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Hello everyone! It’s Lisa from Grey Luster Girl and it is time for an installment of “raid your kids’ toy boxes for crafting and decorating purposes”! This practice clears excess toys while providing you with beautiful home decor so it is a win win (at least for you). For your current viewing pleasure is a DIY Toy Elephant Succulent Planter.
Take any old toy and turn it into a modern succulent planter!
I was fortunate enough to find two of these little babies. One was found in a bucket of old toys and the other I found at a thrift store. One elephant toy turned succulent planter is fun but two is purposeful and makes it look like I purchased these planters as a set. No one would ever guess they used to be baby toys!
This project was a dive-in-and-hope-it-works kind of thing, so that means I improvised as I went.
- Hollow toy
- Dremel with cutting and grinding attachments
- Spray Paint
- Cactus potting mix
The first thing you need though is a hollow toy. I loved these elephants because of their sleek lines and shape.
I had no idea what was inside them though. I marked with a pencil around the top of the elephant. This is the cut line and opening for the planter.
My husband is pretty handy with a Dremel. In fact, he frequently offers up the dremel to fix a variety of home repair problems. Even things that don’t need a Dremel, the Dremel comes out. I knew he would jump at the chance of cutting open these elephants if the Dremel was involved.
Look away if you are squeamish when it comes to toy animal surgery. Hold on little guy, you are going to be amazing. Just you wait. Now you will notice that the edges aren’t particularly clean.
Here are the two Dremel attachments that we used. The the cutting was done with a cutting wheel along the penciled line and then cleaned up with a grinding stone.
Now they are starting to look better. This is about the point where I started to say to myself, “maybe this will work after all. Nice job self”. “Oh and nice job husband too”.
The toy succulent planters were starting to take shape. But I did have a problem. There was a line that ran all along the elephant. It was made in two pieces and then attached together. I tried pouring some water into it and the water just ran right out. That was going to be a problem. Enter husband again with the idea of caulking the inside of the toy succulent planters.
It was kind of tricky to get the caulk all the way inside of the elephant because the caulking gun wouldn’t fit inside it. Instead I squirted it in and used a pencil to make sure it was distributed over all the cracks.
Now that the caulk is in and dry, it is time for the fun part of the makeover. The paint. I spray painted the elephants white so that they could have a nice clean and crisp feel to them.
I am by no means a succulent expert. I know there are many how to’s out there for planting succulents. They have rock drainage and activated charcoal and special blends of cactus soil and moss coverings and who has time to get all those things?! Let alone the price of all that stuff. I have planted a few succulents in pots in my home and they are all going strong. I decided to just go ahead and plant them directly into my elephant planters. I did use cactus soil but other than that I didn’t do anything special.
This project started out as a big “?”. Could it work in the toys I chose? It ended up with a big heart. I love how they turned out.
The only problem I have run into is watering them. I have to be very careful because the planters are quite small and there isn’t a lot of room for me to pour the water in. I have found that using a syringe works the best. I only give them a little water every now and then. Pretty much I just forget about them and they do fine until I remember them next.
Now it is your turn to raid the toy box! Go see what hidden jems (or planters) are awaiting you there!
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Re-purposing something old into a fabulous home decor item brings a special sense of accomplishment, am I right? Now that you are an expert toy-to-planter-maker, try your hand at a few of these home decor re-purposed projects: