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10 Hilarious Ways to Upcycle Plastic Dinosaurs
As a 90s child, if I tell you that dinosaur movies didn’t have an effect on me, I’d be totally lying. I don’t think there’s a need for me to mention neither the title nor the director’s name to know which movie (or saga) I’m gonna be making most of my references from. Wether you were a paleontologist on a mission, a super-girl running on heels all over the jungle (yes, I went there. If you live on a tropical place, like I do, and have tried such a manuever ever in your life, you should know how difficult it can be to run on heels. Claire Danes, I salute you!) or maybe even a Native American teaching velociraptors some respect, the probability of you having at least one dino hiding somewhere in your toy crate is considerably high. Of course, you could have been like me and have an entire battalion of those to pair up with your dolls.As a 90s child, if I tell you that dinosaur movies didn’t have an effect on me, I’d be totally lying. I don’t think there’s a need for me to mention neither the title nor the director’s name to know which movie (or saga) I’m gonna be making most of my references from. Wether you were a paleontologist on a mission, a super-girl running on heels all over the jungle (yes, I went there. If you live on a tropical place, like I do, and have tried such a manuever ever in your life, you should know how difficult it can be to run on heels. Claire Danes, I salute you!) or maybe even a Native American teaching velociraptors some respect, the probability of you having at least one dino hiding somewhere in your toy crate is considerably high. Of course, you could have been like me and have an entire battalion of those to pair up with your dolls.
Whichever case applies to you, here I share a few ideas so you can pretend to be a grown-up and use you dinosaurs toys to decorate your home instead of playing.
1. A serving dish, so snack-time can always find its way.
So easy all you need is some glue and a pair of scissors! Maybe a bit of spray paint if you’re feeling extra artsy. Tutorial here.
- Cut off the dino’s head and glue it to the top of the plate as shown above.
- Glue the body to the bottom part of the plate and give it a few hours to settle nicely and dry completely.
- You may paint the dino and the plate separately first with spray, or do it when dry with acryclics of you prefer a more 1st-grader feeling to the project. I personally would have like to leave the dinosaur with the original color but the all-white (or any other solid color) gives it a more mature look. I think it’d look great on a coffee table or at a party centerpiece. Can you say birthday party?
- Oreo cookies optional; homemade cookies would also look great on such platter.
2. A plant holder, perfect for succulents or cacti!
For step-by-step pics, see the tutorial here. In a nutshell:
- Cut the backbone (am I the only one being reminded of this by saying that? BRB, gotta take a few minutes to cry) of the dino with a boxcutter, and please be careful not to leave your unsupervised child with that thing. #safetyfirst
- Use some groovy colors to paint the dinosaur, I recommend some heavy acrylic or tempera so they cover up nicely. Let the kids paint a few nice layers, but remember to let each layer dry in between each other.
- Add some soil and the plant. Make sure to keep an eye on the plant every once in a while; take it from someone who can’t even keep a cactus alive. T_T
3. Keep your refrigerator cool with these magnets.
Piece of cake! But just in case, tutorial here.
- Paint the dinos real nicely.
- Use a bit of glue and stick the magnets to their backs.
- Figure out where else you can stick these bad boys around the house, because they simply look too cute.
4. Make every one at work jealous with paperweights.
Tutorial, if needed can be found here.
- Paint the dinos with some elegant glossy paint. Gold is nice, but some bronze or cooper would do nicely too.
- Add some solid paint here and there to make them more interesting with some accent details.
*For added weight you can cut them in half and fill them with stones or sand. Glue them back again and let dry. Dab some paint over the scars to cover up.
5. A birthday cake is not a birthday cake without some candles.
You’ll need: dinos (duh), plastic candle holders, a small drill, spray paint and glue. Get the tutorial here but go here if you’re in need of a new Menorah holder. I mean, let’s be real! Dinosaurs are for everyone. Al-Lo-Davar!
- Drill a small hole on the toy’s spine and glue the candle holder.
- Paint and let dry.
- Have your children’s cake topper be the best in the neighborhood.
6. Dinosaur mason jar lids, because why not?
Now, if you love, and I mean really LOVE, DIY stuff you probably go crazy over projects that have anything to do with mason jars (what’s not to like about them? Easy and useful, bam!). If that’s your case, here you have an idea to level up the cuteness of your storage jars. If you don’t love them however, come on! Deny they look smashing; I dare you!
Tutorial here. Or check out my summary:
- Paint the lids and the dinos.
- Glue the dinos to the top of the lids.
- Drink a tall glass of water and relax. You earned it!
7. Reward yourself with new toothbrush holder, because even fierce T-rexes know the importance to maintain a good dental hygene.
- Cut a hole on the dino’s back (so many holes, so little time!) and on the belly, this one make sure is small enough to hold the brush without touching the counter’s surface.
8. And since we’re here, why not getting a matching bathroom mirror? Because we all can agree: getting ready doesn’t mean it has to be boring, right? Right? *high five*
But this one can easily be in a bedroom, living room, etc. No tutorial for this one (sorry), but it can be bought on Etsy. However, if you still want to DIY:
- Protect the mirror with some newspaper and tape. Cover it completely, unless you’re not bothered by some stains here and there.
- Glue the dinosaurs to the frame with some hot glue.
- Spray paint until satisfied.
9. Keep your books nicely stacked with these ends.
Extra points if the books are dinosaur or Stone Age related. Tutorial available here.
- Cut dino in half.
- Stick two (four) pieces of wood together and form an L (two Ls).
- Glue one half to one L and the other to the remaining L and let dry.
- Use the natural wood color to make it rustic or paint both the dino and the wood to make it modern.
10. Never leave your keys misplaced ever again. Make this awesome keyholder, which could also double as a hook for jackets depending on how big your dinos are.
- Get a mount base.
- Paint them on a nice antique color, if you don’t want them looking like toys. Notice how these on the picture above looked like brass.
- Cut the dinos in half and glue to the surface.
I’m an emotional person. I know some childhood toys can be pretty hard to get rid off. Sometimes they represent so many different memories and feelings, you look down at them as you’re closing the box to give them away and feel the nostalgia building up in your throat like a bad cold. Then you start having second thought and doubts.
What if I never see anything similar to this? What if my future kids want to experience a playing partner such as Petri? I can’t really tell you what to do nor what not to do with your old toy, so I just hope these ideas serve you to give another chance to one of those cherished objects. Maybe you’re too prehistoric to have dinosaurs laying all over the house, maybe, but that doesn’t mean your kids wouldn’t be able to appreciate some of these ideas for their rooms as well. Happy DIY!
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