Introduction: Dinosaur Coat Hooks

About: A Northern Ireland based maker with a propensity to cause trouble and freshly constructed family.

So my dear beloved wanted dinosaur coat hooks, having seen a few on Etsy, I wasn't impressed, none of them were coat hooks, they were coat hooks with dinosaurs on. I said yes.

This coinciding with Jurassic World was accidental but pleasing - since we'd been making Jurassic Park jokes about the dinosaurs currently littering the place.

She appeared with a present one day - toy dinosaurs.

They're all hollow, on top of that, when I got as far as a test fit she complained! Of course the dinosaurs need paint, otherwise they'll look like they're for the baby's room... Not that my daughter has shown an interest in dinosaurs beyond making noises like one, being a little shy of four months old.

Anyways, there's a bit to making the dinosaurs in to coat hook material. They are all hollow casts, not to mention a bit on the squidgy side.

I'm going to enter this in the Re-use contest, votes would be nice, it fits the bill, being made out of an old drawer front and some dinosaurs that had been festering in a charity shop long enough to be genuine.


Toy dinosaurs
Backing plate - I used a drawer front
Screws - Various
Paint - Gold in my case
Lacquer - For sheen and to put something between the clothes and paint


Glue Gun
Paint Brush (optional, you could spray your backing plate or leave it as is)
Drill and bits (dependant on your screw choices but I used 2mm, 5mm and 8mm (use a large bit first rather than a countersink after for a nice finish) plus a 6mm masonry bit

So, on top I can't take responsibility for your actions upon following these instructions, like if you climb inside the cardboard box you're spraying on or somehow screw or glue a dinosaur to your face, you likely shouldn't have embarked on this project. But really, use appropriate safety gear and precautions when necessary, also don't turn your back on a dinosaur.

"You were so preoccupied about whether or not you could make dinosaur coat hooks that you never stopped to think if you should." - Christy

Step 1: Mutilate Dinosaurs

Chop your dinosaurs tails off flat to the angle you'd like them to be on the backing board.

There's no reason you can't cut them differently than I did, shorter dinosaurs might actually be handier.

On another note, toy dinosaurs with their tails cut off look utterly hilarious. I'm not sure why but they are.

Step 2: Stuff and Drill the Dinosaurs

So to make the dinosaurs strong enough to hold a coat I filled their arses with hot glue.

This is a fairly simple process, it's just about bolstering the hollow moulding at the back of the dinosaur where it's going to be support.

My pilot holes were done with a 2mm bit and were mainly about keeping the screw from getting off line and protruding.

This step also led to more hilarity.

Step 3: Back Board

I didn't get photos of the board being done but that will likely be different from mine anyway.

See I have this ugly as sin sideboard taking up space in the bedroom, it came with the house. Christy, my girlfriend despises it. My feelings are similar.

So I've stolen a drawer front from it. My grand plan being to just repurpose it piece by piece until nothing's left.

I drilled a set of holes for the dinosaurs with countersinks behind so it'll sit flush the the wall - these holes don't allow the screw to get a hold on the backing board, instead the dinosaurs clamp against it - this makes getting them to sit nice and tight to the board easier since they're pliable.

Here's a lesson.

Drill your biggest hole first. Because I'd just been doing the same thing on the back I drilled the two bottom screw holes first to countersink them like before but there's a far prettier way to do it.

In my case, an 8mm bit down just enough to seat the screw and then, then drill the small bit.

You can't get a good centre with dowel point bits on a pre-existing hole.

Then I painted it with eggshell for wood and metal (gloss that isn't glossy) because it was in a kitchen cupboard.

Step 4: A Test Fit

I wasn't sure what colour these'd be. So I put them on the board to figure it out.

If you want them to stay dinosaur flavour, go ahead and screw it to a wall.

Step 5: Painting

To make these purdy I used some 3" screws poked through a cardboard box.

I took this out in to the yard in my wifebeater. My neighbours call it the quadrangle and the homeowners association tell us we shouldn't keep unusual pets or hang washing near the window, so I spend a lot of time walking around nude or doing things like spray painting in their uppish yard. I have yet to receive a call from my landlord.

The paint is Plasti-Kote project enamel (gold leaf) and the lacquer's Carplan Clear Lacquer.

You'll need to spray lightly in a lot of passes from a lot of angles for both the paint and the lacquer, due to the texture and shape of the dinosaurs.

I left 3 hours between the paint and lacquer, that worked.

Step 6: Mount and Finish

After the lacquer's dry screw the dinosaurs on to the plate, don't put loads and loads of torque on them, they'll strip out, but do put enough to compress the back of the dinosaur against the back plate and get a sturdy hook.

Mounting to your wall will vary but me, light rawlplugs, brick walls all round I can drill where I damn well please.

Now just stand back and admire your monument to mankind's hubris.

Reuse Contest

Runner Up in the
Reuse Contest

Unusual Uses Challenge

Runner Up in the
Unusual Uses Challenge