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Sculpey Air-Dry™ Terra Cottasaurus Dino Planter

Designed by Amy Koranek
You can build this great little planter for your room or give it as a gift with a small plant (real or artificial).
90 Minutes plus drying time - recommended that your Terra Cottasaurus dry overnight before finishing.
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Grouped product items
Product ImageProduct Name Qty
Sculpey Air-Dry™ Clay Terra Cotta 2.2 lb
Sculpey Tools™ 8-Inch Acrylic Clay Roller
Sculpey Tools™ Clay Blades
Sculpey Tools™ Dual End Detail Tools
final large image for Sculpey Air-Dry™ Terra Cottasaurus Dino Planter
Click image to open expanded view
final large image for Sculpey Air-Dry™ Terra Cottasaurus Dino Planter
  • Clear kitchen wrap or zip lock storage bag
  • Water basin
  • Folk Art Warm White acrylic paint
  • Apple Barrel Apple Coral acrylic paint
  • Detail paintbrush
  • Flat paintbrush
  • Fine line permanent black marker

Project Instructions

Surface: For the best results in sculpting and crafting with air dry clay, plan to work with a smooth, well-cleaned, non-porous surface.

Amount: Because the clay is made to air-dry, try to open only what you need at the time and leave the rest still wrapped or sealed and stored. Pinch or cut off the amount you need and take more out as you go, even for larger projects.

Working: Knead your clay before you begin shaping it for your creations. Our polymer clay is already soft and pliable, but warming the clay with your hands is a good practice to spread the substance, condition the material and get a feel for what you’re working with.

Shaping: You can use a combination of your hands, crafting tools and multimedia materials to shape your clay into the design you desire, create unique patterns and textures and incorporate mixed media elements. Remember: you can create anything you can imagine! Just make sure the finished product is exactly what you want before allowing it to dry.

Drying: Lay or stand your air dry clay projects on a nonporous surface with a clean and smooth finish in an area with low humidity. Let the projects remain untouched and undisturbed for about 24 hours to ensure complete hardening.
The Dino planter will be worked in lots of various sections. Try to only remove what you need for each part from the package. Wrap extra clay tightly and store in an airtight container or baggie between sections.

You can apply water to the clay with fingertips if needed to help blend rough spots or joint pieces together.

Start by making a ball 1.75” in diameter. This will be formed into the planter part.
photo shows ball of clay
Poke a deep hole in the middle of the ball and use the 12 mm Ball Tool to keep making the hole larger.
photo shows as described
Keep working until the planter area has nice tall thin sides.
photo shows looking into the planter
Poke a hole in the bottom of the planter for a drainage hole.
photo shows drain hole
Cut a little log of Terra Cotta into four equal sections 1/2” thick and 3/4” tall for the legs.
photo shows leg pieces as described
Press the legs onto the bottom of the planter. You can use water to help “glue” the different parts of clay together if you find it helpful.
photo shows legs on bottom of planter
Form a tail that is about 3” long and 1.5” wide in the shape of a triangle. It’s more important that the parts of your dinosaur are in proportion to each other than it is for you to follow my measurements. You will need to continually check to see if the parts go together well or not.
photo shows tail
Press the short side of the triangle tail onto the side of the planter. Allow the bulk of the tail to rest on the work surface. Once again, you can always use a fingertip of water rubbed between pieces to help the parts bond to each other if needed.
photo shows tail on planter
Shape the tail as you like. I curled my dino’s tail around to the side to help add balance to the planter.

If at any time you need to work on one area more than another, you can protect previous parts from drying out by draping a baby wipe or even a lightweight wet cloth over parts to keep them from drying out too fast.
photo shows finished tail
Roll out a 3” circle of more clay that is at least 1/8” thick. This will be used to make the big neck fin.
photo shows flat circle of clay
Use the 12 mm Ball Tool to push five creating scallops along the top edge of the fin.
photo shows creating the scallops
Drag the same ball tool from the scallops down to the center of the circle in radiating lines.
photo shows adding line details
Cut away excess clay from the bottom edge with the Clay Blade.
photo shows as described
Pinch the scallops into points with your fingertips.
photo shows as described
Form a cone for the head that is proportionate to your fin.
photo shows head cone compared to the fin
Mount the head onto the bottom center of the fin as shown.
photo shows as described
Form a little neck and press it to the front of the planter.
photo shows button like neck attached to ruff
Push the fin and the head onto the neck. Put your fingers inside the planter while you are pushing the head and fin in place so that you can apply pressure from both sides helping the clays to connect together.

If your clay joint is too dry, you can apply some water to the joint area with your fingertips.
photo shows attaching pieces as described
Use the Pointed Rubber Tool to poke holes into the head for the horns. It may seem backwards to poke holes in when we want to make horns that point out… but doing so creates more surface area for the horns to mount to the head. Make little horns that are tapered on both ends. One end of the horn is going to be completely embedded so make sure that your horns are large enough to account for this.
photo shows holes and horns as described
Push one end of the tapered horns into the holes.
photo shows mounting horns
Keep pushing on the horns to help them fatten out where they touch the surface of the head.
photo shows as described
It’s time for all the fun details! This is my favorite part!
photo shows details added
I added very flat stripes of clay that drape over the tail.
I also added divots to the body and tail with the 12 mm Ball Tool.
photo shows as described
I used the 2 mm Ball Tool to add freckles to the face, cheeks, and forehead.
I used the 2 mm Ball Tool to impress really deep-set eyes.
I used the Flat Chisel Tool to make a kinda cute smile.
photo shows details as described
Once again, I used the 12mm Ball Tool to make divots all over the planter.

It’s time for dino to dry.
You will have to let your dino dry for at least 24 hours before painting him. If there is any space between your dinosaur’s chin and the table top, you can support it with a folded towel or a little stack of note cards.
You can check for dino’s dryness level by carefully touching him to see if he’s cold.
If he is cold to the touch, let him keep resting for a while and then check again.
photo shows dino ready to dry
To paint your Terra Cottasaurus, start by painting the horns warm white. The warm white will most likely need to be apply in at least two coats to cover the background color.
photo shows painting face
Paint the details on the tail in Apple Coral.
Add dots to the divots by dipping the end of the paintbrush (non-painting end) into the paint.
You can make really neat dots by using the rounded handle end of the paintbrush instead of the bristles.
photo shows adding painted details to body
Dry brush the cheeks and forehead to highlight the freckles.
Fill in the freckles with a fine permanent black marker.
photo shows finishing the face