Dancing Groot From Guardians of the Galaxy. Actually Dances! TUTORIAL




About: I'm an artist who spends most of his days listening to movie soundtracks, drinking coffee and upgrading people's collectible statues and figures by repainting them. I'm also a full on geek. And an animal lov...

It was the summer and my Wife's Birthday was approaching, and like everybody else who saw (the brilliant) Guardians of the Galaxy... she had COMPLETELY fallen in love the baby dancing Groot from the end of the movie. I mean... who didn't??

I knew what I had to do.... !! TO MY ART STUDIO!!!!

Step 1: Everything I Needed.

I gathered my supplies. Some I had lying around, some I bought from the local DIY/Pound shops. The most important of which was a light up dancing flower from Japan which was made around 2008.

They're very rare at the moment as they're not made any more.... but it was the one I wanted as it had the perfect dancing movement, and luckily I found one JUST in time.

Step 2: Demolition!!

It was slightly heartbreaking cutting this thing up as it was so cute, and looked great when all it's petals were lighting up and flashing bright colours.....

.....but I needed that Baby Groot!! So off came the leaves and petals!

Eventually I had all the petals and leaves off, and all the lights disconnected.

Now we were ready to rock 'n' roll!!

Step 3: Building the Inside....

The body was built up using one of the sponge hair rollers cut up into sections (I wanted to make sure I didn't restrict the dancing movement)

I got some thin green fabric that had a bit of texture and painted it to a much darker shade. This would be the base for everything else that came on top.

Step 4: The 'soil'

I found some brown felt covered paper that I'd kept for no particular reason for years. Now I FINALLY had a reason to use it!! I cut it out to shape and glued the edges together to make a cone. This was placed onto the base.

I also glued the green fabric from the last stage around the black sponge sections...

Step 5: Making the Arms.

I took one of these 'Chenille Sticks' ...basically oversized pipe cleaners with extra long fur on. I only needed the wire and some of the fur... so most of it was chopped off.

Once this was done I glued a piece of string at one end, and started winding it around tightly. This was to be the arms! When it was all done (and glued at the other end) I painted it with Umber acrylic paint. Basically a very dark brown.

Step 6: Attaching the Arms...

This piece was then wrapped tightly around the body at the correct height where I wanted the arms, glueing it to the body to make sure it didn't twist around or anything. This has to be solid. I also added a piece of hard drying epoxy putty to the top as I realised I needed the main trunk to be a little taller for when the head attached.

Step 7: Creating the Tree Trunk!

Now it was time to make it look like a tree!!

I took some thick string from a kitchen mop head, and thin string from a regular ball and started glueing them onto the sponge sections. (I first glued the ends so that they wouldn't fray) - I needed to both make it look like a tree, but also be loose enough between sections so that it could still move. This was important!

Step 8: Painting!

Once this was all done and I was happy with it I painted the whole thing with Umber paint. This would act as the base colour onto which I would paint everything else.

Then came the slow process of painting dozens of layers if varying shades of greens and browns, to both make string look like a tree, but also to make it look like Groot how we saw him on screen! This was where being an artist came in handy!

I also unwravelled a piece of string down to it's thinnest individual piece and painted this green. This would be glued on and give some variation to the look (and also the dancing groot that we see in the film has these tendrils in the same place)

Step 9: Let's Sculpt the Head!

Now it's time to sculpt the head!! I use Milliput for this.. a two part epoxy putty that dries within a few hours once mixed together, so I had to be quick.

I used two small ball joints off a spare action figure I had lying around for the eyes.

I sculpted the head to be separate from the body as I wanted it to be poseable afterwards. It simply sits on top of the main body and can be turned in any direction you wish.

Step 10: Details...

Some fake grass was added, along with some granite chips. I bought these from my local art shop. They're used by people who make model railways and such. These were glued down onto the 'soil'.

Step 11: Let's Paint the Head!

And now it's time to PAINT. A few thin coats of grey primer and we start laying down thin washes of colour, building it up. Artistic ability comes into play here, there's no real way to explain 'how' to paint it. Just keep looking at photos and go with what feels right to you. Eventually after a few days we get to......

Step 12: FINISHED!


