Upcycle Doll Planter

Life is a Garden

No doubt some of you organised and de-cluttered over lockdown, but there are some items that we just cannot bear to part with. We’ll show you how to transform your sentimental doll into something functional with a new look to exhibit the beauty of the memories. After all, it’s not considered clutter if it brings you joy.

For this upcycle planter project, you will need:

  • An old doll
  • One and a half cups cornstarch
  • One cup white liquid school glue
  • One tablespoon vinegar
  • One teaspoon body lotion
  • One tablespoon glycerine or baby oil
Life is a Garden

Start by mixing the cornstarch and the glue. Add the vinegar, body lotion and glycerine, keep mixing. Warning: it will be messy! But mission on, the texture will improve the more you combine the ingredients. If you find at this point that the mixture is too flimsy, add a little extra cornstarch until the mixture is smooth, soft and squishy. Prepare a clean countertop with a little cornstarch and spread out the mixture. Knead it as you would dough for bread.

Top Tip: dust your hands with a little cornstarch to prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands. Once the clay mix is firm but still soft and pliable, you can cover it with plastic and set it aside while you prepare the doll.

Life is a Garden
Life is a Garden
Life is a Garden
Life is a Garden
Life is a Garden
Life is a Garden

Wipe the doll clean and remove any clothing or accessories. Take a craft knife and cut the head open. Make sure that the doll you choose can sit upright without any help, otherwise the planter might be too top-heavy and topple over.

Once the doll is prepped you can now cover it with thin layers of clay. We’ve covered the one side and let it dry overnight before we flipped the doll over and covered the other side. The drying time is about 12 hours but may be more depending on the thickness.

Let the clay dry completely. We’ve let ours dry over a weekend before we painted the doll with white spray-paint. This is optional, but it gives the finished product a bit of shimmer.

Top Tip: Cover the doll with one or two coats of clear varnish. This will ensure that the planter is more durable and water-resistant.

Life is a Garden
Life is a Garden
Life is a Garden
Life is a Garden

We’ve planted Sedum Little Master, a hardy succulent that makes for an excellent spiller plant. Their beautiful heart-shaped leaves with red edges give our doll a trendy green hairdo. Sedums are low maintenance and will thrive in a sunny spot. Be careful not to over-water them. Only water when the soil is completely dry.

Other beautiful spiller plants to consider are String-of-Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus), Hen and Chickens (Chlorophytum comosum), also known as the Spider plant. For a more whimsical look, try Peace-in-the-Home (Soleirolia soleirolii). This delicate-looking, evergreen loves low to medium light areas. Keep the soil moist, so find a spot where you see them often such as the kitchen or bathroom.

As we try to minimise our plastic waste, upcycling has become the cool new norm. We would love to see what you’ve done with your old toy collection. Show us your creation by sharing photos to our Facebook or Instagram pages. Have fun!

Life is a Garden
Life is a Garden
Life is a Garden
Life is a Garden
Life is a Garden
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