Make: An Enchanted DIY Unicorn Garden for Kids

A couple of Fridays ago I started a new tradition, and for the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing projects that use a little easy DIY’ing and a lot of imagination. This week’s fantastical creation began with a curious gift of special “seeds” and sprouted into a magical unicorn garden!

Let kids play in the dirt and make their own magical mini unicorn garden with this easy and fun potted plant and clay craft! | from barley & birch

If you’ve never tried planting confetti or glitter, take it from me, you should give it a whirl because incredible things are sure to sprout! A little fairy told me the secret to growing your own unicorn gardens, and since I’m no good with secrets…I’m going to share it with you…!

This magical DIY unicorn garden is simple to make and an imagination-inspiring surprise for dreamers big & small!

Is there anything more magical than finding an interesting little bottle that says “plant me” and waiting to see what happens (or maybe I’ve just watched Alice & Wonderland too many times…)? It’s not a necessary step, but to get little imaginations warmed up, I filled an old spice jar with confetti and added a couple of mysterious tiny labels…

The magic "seeds" that grew into our unicorn garden.

The morning after the “seeds” had been planted in a pot of dirt, I left another little bottle – this time filled with glitter – with the instructions “sprinkle me”. It seems like if anything could get some unicorns growing, it would be the combination of (biodegradable!) confetti and glitter.

The magic "food" to help our unicorn garden grow.

While your curious kids are busy imagining what magic might be growing under the dirt, you can prep the final surprise…

Do you have kiddos who just can’t wait to start planting outside? Visit our collection of over 50 kids spring gardening activities for good hands-on ideas and helpful tips to get your kids busy in the garden.

To make your own unicorn garden you’ll need:

Note: We prefer to shop locally or use what we have at home, but this list contains Woodpeckers Crafts, Etsy, Blick Art Materials, and/or Amazon affiliate links for reference. As Amazon Associates, we make a small commission on qualifying purchases.*


  • A Small Flowerpot (a 4-inch or 6-inch pot like this is a great size for kids!)
  • Air Dry Clay (like this kind from Crayola)
  • Acrylic Paints in a variety of colors
  • Foam Sheets or painted cereal boxes (I used purple & white)
  • A stapler
  • Some succulents (or other plants)


DIY Unicorn Garden Instructions:

  1. Form a set of simple unicorn horns out of air-dry clay

    Using a few small handfuls of air-dry clay, mold your clay into unicorn horn shapes. Let dry a full 48 hours (and I wouldn’t recommend trying to speed up the process by baking it – I tried at a low temperature and it just doesn’t seem to work as well). You can make as many or as few as you want – I wanted a few full horns and some “sprouts” in lots of different colors.
    This magical DIY unicorn garden is simple to make and an imagination-inspiring surprise for dreamers big & small!

  2. Paint your clay unicorn horns

    Using acrylic paints, paint your unicorn horns any color you like! I chose bright colors and made my largest horns rainbow-striped. Drying time depends on the paints, but mine dried within about 30 minutes.
    Shape unicorn horns with airdry clay, let dry, and cover with bright and colorful paints.

  3. Cut out small pairs of unicorn ears

    Cut some basic unicorn ear shapes out of foam sheets (I like to use foam because it can withstand the occasional plant watering, and can be rinsed off in soapy water from time to time).
    Cut out simple unicorn ears from a colorful foam sheet. Fold and staple at the bottom to create an ear form.
    You can just eyeball the size and cut them to fit the size of your horns. I think it looks most effective to layer a couple of colors, but it’s totally up to you! Once you have arranged your earpieces the way you’d like, squeeze the bottom of the ear together and staple them to create a realistic curved ear form.

  4. Add your horns and ears to a small pot filled with dirt and succulents

    It’s time to pot everything! Fill a spare flower pot with dirt and add some succulents or other fun plants. Make a few small, shallow holes by pushing your finger into the dirt, then press your clay unicorn horns in. Add ears at both sides of each unicorn horn, and like magic…you have a unicorn garden growing!
    This magical DIY unicorn garden is simple to make and an imagination-inspiring surprise for dreamers big & small!

This is a wonderful, imagination-inspiring surprise for kiddos (especially if you slowly add things over the course of a few days!). Instead of potting this yourself, consider giving your kiddos a mini unicorn garden kit with a little pot, a child-safe non-toxic indoor houseplant, and the rest of the supplies they need to “grow” their own set of unicorns. It’s a great small-scale indoor gardening project that helps whip up a little excitement to dig in the dirt. We’ve made our own little mini gardens to gift along with instructions and templates for our DIY unicorn scratch art, and know it will be a fun green surprise for dreamers & magic-believers big or small! 🙂

For anyone with a less-than-green thumb, you can substitute colorful craft sand for the dirt and skip the foliage altogether. These would look absolutely adorable hanging in a little terrarium globe!

This magical DIY unicorn garden is simple to make and an imagination-inspiring surprise for dreamers big & small!

*A note about affiliate links: We strive to use simple, earth-friendly supplies that can be purchased locally whenever we can, but sometimes we find the best universally available options, a rare eco-friendly find, or a niche product only available on Blick Art Materials, Amazon, Etsy, or Woodpeckers Crafts. When included in our supply list, these products are affiliate links, and if you click through to make a purchase we receive a small commission that helps us re-order these supplies!


Amanda Eldridge
Amanda Eldridge

With a passion for cultivating imagination, Amanda aims to help kids and families discover their creative potential through art, play, adventure, activism, conservancy, and community. Amanda has a background in graphic design, environmental design, and art curation. When not playing with ideas and designs for barley & birch, she enjoys working in freelance design, art, and illustration.


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