Tuesday, May 23, 2017

My Baby Groot Has That [SPOILER] That Made You Howl In The Movie

It all started when John gave me the Walmart exclusive baby Groot for my birthday:

He's life-sized, and like most toys, has some great detail that the paint job doesn't quite show off. So I set out to "spruce" him up a little. (More details on that in a sec.) Then I started brainstorming ways to display him, and what kind of accessories/props it might be fun to make.

At first I thought of the detonator, of course, but Groot isn't wearing the Ravager jumpsuit during that scene:

Plus it's already been done before.

My next idea made John laugh quite a lot, so we immediately dropped what we were doing (it was just work, no biggie) and spent the next hour making the Ultimate Baby Groot Accessory.

This is a mild spoiler, but more importantly, will make ZERO SENSE if you haven't seen Guardians 2. (Which you really should. Didn't you see my review?)


Here 'tis:

Iiiiit's a big toe.

Uh, thanks, Groot. Let us never speak of this again.

I'm actually darned proud of how that toe turned out, peeps. You know, considering it's my first time painting one.

And I hope you can tell Groot is more detailed, too, with actual moss on his head, all-over aging, and even repainted eyes!

Here, let me walk you through it all (yes, including the toe), so you can make your own!

I started with the eyes, using cheap craft paint right on top of the existing paint job. I re-positioned the pupils and added some orange color underneath:

 I think he's more life-like looking up.

I later sealed the eyes with clear gloss nail polish, but it gave me weird bubbles and ate away at the paint underneath (EEK), so don't do that. Use a water-based gloss sealant instead, like Mod Podge.

Next I aged the jumpsuit with black acrylic, painting it on then wiping it off with a wet rag:

The right arm is unpainted here, so you can see the difference the aging makes.

(You can see more dramatic aging on my Songbird and Big Daddy Pops here. Don't you just love before-and-afters?)

I initially aged Groot's face and body with dark brown, but later I went back with watered down black to give it more contrast.

Preparing to add some moss.

The top of Groot's head was all brown, so first I stippled on a few shades of green:
This later gets covered with moss dust, so it's somewhat optional. Up to you.

I also painted his leg and hand vines green:

I recommend flocking fiber for the moss (look by the doll house supplies; it's used for grass), but since we accidentally bought real moss, John took a bunch outside and sanded it on top of a rough concrete block. This reduced it to a fine powder:


To apply, I dabbed on white craft glue with a paint brush, then sprinkled/tapped the moss powder in place:
Use a toothpick to clean out the cracks in-between as you go.

I did two full coats of glue-and-moss. Be warned: it gets EVERYWHERE, and you'll be brushing off Groot's face for ages... but it looks pretty sweet!

Now, let's make... THE TOE.

You're going to laugh at how easy this is:

Yes, we molded John's toe.

We used Amazing Mold Putty, which cures in 20 minutes, then Amazing Casting Resin to fill the mold. We already had those on hand, but you can buy both for less than $30 - and still have plenty left over for more projects.

Quick Tip: When you put the molding putty around the toe (it's safe for skin contact), flatten out the very top so the mold can stand on its own later for casting.

2nd Quick Tip: If you take after Hobbits, shave your toe first. :D

Our resin toe came out with some yellow residue from the mold, but that brushed right off:

Painting it was surprisingly fun. Here's how:

Start with a bright mossy green and a dark pink-red color. Stipple them randomly around the toe, except the nail base and knuckle crease, which should be red:

 Next stipple a pale tan color over the whole thing, leaving the tip of the nail mostly white:

Now stipple a pale lavender color on the nail bed, plus anywhere else the skin is looking too orange.

And finally, add some "dirt" with a little watered down gray/brown/black.

I'm impressed: the mold even captured John's toeprint! 

Touch up as needed, then paint the bottom slice area dark red.

Finish by sealing the toe with matte Mod Podge or clear coat, which still has a slight sheen perfect for skin. Then add a gloss clear coat to the toenail, for an extra realistic look.

 If you're wondering why we started with that bright green and red color, take a look at this unedited shot taken in bright sunlight:
 See how the flesh tones match my palm? I know this is tooting my own horn, but I am SO IMPRESSED this layering technique worked!

So gross. 

But so funny.

(John has requested it be known his toe isn't this nearly this icky looking. But will he share a picture of his real toe with the class? Nooo-ooo. See, that's telling.)

And that's Baby Groot with a Big Toe!
I wonder if we should find/make a pair of space underwear to put next to him. :D


Hope this made you laugh, and also inspired some of you to start customizing your own toys! Remember, a quick aging makes a WORLD of different on Funko Pops and action figures - and it's super fun.

Also, think about your displays! An extra prop or accessory can really bring a toy to life, and can be a great beginner-level craft if you want to get into Making.

