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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!
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…!
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 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.
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 couple of empty spice bottles (or something like these cork stopper wish bottles as we used)
- Scrap paper and twine for little labels like ours
- Biodegradable confetti (like this)
- Biodegradable glitter (like this) or DIY glitter (you can find our salt glitter recipe here)
- Colorful sand (like this terrarium sand) and a mini terrarium globe
DIY Unicorn Garden Instructions:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
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.
- 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 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!
*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!