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10 Hilarious Ways to Upcycle Plastic Dinosaurs

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.

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.
dinosaur-serving-tray

    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.

    1. Cut off the dino’s head and glue it to the top of the plate as shown above.
    2. Glue the body to the bottom part of the plate and give it a few hours to settle nicely and dry completely.
    3. 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?
    4. Oreo cookies optional; homemade cookies would also look great on such platter.

    2. A plant holder, perfect for succulents or cacti!
    1-IMG_6084

      For step-by-step pics, see the tutorial here. In a nutshell:

      1. 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
      2. 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.
      3. 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.

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        Piece of cake! But just in case, tutorial here.

        1. Paint the dinos real nicely.
        2. Use a bit of glue and stick the magnets to their backs.
        3. 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.

        9

          Tutorial, if needed can be found here.

          1. Paint the dinos with some elegant glossy paint. Gold is nice, but some bronze or cooper would do nicely too.
          2. 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.

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          party-animals2-600x428

            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!

            1. Drill a small hole on the toy’s spine and glue the candle holder.
            2. Paint and let dry.
            3. Have your children’s cake topper be the best in the neighborhood.

            6. Dinosaur mason jar lids, because why not?

            dinosaur-topped-mason-jars-4_thumb

              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:

              1. Paint the lids and the dinos.
              2. Glue the dinos to the top of the lids.
              3. 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.

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              dionsaur+toothbrush+holder

                Tutorial here.

                1. 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*

                il_570xN_723482497_sq50

                  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:

                  1. Protect the mirror with some newspaper and tape. Cover it completely, unless you’re not bothered by some stains here and there.
                  2. Glue the dinosaurs to the frame with some hot glue.
                  3. Spray paint until satisfied.

                  9. Keep your books nicely stacked with these ends.

                  IMG_1184

                    Extra points if the books are dinosaur or Stone Age related. Tutorial available here.

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                    1. Cut dino in half.
                    2. Stick two (four) pieces of wood together and form an L (two Ls).
                    3. Glue one half to one L and the other to the remaining L and let dry.
                    4. 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.

                    IMG_1273%20(1024x631)

                      Tutorial here.

                      1. Get a mount base.
                      2. 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.
                      3. 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!

                      Featured photo credit: Sam Howzit, Flickr via flickr.com

                      More by this author

                      Milady Diaz Cabello

                      hobbyist writer

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                      Last Updated on March 13, 2019

                      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                      Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                      You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                      Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                      1. Work on the small tasks.

                      When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                      Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                      2. Take a break from your work desk.

                      Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                      Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                      3. Upgrade yourself

                      Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                      The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                      4. Talk to a friend.

                      Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                      Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                      5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                      If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                      Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                      Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                      6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                      If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                      Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                      Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                      7. Read a book (or blog).

                      The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                      Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                      Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                      8. Have a quick nap.

                      If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                      9. Remember why you are doing this.

                      Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                      What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                      10. Find some competition.

                      Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                      Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                      11. Go exercise.

                      Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                      Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                      As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                      Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                      12. Take a good break.

                      Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                      Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                      Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                      Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                      More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                      Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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