DIY Dinosaur Planter ~ ElephantEats.com

This post, while being a how-to, is really more to give you a fun idea for a present, since I’m sure you could figure out how to make it like I did. 

A dinosaur planter is a great decor idea for your dino-obsessed child’s bedroom…or makes a cool desk adornment for your dino-obsessed 30-something year old husband :)

I made this gift to go along with Nate’s bigger birthday present that I got him- a glass blowing lesson! 

I had gotten the idea to make this after seeing something similar sold on the website theplaidpidgeon.com:

Stanley the Stegosaurus

They were charging $30 for this baby, plus shipping, and of course being the cheap DIY-er that I am, i asked myself the question that I seem to ask myself quite frequently, “why would I pay for that when I could make it for half the price?!”

Well, in the end mine ended up costing about $15 (if you don’t count the extra $10 I paid for the wrong size plant I bought, that I couldn’t return). Plus, it was made with love <3

I’ll admit mine isn’t quite as nice as the inspiration piece, because the dino wasn’t deep enough to hide the planter, but I think it’s still pretty cool. You could easily find a better, deeper dino but I had a limited selection in my over-priced nyc toy store. I imagine Toys ‘R Us probably has some cheaper dinos.

I wasn’t sure I’d be able to find an appropriate dinosaur for my project. The inspiration picture seemed to be a dinosaur made of hard plastic, but I knew I had no tools good enough for carving such a thing. I was on the lookout for something softer, but sturdy enough to stand up on its own.

DIY Dinosaur Planter ~ ElephantEats.com

After checking out a couple toy stores, I finally found this dino for $10 at Mary Arnold Toys on the Upper East Side. I thought $10 was a little steep for something about 4″ high, but what can you do. I mean, this was a birthday present after all.

To get started I estimated about how big the succulent plant I saw at the floral store was (about 2″ in diameter) so i would know how big a hole to cut.

Then I set my little dino on her side, stroked her little head and told her I was sorry. A single tear rolled down her scaley cheek. I wiped it away and performed a small operation to remove a chunk of her back. 

DIY Dinosaur Planter ~ ElephantEats.com

 **No actual dinosaurs were harmed during the making of this project**

She was fine- no blood at all. In fact, this dino happened to be filled with stuffing, so I took the stuffing out of the middle part but left it in the head and tail pieces so she didn’t completely deflate.

DIY Dinosaur Planter ~ ElephantEats.com

DIY Dinosaur Planter ~ ElephantEats.com

Since I was told the plant needs to breathe and needs drainage, I put the planter in the bottom of a little cup. This way you can pour out any excess water that drains by taking the cup out, since the inside of the dino would be harder to clean.

And then I surprised the birthday boy with a little dinosaur buddy he could share his desk with.

According to Nate, she (apparently it’s a girl)is  currently “guarding his inbox:”

40 Comments

  1. Who knew dinosaurs were made of stuffing! That makes them alot more cuter!
    I’m actually a dinosaur lover! Last year we had a solo show in London and New York and the shows were based on video installations involving dinosaurs… they are very special to us! :) I love that you did this as I’ve been seeing these planters alot online on various blogs and you did such a great job with your DIY version – I think it’s even better than the originals!

  2. This is too cute Amy! I love fun DIY projects, hope Nate is enjoying his desk buddy!

  3. This is so fabulous! What a cool birthday present!

  4. This is hilarious! I’m not crafty AT ALL but I feel like I could handle this. Love it!

  5. Dang, Amy – you are so crafty. I can’t do it but I’ll admire your work. I love it! (I’m still wishing I could cross-stich!)

    • Aw, thanks, Monica :) Oh my gosh, you should totally buy a beginner cross-stitch…it’s so so easy! You’ll love it.

      • I had no idea there was such a thing – duh! I am very tempted to go to Michael’s or someplace now to find a beginner’s cross stitch to work on but I’ll make a mess of it! I really liked this feature Martha Stewart did in her magazine a while back where you stitch your family…but I see myself starting and abandoning the project. If you know of a good place to get my hands on a beginner’s set, please let me know. I saw some on Michael’s online but they didn’t look too good…

  6. This is awesome! We actually bought one of these from the Plaid Pigeon a while ago (we both lived in Austin). Now that I’m in Colorado, I want to make my own! Thank you for sharing!!

  7. You are crafty, too? I guess I knew that :) Great gift for Nate.

  8. That’s adorable! I hadn’t ever seen anything like it before and it is so cool. Yours turned out great. The “Rawr” on the first photo makes me smile every time I look at it. :)

    • Hehe, thanks, Nicole! Glad you like the photo… I was going to put a disclaimer in the post somewhere that the dino doesn’t actually “Rawr” ;) too bad!

  9. That’s hilarious! I love how the dinosaur is guarding his inbox. So cute! I love this idea Amy. :) Thanks for sharing this post with us.

  10. omg. i love the “Then I set my little dino on her side, stroked her little head and told her I was sorry. ” seriously. I die.

  11. also i hope aaron will be excited to get one of these for his birthday…

  12. listen: you just carved up and be-planted a plastic dinosaur. i am yours forever. love, shannon.

    we’re like craft sisters.

  13. This is feakin’ amazing! And I like yours better than the original – it’s more authentic in it’s colouring. Also, if there are drainage problems, you could always drill a little hole in its belly to allow the water to flow out. Just sayin’.

    ALSO, GLASS BLOWING LESSONS? Come on!!

    • Aw, thank you, Rachael :) I like that it has the real coloring too. I saw some similar things that had drainage in the bottom with the plant actually planted right in the belly instead of being in a planter. The issue with this dino is that it kind of slanted down into the head and tail so I was worried water would get in there. I like the idea of putting a few drainage holes in the bottom but keeping the plant in a planter though…thanks for the suggestion!
      Hehe, Nate is psyched for the glass blowing. It should be super fun!

  14. This looks sooo awesome! You clever little thing.

  15. I love it. What a great idea and I’m so glad you were inspired enough to get out there and make your own. Happy birthday to Nate xx

  16. Who new that there is stuffing inside those plastic toys. You have made my day, I am going to a house warming in the coming months and I wanted to get them a plant, but I am going to have to try my hand at making this cool planter dinosaur. Its so cool, what a great idea, thanks for sharing it.

  17. That is adorable! I kind of want one on my windowsill.

  18. What a fun project and idea. I’m sure my kids would love to make one on their own. :) Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Thanks, Amy! You could definitely do this with your kids if you help with the cutting. You might even be able to use a scissor depending on what kind of dino you use.

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