DIY Revamp! – Air Plants Safari Style

So around Christmas, I did a DIY tutorial on some fun dinosaur plant holders.  That being my first experiment with the project, I have since revamped it a little, making the care easier with air plants!  Plus I wanted to show off how awesome the safari animals I found turned out.  Overall, this DIY is super cheap and one of my favorites because the end product looks modern and expensive.  I didn’t spend much over $3 each.  I found the rubbery plastic animals at Goodwill for .99.  I bought a 5-pack variety of air plants on Amazon for $10 (free shipping with Prime), making them $2 each.  Man, I’m good at math.  If you live in Flordia, I hear they grown on trees and you could find them for free.  Maybe you could even mail some to me?  I could trade you an animal holder.  Pretty please?  Okay, anyways I used some leftover primer and spray paint and there you have it.  A little time and approximately $3 each.  These make such cool gifts!

What You Need:

Animal(s) of Choice

Small Exacto Knife

Primer & Spray Paint (Bonds to Plastic or Rubber) or Primer/Paint in One

Air Plant(s)


First, if you have multiple, you will want to decide which air plant you are cutting a hole for.  Be very careful and always cut away from you!  I don’t want anyone going to the hospital over these.  Your first cuts will be jagged lines to get a starting hole.  Then carefully slice away at the edges little by little until you have a more uniform circle.  Dispose of all the tiny pieces.


As you cut, check to see how your chosen air plant fits inside.  When it fits the way you want it to, you’re done with that step!


Now it’s time to paint.  We had some tree brush we are disposing of that had some perfect branches for propping this guy up for painting.  Watch your drippage and make sure you get into all the little creases of the animal (underneath, tail, horns, ears, etc.).  Let dry in between coats and keep coating until you are satisfied with coverage.  Make sure you give ample dry time before handling.


When completely dry, add your air plant and be proud of your masterpiece!


Air Plant (Tillandsia) Care:

Mist lightly with water once a week.  Protect from cold, especially frost.  Give bright, filtered light.  If you choose, you can fertilize by adding a pinch of Orchid fertilizer to your mister.  Every month or two, remove air plant and let root sit in water bath for approximately 20-30 min.  Turn upside down to drain any extra water out to prevent rot, especially with bulbed air plants (like the one shown in my white elephant at top).  Let dry some and then it’s ready to be put back.  The beauty of air plants is that they are very tolerable and do not need much attention.



14 Comments Add yours

  1. mom says:

    those look fantastic you did a great job explaining everything. my talented daughter you are just more than cool.


  2. Erin says:

    Good advice on the care of the plants! I didn’t ever look up how to care for them and ended up molding up my animals and eventually killing off my plants! Bummer 😦


    1. Breetalks says:

      Well, I am terrible at keeping things alive so I’m hoping that these tolerable plants will tolerate me. Were you able to save your animals with a good washing?


  3. Lisa Scott says:

    So clever! I love this idea!


    1. Breetalks says:

      It would be a fun one to do with or for your girls!


  4. Betsy says:

    These are beautiful! I love the idea of reusing something like a kids toy and not only giving it new life, but making it so stylish. Love it.


    1. Breetalks says:

      Thanks for commenting!


  5. What a creative idea! Reuse is the best!


    1. Breetalks says:

      I agree! It’s definitely cheaper too! 😉


  6. Terri says:

    great job with explaining it, I love the red air plant


  7. Rose says:

    Yes, they do have them on the trees in Florida! My mom said to not touch them because they are covered with a lot of tiny bugs. So you might not want anyone to send them to you, lol. This is a super cute project. I love how it turned out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. breetalks says:

      Thanks for the heads up! Here’s some good info on the bugs your mom might have been referring to.


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