • Wire clippers
  • Scissors
  • Primer paint**(optional)**
  • Acrylic paint (color of your choice) and paint brush
  • Clear coat spray paint
  • Styrofoam peanuts
  • Potting soil-preferably Cactus soil
  • Succulent or Cactus

Step 2-Cut out a rectangle shape in the back of your dinosaur

  • First I created 2 small slits about and inch apart in the spine of the dinosaur by pinching the rubber together and cutting it with the wire cutters. Then I inserted the scissors into the slits and cut away until I made a rectangle. This is where you will be placing your plant.

Step 3-Cut a small hole in the “belly” of the dinosaur

  • I simply used the wire cutters again and made a not so perfect hole. It doesn’t have to be pretty. No one will know it’s there but you.
Cut hole in the belly of the dinosaur for drainage.

Step 4-Paint It!

  • You can choose the optional step and primer your dinosaur first. It all depends on how bold you want your color to be and how dark your dinosaur is. Other than that, this step is pretty self explanatory. If you are doing a primer coat give it at least 6 hours to dry before applying your color. Maybe let it dry over night. Since the dinosaur is made of rubber, from my personal experience, the paint is a little tacky. Another helpful hint is if you have a toothpick, kabob skewer or nail, stick it in the hole in the belly of your dinosaur so the paint doesn’t dry hole shut.
  • Once the paint is dry, spray a protective clear coat paint over it and let dry. This part serves two purpose, when it dries your dinosaur will harden and become nice and firm like a plant container should. The clear coat also protects your paint job. I had an animal planter that I kept outside all summer. My planter was a little faded, but the paint did not chip.

Step 5-Plant It!

  • Before adding soil, stuff the styrofoam peanuts in the tail, the legs, head and neck of the dinosaur. This also helps with drainage and you don’t have to worry about filling the entire dinosaur with soil.
  • Next fill the body of the dinosaur with the cactus soil. This soil is specially made for cactus and succulents because of its ability to drain faster. Succulents and cactus do  not require a lot of water. They grow better when they are a little dry.
  • I usually make a hole in the soil with my thumb to make room for the roots or the stem of the plant and insert into the back of the dinosaur. Back fill it with more soil and your done!

Caring for succulents and/or cactus in this planter is very simple. One a week I water my it by using a water bottle and I spray the soil until it is saturated. I keep him in a sunny spot in my kitchen and he is happy. I made one for a friend that needed a buddy on her office desk. I even sent one off to college with my daughter. And don’t feel limited to dinosaurs. I’ve made elephants, tigers, lions, rhinos. Whatever I can find in the bin of safari animals at Walmart or the Dollar Store. Have fun and be creative with this one. Make them 2 toned, with stripes, with polka dots, whatever makes your heart content. Enjoy and thanks to stopping by!!


3 thoughts on “DIY: How to Make a Dinosaur Planter

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