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DIY Animal Vase Project - Finished

How to Upcycle a Kids Toy into a Stunning Dinosaur Vase

With Spring just sprung, flowers buds are starting to burst and this fortnight’s tutorial is a great way to upcycle toys that have been well loved. If you’re like me and fancy quirky elements, pops of colour and child-friendly products in your home, then this Dinosaur Vase project is a fun way to achieve this.

Once you have created your Dinosaur Vase, share it with us on Instagram! Tag @tlifecreative in your creations 🙂

Upcycle a Kids Toy into a Stunning Dinosaur Vase

What you will need:

  • Thick plastic animal toy, larger sizes work best
  • Permanent marker
  • Drill
  • Builders file or coarse sandpaper
  • Surface Prep Spray paint (clear)
  • Plastic Primer Spray paint
  • Coloured Spray paint
  • Dropsheet or cardboard for painting on

Step1 DIY Dinosaur Vase

Step 1

Source the plastic animal toy. For this tutorial I found an old dinosaur, made from thick, hard plastic in my children’s toy boxes, that was well coated in mud and looking rather tatty – time for a new lease of life! Discount stores are also a great source for plastic animals.

Step2 DIY Dinosaur Vase craft project Step2 Dinosaur Vase DIY project

Step 2

Mark with a permanent marker on the back of the animal, the approximate centre of the circle to be created for the opening of the vase.

Step3 Dinosaur Vase craft project

Step 3

Take the drill and at your centre mark carefully drill through the top plastic shell of the animal. You will feel the drill drop down slightly when you have broken through the plastic layer. Make sure you stop drilling once you have broken through the top layer, as continuing on will create a hole in the bottom of the animal (and the bottom of your vase!).

Use a thicker drill bit in your drill to widen your pilot hole and form a hole approximately the size of a 20 cent piece.

Step4 DIY Dinosaur vase

Step 4

Lightly file or sand, with thicker grit sand paper, any sharp edges or excess bits of plastic around the hole opening. Give the animal a quick wash to remove any dust or grime and leave it to dry completely.

Step5 Dinosaur vase craft project

Step 5

Spray the animal with clear Surface Prep Sraypaint and leave it to dry. It is essential to do this step, as primer and paint do not bond to plastic surfaces well by themselves and ultimately the paint will chip off.

Step5pic2 DIY dinosaur vase project

Almost Done…

Once dry, coat the animal with Plastic Primer Spraypaint and leave it to dry. Finally, choose the colour you would like the animal to be and spray it with a couple of light coats of Spraypaint. Again, leave the paint to dry completely, preferably overnight.

You can source the Surface Prep, Primer and coloured Spraypaint from your local hardware store.

To finish, just add water into the animal through the vase opening and pop in a selection of colourful flowers! Animal Vases are child-friendly and don’t break, perfect in rooms with hard floor surfaces.

DIY Dinosaur Vase Project

dinosaur vase diy project using kids dinosaur toy


Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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