There's dozens of different layers of browns and greens here. Also some shadows are painted in and I've enhanced the cracks and crevices. Painting can always enhance and add to a sculpt. One thing that I've seen that every custom Groot out there has wrong is that they just give him flat black eyes. This is wrong! He actually has regular looking eyes with a pupil in the middle.. its just *really* subtle. His eyes are green/brown, just really dark. I made them extra glossy too. Some extra fake moss was added along with some leaves and twigs to enhance the overall 'groot' effect. And there you have it!! One Dancing Baby Groot!!!!

Click onto the final step to see a video of him dancing!!


After incredible interest I have decided I will be making ONE MORE Baby Dancing Groot exactly like this one. I have the parts on their way now (including the rare dancing flower all the way from Japan), and I will be putting it up for auction when it's done. There will only be ONE.

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EDIT: It has been brought to my attention that this video doesn't work on mobile devices. This is down to YouTube and I have no control over it, sorry. It's because Groot is dancing to the Jackson 5 (just like in the film) ...and because there's a song in the video Google for some reason restrict the access to computers only. I wish I could change this.

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    85 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Sweet build! I've been inspired to give it a go.


    3 years ago on Introduction

    well done! love the detail work!

    so cute, great job of capturing that cuteness!



    4 years ago

    Good job on the head sculpt! Very accurate!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    i found some flowers if your still interested ;)



    4 years ago on Introduction

    This is a build. I know what you mean about the arty stuff being hard to explain. Great finished project and it looks great. I tip my hat to you good sir!! I agree that it is all in the details to make something look really special. I may have to give this a try, when and if I ever have time.


    4 years ago on Step 5

    "O" I forgot- To cover the Bouncy Arms- You could sew a small fabric tube...Think the Fabric tubes they use to cover baby mobile strings. Then to make the Fabric Tube look like "Groot" You would just Paint/Dye it and could add "wood" effects with a fine tiped glue gun and brown colored hotglue-or white and paint it. Either way paint the finished item and be careful not to overdo the glue...otherwise you would negate the effects of the spring by overweighting it. The spring sould be able to move freely inside the fabric and you can tie the ends and create sculpty "groot" Hands/Branches on the end of the spring/fabric arm tubes- After closing them up with string or wire.

    This is my plan to try one :P If I can find a supplier who will sell just 1 dancing flower. on Dh gate sometimes they will if you contact a supplier and offer to pay shipping. The Wholesale lots generally include free international shipping though you usually have to buy way more than you need. Good for making mutiples, bad for a single project.


    4 years ago on Step 5

    Another Tip...One could use a "Bouncy" Small Spring for each arm to get a bit of movment. and if one wanted to get really technical they could use a lego hinge to connect the spring to the body and add a small rubber seal to give the arms a natural bounce or wave effect. The small rubber seal around the "Lego" joint would keep the lego "joint" from Closing completely but still allow it to bouce-so as the body swiveled the arms would move up and down slightly and wiggle a bit. :P Haven't tried this...so it works "In Theory"


    4 years ago on Step 5

    It cut off the link with an elipsis Just go to dhgate.com and search for Dancing Flowers :) Just thought I would share as I was conidering buying one for personal use ^_~


    4 years ago on Step 5

    For anyone who wishes to make these I found the Dancing Flowers Here>>>


    That's the lowest price + qty I could find. You have to purchase 5 but it might work for you if you wanted to make several "Dancing Groots". The Wholesale Site has better prices but you have to order a much larger quantity.


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Yes, my husband thought of this upon leaving the movie theater, and I was going to make him one...until I saw the price tag on those flowers. I don't know that I would have thought to use rope to create the texture and allow for movement. Great job.

    unfortunately the dancing flower I had coming from Japan never turned up :( so I'm having to source a new one now.. and they're rare. I doubt I'll be selling it outright though when I do get to make a second one, more likely it'll be an auction :)

    Hi Darren,
    I have several friends and work colleagues who live in Japan. Tokyo to be exact. Do you want me to check with them to see if they can locate locally? If so, please let me know the specifics and I will send to them.
    Also, please let me know when and where you put the auction as I would like to participate. My daughter is not into clothes, electronics, etc. and is sooo hard to buy for for Christmas. This item is so perfect for her, it would be her main gift.