Thursday 1 August 2013

How to: make a mini dinosaur planter

What do you get when you combine a cactus and a dinosaur?

A cactusaur! This is a ridiculously easy (and cheap!) DIY to put together, and it's so much fun to do!

Here's how to make your own herd of cactusaurs.

You need:
  • hollow plastic dinosaurs*
  • spray paint
  • mini succulents (mine are from a garden centre)
  • a power drill
  • scissors/art scalpel 

* Now, plastic dinosaurs might seem like an easy enough thing to buy, but good lord, it is hard to track down a dinosaur that is hollow AND large enough to fit a plant. After trekking to every toy shop/corner store/museum in Edinburgh, I finally found the perfect fellows in Hawkins Bazaar (presumably you can get them online too, but I found it really hard to tell if they were solid plastic or not! Who would have thought dinosaurs were so tricky?!).

Start by CAREFULLY drilling a hole in the back of your dinosaur. I got the fear about doing this part (I was a bit concerned I'd drill my hand off) so roped in a glamorous assistant to help out. On reflection, it wasn't hard, I totally could have done it, and I probably shouldn't have been such a wimp. Ah well!

Anyway, keep the hole small at first, and gradually make it bigger, until you can comfortably fit the plant roots in (but haven't hacked away too much of your dinosaur). Use scissors or a scalpel to neaten up the edges.

Spray paint your dinosaur! I hung them up with very thin wire from a washing line, which made it super easy to cover the whole thing at once. Leave until it's dry to the touch, then carefully touch up any smudges or bits you might have missed. Then leave for a bit longer until it's completely dry (go have a reward cup of tea, or gin, or something).

Now, the sort of fiddly part. Take your succulent and VERY GENTLY start to remove the soil from its roots (you can do this by gently teasing them with your fingers, and shaking the plant). Don't rush this bit - you don't want to damage them.

Start to fill your dinosaur with soil, making sure it gets into all the little spaces (tail, neck, legs, etc). Then make a hollow spot for your plant, put it in, and pack soil around it so it sits firmly in your dinosaur. Using a chopstick or pencil can help press the soil in, and stop you getting spiked by your plants!

Tadaaaa! Aren't they beautiful? Give your new plants a soak in water (succulents need very little water, but will benefit from a bath after getting repotted!) and gaze at them lovingly.


  1. This is freaking brilliant! I love this! Anything with dinosaurs on is a win in my book, and this is just incredible! xxx

  2. These are ace! I made dinosaur Christmas ornaments last year!

  3. This is literally so awesome! You could sell these I reckon ha and I would genuinely buy one. xx

    Abby | Beauty and a Blogger

  4. Oh. My. Goodness. I now know what to make with all of those extra toy dinosaurs I have. Schweet!

  5. I love this x

  6. THESE ARE SO RAD!!! Love love love it! You are so clever.


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