DIY Dinosaur Serving Dish

DIY Dinosaur Serving Dish by Three Little Monkeys Studio

Dinosaurs are a big deal around here. Zach loves them. The girls love them. And while purging some old toddler dishes and toys for Goodwill, it dawned on me to make this little DIY Dinosaur Serving Dish.

This fun DIY Dinosaur Serving Dish is so easy to make. You can use old toys and melamine plates from the toddler days, or pick up items from your local Dollar Tree or discount store. How cute would it be to serve cookies at a dinosaur party or surprise the little ones with a snack? And you could easily sub other critters. A bunny for Easter or an owl for Halloween.

DIY Dinosaur Serving Dish by Three Little Monkeys StudioDIY  DINOSAUR SERVING DISH
Cost of supplies: Free if you raid your kid’s toy box and garage, but none of these items were more than $4 each in stores.
Time: Ready in 2-3 days


  • Hard plastic dinosaur toy (it needs to be sturdy and balanced*).
  • Small melamine plate
  • Sand paper
  • Adhesive (I used Loctite Stik’N Seal)
  • Spray paint (my heart belongs to Rust-Oleum)
  • Hand held saw (I used the FatMax Multisaw)
  • Parchment paper for lining the plate

DIY Dinosaur Serving Dish by Three Little Monkeys Studio Directions

  1. Use the handsaw to cut off your dinosaur’s head just above the shoulders. Use steady strokes to keep your cut level. Use the sandpaper to smooth the edges of your cut.
  2. Use the sandpaper to lightly sand the surface on the bottom and top of the plate where you will be adhering the dinosaur. No need to sand the entire surface.
  3. Apply your adhesive to the body and plate. My adhesive recommends applying to both items you want to glue together, and allow them to set for 5-10 minutes BEFORE adhering. When ready, attach the plate to the body. Touch ups can be done around the glue site with a damp paper towel. Allow to cure for 24 hours.
  4. Once the body and plate have dried and cured, prep the dinosaur’s head and attach to the plate. You will need to eyeball it from the side and front before attaching to make sure it is in the right spot. Perform any touch ups and allow to cure for 24 hours.
  5. Once completely dried, you can start painting. Spray paint from all angles and underneath. I like to spray one coat at a time every 20 minutes or so to avoid drips and get the best coverage.
  6. Once your guy is dry, line with a circle of parchment paper cutting a hole out of the middle for the head and trimming to fit.

Update: Some readers were concerned about food safety and missed my recommendation to use parchment paper so that the food does not come into contact with the painted plate. If you have already have a white plate, it would be preferable to use that of course. I was just repurposing an old princess plate I had on hand, so that is why I painted it. Food safety first!

* My dinosaur wasn’t quite balanced, so I used a small piece of felt pad stuck to the bottom of one foot, and voila!

Easy DIY Dinosaur Serving Dish Tutorial by

PLEASE NOTE: Crafts and DIY tutorials are shared for you to enjoy for your own personal use. You may not use our tutorials to create items which you intend to sell.


  1. says

    I am so all over this it isn’t even funny. Thanks for a great idea. Suddenly imagining something very tall and a bundt cake. Mwahaha.

  2. Sarah says

    Can you paint the dinosaur pieces before you glue them onto a plate the same color to make it food safe?

    • Gretchen says

      You definitely could, but you would likely want to avoid spraying the areas you will be glueing. I sprayed the plate because it was an old princess plate, but I put a layer of parchment paper below the cookies to make it food safe. If you started off with a white plate and were careful with your glue, that would be great too. I just used what I had on hand. :)

  3. says

    i collect cake plates too…..thought i was the only one….the coolest/different ones im attracted to
    and the antique ones…..i started out with my grandma’s antique ont … it went from there….
    if u have anymore let me know so i can find them on your site!

  4. Christine says

    This. Completely. Rocks! I have a 22 year old son that loved dinosaurs as a kid and still loves them in a quirky sort of offhand way. He just graduated college, got his first job and apartment, and this needs to be in his new home! Definietly on my to-do list for his birthday…

    • Tani says

      My daughter is 21 and I also making this for her birthday… possible Christmas. She call ed me from Universal Studios and asked me to guess where she was. I had no clue. But it was the Jurassic Park ride. She was so happy. I just laughed. A couple of years ago I got her a t-shirt and she was so happy. can’t wait to give her this.

  5. Braydens mom says

    You know this is going to be an awesome DIY when the first line in the instructions read, “Use the handsaw to cut off your dinosaur’s head just above the shoulders. Use firm but steady stroke..”. Couldn’t stop laughing for longer than I will admit!

