DIY: Animal Air Plant Holders

Before we get too far into today’s blog, I have to confess something to you. I’m currently writing from the driver’s seat of my car, parked outside a Starbucks, while my kids are both asleep in the back in their carseats. I’ve got an iced coffee in my cup holder and a scone to snack on, but every time I reach for a bite of scone, the bag crinkles. I’m pretty sure my kids are going to hear it, wake up, and rapidly consume the rest of my treat. (In case you’re wondering, this is what my “mommy time” looks like these days.)

I also just discovered I have some succulents in my cup holder next to my coffee. Seriously, who does that?


Anyway, I have a super-fun tutorial in store today. Several weeks ago, I posted about novelty planters. As I was preparing that blog, I kept coming across pictures of air plant holders made from plastic animals or dinosaurs; and every time I saw them, I thought to myself, “I could do that!”

The rest is history!

My three-year-old son is becoming obsessed with plants. I don’t think he so much appreciates them for the same reasons that I do, but he loves them simply because I love them. I asked him if he would like some more plants in his room, and he jumped at the idea! With that in mind, I decided to make these fun (and easy!) animal plant holders for him.


When you search on Amazon for plastic animals, you’ll find that you have a ton of different options. I selected these animals (pictured below) based on size (I wanted them big enough to support the air plant, but not so but that it couldn’t be seen), and on price. When it comes to price, I bought something that was relatively cheap because I didn’t want to experiment with these on an expensive toy. The quality of the animals was a little cheaper than I typically like to buy, honestly. If I bought animals again, I would go with some that were better quality. However, because I knew these would ultimately get painted, I wasn’t too worried.

Image via Amazon

The plant holders are very easy to make. The first thing I did was use a hole saw attachment for a drill to make a circle hole in the backs of the animals. The size of saw you’ll use will depend on the size of your animals, but for mine, I used a 7/8-inch bit.

**If you are cutting a hole in a solid plastic animal (as opposed to a hallow one, like I used), you would want to use a paddle bit, also known as a spade bit.

IMG_9060 2.JPG


Once you have drilled a hole in the back of the animal, lay your animals flat on cardboard in an area that is not at-risk from overspray. Even though my cardboard was rather large, I sprayed mine in my grass – just to be safe. I used a spray paint that was a paint/primer combo, in the hopes of masking the brightly-colored animals more easily. Any color will work; the possibilities are endless!


Be sure to get paint into every nook and cranny of the animals, turning them at different angles to get paint into open mouths, texted “hair” areas, and their underside. (Beware of over-spraying your animals or you will deal with runs in the paint. Multiple light coats of spray paint are always better than a few heavy coats.)


Let your animals dry overnight, and check for any stickiness/tackiness in the morning. Once you are sure they are dry, add air plants on the holes, and presto! A cute little addition to your home décor!

Plants on top of my son’s toy bins


If DIY is not your style, but you like this idea, Etsy has some really cute products for sale that are reasonably priced, such as these kissing giraffe air plant holders:

Image via Etsy

Or these dinosaur air plant holders:

Image via Etsy

There are even polka dotted dino air plant holders!

Image via Etsy 

I hope you enjoyed this fun little project.  I know I sure did!

Air Plant Holders.png

– the {house}plant momma

3 Replies to “DIY: Animal Air Plant Holders”

  1. Great job on these!!! And thank you for linking to my dinos on etsy! I hope your son loved the ones you made!! 🙂 – Ngoc from


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