Jun 27

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 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 ThreeLittleMonkeysStudio.com

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.

About Gretchen

Gretchen Brittain, of Three Little Monkeys Studio, is a party printables designer, blogger and event stylist. She is mom to three little red heads and a lover of all things vintage and crafty. Gretchen's work has been featured on Hostess With The Mostess, Huffington Post, PopSugar, Pizzazzerie, Amy Atlas Events, Kara's Party Ideas and more.
This entry was posted in Boy Parties, DIY, Girl Parties, Kids, Party Ideas. Bookmark the permalink.

104 Responses to DIY Dinosaur Serving Dish

  1. Carmen says:

    So cute and so clever! I’m thinking you could totally do this will all kinds of objects.

  2. Slee 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.

  3. Jenny says:

    That is awesome! I love this and am going to make my own :)

  4. This is awesome Gretchen!

    Anne xx

  5. Niki says:

    This is getting made immediately at my house. I love it. Very clever.

  6. Diane B. says:

    This is crazy awesome! I love it to bits! I have 2 girls and will have to make this for them! It will tickle them silly! Very creative.

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  9. 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. :)

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  11. lmcburney says:

    I agreed with the others…so, so clever! You have a great imagination! I am going to keep my eye out for a toy to try this out myself.

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  15. Lindy says:

    I just used my husbands PVC pipe cutter to do this, easy cutting!

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  20. 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!

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  25. 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.

  26. 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!

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  29. Oh my gosh! I love it!
    So FUN!

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  34. Amy 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.

  35. natashalh says:

    I just showed this to my man and he loves it! Pinned so I don’t loose track of it for when we get a chance to make one.

  36. 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!

  37. MJ Brodeck says:

    So clever and adorable. I cant wait to make one and use it to serve my sons their cookies!

  38. 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.

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  41. 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!

  42. 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.

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  45. 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!

    • Nicole says:

      I found some at walmart in the dollar toy section

      • 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!

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  47. Richard Martin says:

    Handsaw, schmandsaw! Out comes the chopsaw and “Off with his head – mwahaha!”

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  59. This is BEYOND adorable!

  60. I love it!!! Thank you!

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  63. Saskia 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!

  64. TDK 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! :)

  65. Alicia 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!

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  69. 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!

  70. Bree says:

    This is hilarious, amazing, and I have to make one for myself!! Thanks for sharing. :) Pinning this!

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  74. Adorable! This makes me think of all kinds of critters I could use this idea for, for all kinds of party themes! Thanks for sharing!

  75. Hello Gretchen,

    I absolutely love this project of yours and created something similar with a paper plate. Obviously not nearly as permanent in nature, but your project inspired my project for sure. I have linked back here in my post to you.

    Here’s the address if you would like to check it out. :)

    Take care, all the best

  76. Lucy Trower says:

    How tall was the dish in the end?

    • 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.

  77. 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!

  78. Cucicucicoo says:

    Nooo, that is just TOO awesome!! I love this idea and the choice of a T-Rex is just perfect! :) Lisa

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  80. Michal says:

    That is really awesome creation!

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  82. 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!

  83. HappyCampers says:

    Hey…check out Mom’s Got Ink on FB. She stole a bunch of your photos from this post, removed your watermarks, and gave no credit (she does it all the time). Here’s the link to report her to FB as well: https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/208282075858952

    • 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

  84. 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. :)

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