  6. says

    Hilarious and adorable! I bet you could hold your plate up to the light after you’ve glued the head on and mark the outline on the bottom; that’d help for lining up the body correctly.

  7. says

    This is a riot and a great idea. I think an Easter bunny would be trickier (where to cut?!)
    Would be interesting to use a larger piece and slice at the waist too
    Thank you I’m looking at crappy old plastic toys with a fresh eye!

  8. Leslie Holman-Anderson says

    Great idea! But if I were making something like this, while the head was off I’d half-fill the body cavity with sand or plaster, for better stability.

  9. Amanda says

    Annnnnd now I know what I’m going to do for my jewelry collection. This would be PERFECT on a shelf in my closet with bracelets and rings on it. Thanks!

  10. Nicole says

    I made this one and a brontosaurus one for a wedding present for our nephew and his new bride who is a dinosaur fanatic. She LOVED them!!! I used silver trays I picked up from the dollar store and spray painted the toys silver to match. I had to add some weight to the t-Rex as well as a base to keep him upright when in use but they turned out great. Thanks for the idea.

  11. Bry says

    Where did you get your dinosaur? I love the texture on it once it was spray painted. I’ve been looking all night online and can’t find anything close to it!

      • mchull says

        Grrrr…no that’s not what a dinosaur says but what I say because I can’t seem to find the right sized/material dinosaur to make this! I am so excited to make this for my daughter (yes, a grown woman who’s crazy for dinosaurs)! Thanks for the inspiration!

  12. says

    This is absolutely amazing!!! Love this. Would you mind if I posted a tutorial for this on my own blog? Of course I’ll post a link back to this, giving you credits!

    ♥ Saskia

    • Gretchen says

      Hi, Saskia! Sorry for the late response. You may absolutely post a tutorial if it gives credit. Thank you! You have a beautiful blog!

  13. says


    This is brillant ! But I was thinking, what if I use white acrylic paint with food varnish ? I don’t know if it works with a plastic plate but it could replace the paper, isn’t it ?

    Kisses from France.

    • Gretchen says

      Hi! I haven’t worked with food varnish before, so I can’t make any recommendations there, but it would be a great alternative to using parchment paper under food. Great idea! :)

  14. says

    I love this cake stand!
    I have begun to make a blog post with craft inspiration for this Easter. May I please share one of your pictures? Of course I will add a link back to this post.

    • Gretchen says

      Hi, Alicia! As long as proper credit is given, I don’t mind at all and would love to see your post when finished. Thanks so much!

  15. Cathy says

    I got super excited when I found this online because I was looking for a craft for the teens I work with at the library. Do you have any tips on cutting the head off so it’s actually level? I have gone through 4 dinosaurs and I just can’t get it right. Thanks!

    • Gretchen says

      Hi, Cathy! A reader once recommended a PVC pipe cutter to me, so maybe that would help? I just used a FatMax hand saw on mine. Hope that helps!

    • Gretchen says

      Hi, Lucy! It’s about the same height as a small cake stand, but the height will depend on the dinosaur you use.

  16. Susan Coburn says

    I see small stones in the one photo…do those go inside the figure to add weight? Or are they just decorative for the picture? I’m definitely doing this for my first graders!

    • Gretchen says

      Hi, Susan! The stones were just decorative. It just looked bland over on that side of the photo. And they’re chocolate rocks, so I snacked on them after. 😉 I hope you enjoy making it!

  17. Gale says

    First, thank you for calling it “Goodwill” and not “the Goodwill”. I do so appreciate good grammar and plain old getting names right. It’s not “the Target”, so why do people say “the Goodwill”? Second, that plate is T-reffic! Great idea!

    • Gretchen says

      Thank you so much for letting me know about this! Always so sad to see things lifted when credit is so easy to give. XO

  18. Joyce says

    Is there any reason why you found it necessary to spray paint over? Wouldn’t just using the plate and Dino as is work? Just wondering because I feel like skipping over the spray painting.

    • Gretchen says

      Hi, Joyce! Yes, I address that right below the instructions in the tutorial. I was upcycling an illustrated princess plate I had on hand. You are always welcome to modify the tutorial to whatever supplies you are working with. :)

  19. Julie says

    Hi there! I was wondering approximately how tall your dino was before cutting off his head? I’ve been looking at some dinos but they don’t seem to be the right proportions. 6″? 7″? 8″?

    • Gretchen says

      Hi, Julie! He is around 7″. I’ve seen some at Target’s dollar spot before, and at Dollar Tree and other dollar stores now and then. Hope you find one that works!

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