Introduction: The Mythical Indoor Plantersaur

About: I play with light

Here's how to make your own little kitchen dwelling Plantersaurs out of a dollar store dinosaur and small plants.

I was on a video call with a dear friend when his 4 year old entered the frame crying and proclaimed that he was broken hearted as he was the "only child on the planet without a pet". Oh the drama:) You see, he was in desperate needed of a dog, cat, horse or Pudu pudu (a tiny South America deer). His proclamations was funny and adorable. Wanting desperately to stop his pet-less little heart from breaking further, I suggested he adopt a Plantersaur...

The tears stopped, and he asked "W h a t ! ? what is a Plantersaur? " and quickly added "may I have three!" I explained that the Mythical Plantersaur was a little dinosaur that loved plants so much, that he carried them on his back. That Plantersaurs liked to hang out on sunny spots in the kitchen where snacks are plentiful and that if he were to adopt one, he would have to help care for the Plantersaur's plants. He agreed, and again asked if he could have three, one for him and one for each of his siblings. A special request that his sister's Plantersaur be pink or purple if possible.

So lets go make some Plantersaurs. I will update this Instructable weekly for a few weeks so you can see the plant grow in the Tomatosaur and Chiasaur. So check back to see the growth.


  • Toy Dinosaurs
  • Soil
  • Small Succulents or Epiphytes - Nothing prickly if its for young children
  • Chia, Alfalfa or Cat grass seeds or tomato seedling


  • Knife
  • Scissors
  • Dremel/drill
  • Marker
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Clear coat/sealer


  • Paint
  • Glitter
  • Other items to Decorate Dino

Step 1: Cut or Drill Drainage Holes

Flip the beast over and dill a few drainage holes in the belly & tail to allow water to escape and not mold over your little pet

These dinos have solid legs so I do not need to add holes there as water will not accumulate in the legs/feet.

Step 2: Cut a Hole for Plant

Take a knife and carefully cut a whole where you would like the plant.

Step 3: Decorate Dino

    Oops, I got so excited to make this little guy, I didn't take a photo of it before it was painted, so ignore the pant for now : )

    • If you wish to paint or otherwise decorate your Plantersaurs, now is the time
    • One of the recipient if one of these little guys is all about pink and purple, so I made a pink and sparkly version for her per her little brother's request
      • Check that your paint is compatible with the dinosaur's material by testing on a little spot.
      • I used brushed on craft paint and used a spray-on sealer to waterproof it
      • Allow the paint and sealer to dry before moving on to adding the soil and plant.

    Step 4: Add Soil

    • Add a layer of an soil appropriate for your plant
    • Pack it in a little to remove air pockes
    • Make a little hole for the roots of your plant

    Step 5: Add Plant

    • Place the roots of your plant in the little hole in the soil
    • Pack the soil around the roots, add soil as needed
    • Take care to avoid the business end of any little needles or prickly bits of your plant

    Step 6: Care

    Water and place in a well lit spot on the kitchen counter or table.

    Step 7: Chiasaur

    I had an extra Dino and a random bottle of chia* seeds that I will never EVER eat or add to a drink (eww). So, I thought I would use them now to make a Chiasaur to hang out on the sunny side of my desk.

    • Prep the Dinosaur as above:
      • Cut or drill drainage holes
      • Cut a hole for the plant
      • Fill with soil
      • Decorate/paint if desired
    • Prep the chia seeds by soaking in warm water for a 15 minutes
      • You can skip soaking it will just take a little longer for the seeds to sprout and don't freak out that they get all gross and gooey - they do that
    • Add a layer of seeds to the soil
    • Do not cover the seeds
    • Lightly mist the seeds

    Step 8: Chiasaur Care

    • Place in a warm dark spot overnight
      • I placed the Chiasaur in a ziplock back on top of the warm cable box and covered it with a handkerchief
    • Open up the following day and mist the seeds
    • Close the ziplock bag up again and blackout with fabric (handkerchief)
    • Once the seeds sprout, remove the plastic bag, the black-out fabric and introduce the plants to light
      • At this point the plants will be yellow since they have not been exposed to light. They will green up soon
    • Lightly mist daily
    • Watch it grow

    The images above are days 2, 6, and 10

    Step 9: Tomatosaur

    If you don't have any toy dinosaurs, you can upcycle a plastic water or soda bottle into a little dino planter.

    We are still having frosty nights, so I started my tomato plants indoors. I started way WAY too many, so I thought I'd share them with my neighbors and I also started leaving them out for all amazing people delivering groceries and supplies. Sure, I could use a red solo cup, but since we had a bunch of plastic drink bottles, I decided to use them to make something fun. Thus, the little Tomatosaur was Frankensteined.

    Step 10: Add Drainage Holes

    Take a craft knife and cut out a few holes in the bottom of the bottle to allow excess water to escape

    With thin-walled bottles, it is easier to cut these holes before you cut the rest of the bottle. The bottle will be less wiggly this way.

    Step 11: Draw & Cut Out Dino Shape

    • Take a marker and draw a basic dinosaur shape on a plastic water or soda bottle
      • I used a lot of marker to make it more visible for this Instructable, you just need an outline
      • I have no artistic ability, so if I can do it, you can too
    • Take an craft knife and cut out the shape
    • Remove any sharp bits with scissors

    Step 12: Paint

    • Paint and coat the outside
      • Give it a couple of coats

    ***I used craft paint and a sealer, if you want to skip the sealer, just use spray paint

    • Take a marker or paint and give your Tomatosaur eyes, and mouth, maybe some spots or stripes
      • There are no rules here
    • Once you are happy with the look, spray a couple coats of a sealer

    Step 13: Add Soil and Plant

    Once the sealer is dry add soil and a tomato plant (or better yet, sow the seeds in here)

    Water and set in a sunny window until it is ready to be sent out into the world and adopted

    Step 14: Tomatosaur Care

    • Tomato seedlings like 12+ hours of light a day. Since we still have very cold evenings and frosty mornings I am keeping the plants inside for a few more weeks.
      • The Tomatosaurs spend the mornings in the kitchen near a south facing window for some morning light
      • After lunch the Tomatosaurs and friends move to a different sunny window for their afternoon dose of sunlight.
    • They are watered deeply and regularly
    • Hopefully the weather will warm up when they are ready to be adopted and transplanted.

    Step 15: Make a Bunch

    • I am making about a dozen to leave out on our doorstep and the block's mailbox for delivery people and neighbors to adopt.

    Step 16: UPDATE

    I shared images of the Plantersaurs with a friend and he sent me 90 dinosaurs to prep for his entire preschool. I am really excited to see what the kids grow in them when they finally go back to school. At least I have time to cut and drill out all the holes :)

    My headmaster also wants to do this with our k-2nd grades so I have about 300 more dinosaurs on the way. I am also planning to write a little care guide and story book for the kids.

    Project Plantersaur if off to a good start:

    For preparing the Dino heard I had to bring out the drill press

    Indoor Plants Challenge

    First Prize in the
    Indoor Plants Challenge