DIY Love-O-Saurus

Words by
Georgina Reid
Images by
Georgina Reid
| February 11, 2014

St Valentines day. Its over-rated, kind of scary, and cheesy as all hell. For all its cliched failings, however, it’s also about love, something truly worth celebrating.  St Valentines day is not just about over priced roses and generic Hallmark cards. This is a big, fat myth. St Valentines day is actually about DIY gold spray-painted animal planters. Yep, love. Planthunter style.

You will need:

  • Second hand plastic animal
  • Sharp scalpel
  • Spray paint
  • Newspaper/drop sheet
  • Potting mix
  • Small plant
  • Love


Visit your local second hand shop and pick up a used plastic animal toy. Bigger is better. This goes without saying. Wink wink, nudge nudge.


Cut a hole in the animals back with a sharp scalpel. Don’t cut your finger off. Blood is not romantic. Decide at this point whether you want to make a vase or a planter. If you decide on a planter, make sure you also cut a small drainage hole in the animals belly for water to drain out of.


Place your animal on some old newspaper or a drop sheet and start spraying. You will probably need to do a couple of coats. If you are making a vase, you’re finished. Go and steal (borrow) some flowers from your neighbours garden, fill the animal with water and voila!


If you are making a planter, fill the inside of the animal with potting mix and place a little plant in the hole. (The plant illustrated in this image is a Haworthia). Water plants well after planting.


Give the animal to your new/old/potential lover. I can’t guarantee you’ll get lucky but I reckon your chances are pretty darn high. You can thank me later.


  • This is not our original idea. We came across it on the interweb.
  • This project is pretty quick but you will need to wait a few hours for the paint to dry properly.
  • As the animals are generally quite small in size, make sure you select a plant that will not grow very big. Small succulents will work well as they can tolerate lots of neglect and won’t get too big. Haworthia, Echeveria, and Sedum would all work well.
  • Plants die. Especially ones with very confined root area. I would imagine a plant growing inside a plastic lions stomach could live for around a year or so before requiring re-potting. But it may not. If not, try again. No tears, ok? Good.