Speaking of crafts, if you're looking for more tutorials and ideas, be sure to check out my Craft Page!


I was going to announce my art winners here, but since I posted over the weekend I just realized I only have about half the entries I usually do. So if you missed Rainbow Leia and Starry Night Sauron, go see! I'll announce the winners in my *next* post.


  1. That looks amazing! Weren't you even a little tempted to paint in a small bone circle on that cut surface? Or maybe that's just me being gross.
    -Alexea (who apparently cannot remember a single password today for logging into recognized commenting formats)

    1. I had the exact same thought!

    2. I'll have to watch the movie again to be sure (oh, darn ;p) but I remember it being a solid thin red slice - very non-gory. Plus I'm going more for comedy than the gross-out factor anyway, ha!

    3. I saw this post before seeing the movie (just finally saw the movie yesterday! Yay!) so I already had this post in mind and I noted that the toe looked remarkably like what you made here, so I'm thinking you're right about no visible bone.

  2. So is your hand super tiny or does John have giant toes?

  3. I'm not sure if John's toe is huge or your hand is tiny or both but it's hysterical to me. Either way, this turned out so great! I love seeing you make toys look like amazing collectibles!

  4. wasnt it a thumb? i guess i need to see it again :D it looks way better

  5. you may want to rethink your finger position between groots legs. ;0)

    1. Hey, get your mind out of the gutter! ...There's barely room in here for mine. ;)

    2. I am so glad I'm not the only one who thought that! Gutter minds all around!

  6. So many levels of awesome! I asked to see this movie for Mother's Day and we all had a great time!

  7. OMG, THE TOE SCENE!!!! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!! This looks amazing, Jen, well done!

  8. This is great. We saw this and were a bit unhappy that he looked so happy in the ravager suit he hated, but he was pretty darn proud of what he was finding so the expression suits the prop.

  9. This is awesome! Yes, do the underwear!

  10. Your mods made all the difference. Thumbs, er toes up!

  11. What a fun little tutorial! Great job! You may want to consider painting in the toe bone in the middle of the red on that severed appendage... toes have bones yo!

  12. This makes me want to run the store and buy some toys! Thanks for doing the hard thinking for us to copy!

  13. This looks so good Jen! -Denise

  14. So in love with your final product! One question though:did you figure out to shave John's toes before casting the easy way (had the information before you started), or the hard way (unintentionally gave his toe a wax job)

    1. Bahaha! Fortunately John *did* think to shave his toe first, so he got to avoid an unintentional waxing.

  15. It's incredible how much difference the aging makes! And as soon as I saw your post about an accessory for Baby Groot, I was HOPING it would be the toe!!

  16. I thought it was going to be a badge/hat until you said it had John laughing. This is toe-tally fantastic.

  17. Cannot stand the cuteness! Love what you did! I saw this in Walmart today and my three year old was with me. He got so excited and said, "Mommy, that's the little tree you like. He says 'I am Groot.'" Ahhh! Made my day.

  18. I LOVE the eyes! Makes me wish I had painting skills. :)

  19. I've been eyeing this Groot at work.....never think to age toys. Just might have to get him now.
    My first thought when reading that he needed a prop was the undies. Hahahaha! The toe is pretty awesome though.

  20. Oh My GOODNESS!!! I HATE toes! But the pictures of your hand holding the toe (shudder) are unbelieveable. Either you have newborn size hands or John has gigantic toes. His toe is the size of your hand! Doesn't that scare you?
    As for the rest of it, Love it!! What a great talent you are/have. First of all to just come up with the ideas, and secondly, the ability to figure out how to make it up out of nothing. My brain sure doesn't work like that. You're so talented!

    1. Ha! I did try to make the toe as non-gross as possible, both since it was quite clean in the movie AND because the squick factor is high. :D

      And yes, John has enormous feet, but I also have tiny child hands - I never really thought about the combination 'til so many of you pointed it out!

    2. I showed the pictures to my son and asked if those were tiny hands or huge toes, and he said "Both." He's very wise for a youngun.

  21. He looks SO much better! I've been looking at Groot dolls and none of them capture the green that he is in the movie. Will have to get my paint on.

    Thank you so much for doing these!

  22. I must admit, I haven't seen Vol. 2 yet, but this little guy's adorable! Impressive paint-job, especially that skin tone!

  23. GREAT GOOT, John has a BIG big toe! LOL I made a little toe for a Big Lebowski party prop, but I didn't have the awesome detail you did. The base coloring, color choices as well as stippling, was really inspired.


  25. Haven't seen the movie yet but...baby Groot!!!

    Great job: he looks even cuter now!

  26. I finally saw the movie yesterday. Now I get it! Bahahahaha!


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