Monday, October 24, 2011

Brainstorm: What to do with plastic animals! [Large & small]

The past week and a half or so has been a dry spell for The Daily Telecraft. With the release of the new Percy Jackson book and my discovery of The 39 Clues series, I've been taking a crafting break and exploring books. However, all of the posts that I have missed will periodically be posted to make up for the days I skipped because I was engrossed in my reading.

Aside from exploring worlds between pages, Pinterest has consumed a lot of my life. I see some super cool ideas for all sorts of projects. Some of my favorite ones are ideas for plastic animals.

First off, let's discuss where to purchase these animals.

Smaller sized plastic animals [around 2-4 inches long]-
The best price and variety that I have found are in the party favors section at Party City. Sometimes the dollar store will have them, too, but I have noticed that they carry dinosaurs more than anything else. Sometimes the Target dollar section will have them [generally in the mid to late summer], and craft stores sell animal Toobs for an outrageous amount of money. To sum up, go to the party store or the dollar store.

Larger sized plastic animals [The hollowy plastic ones that are action-figure sized]-
Michael's Arts & Crafts often has these in their dollar section. The dollar store will more than likely have these, too. Craft stores will carry the expensive, $8-$9 plastic animals that are not hollow. These are too fancy for these projects and are harder to cut. To sum up, try somewhere with cheap toys.

Katie, what in the world can you make with these plastic things? Well, loyal reader, I am so glad you asked!

Smaller sized plastic animal projects-

Cut them in half [a sharp kitchen knife works great!] and hot glue magnets to their booties to make animal magnets for your fridge! These are super cute and also make great ideas for small gifts or party favors.

Here's the best crafting tip I have ever given: Keep every glass jar and lid that you can. Wash the jars, peel off the labels and keep them for projects. They also make cute giveaway containers for presents if you wrap the object in tissue paper before you stuff it in the jar. Ah. I'm getting off topic. Glue an animal to the lid and spray paint! For this project, I do not recommend hot glue because it does not do well with temperature changes. An epoxy glue like E6000 would work best and would be most versatile no matter what you decide to store in these jars!

Party Animal necklaces were super expensive at Anthropologie. A friend of mine and I created a bunch of our own "party animal" necklaces and we get tons of compliments on them. They're great presents and don't take too long to make, depending on how detailed you decide to make them. I recommend hot glue, a variety of beads, pearls, odds and ends, and tulle.

A popular pin are these spray painted candle holders. Plant candle holders on animals' backs and spray paint the entire thing. Stick on a candle and light 'em up!

You can use some gorilla glue and pin backs to make interesting add ons to your outfit:

Larger sized animal projects-

Cut the animal in half [again, a very sharp kitchen knife will work. A dremel works, too, but melts the plastic into lumps. Dremels are much faster, but knifes make a clean line and cut.] and attach them to wood & spray paint to create book ends. An alternative would be to use freestanding plastic photo frames, like the photo below.

Dremel out the backs, spray paint them a solid color and fill them with dirt and a cactus to make a planter. These sell like hotcakes on Etsy.

Another popular Etsy item are the half and half colored animals. Use two different spray paints and masking tape to create this cool concoction:

Find a way to make this awesome coat rack. I used air dry clay, a dremel, gorilla glue, washers, screws, and paint to make mine. It's really awesome!

You can spray paint them in a solid color and use a knife to make a place card holder, too...


  1. These projects are really adorable! I just might have to find some animals. Thanks!

  2. You've inspired me to do something with all the toy soldiers lying around my house! Hmmmmm. Thank you!

  3. Anonymous27.10.11

    love all the projects!

  4. Thank you for such an inspiring post! I see plastic animals second-hand all the time. Can't wait to try some of these ideas!

    Found you via craftgawker, excited to explore more of your website!

  5. So cute! thanks for sharing.

  6. Payton's Mommy2.11.11

    I LOVE these ideas! I think I know what people may be getting for Holiday gifts!!!!!

  7. Anonymous19.11.11

    For the Mom who can never part with toys (even though her boy is 16!) these are great ideas to keep them around. hahaha thx!

  8. I can't wait to be able to get to the store and get some plastic animals... you have my brain racing over here! I am your newest follower, thanks for the inspiration! t.xoxo

  9. so nice ideas! tank you for charing!

  10. So Cute! I love the animal magnet, too funny! Here's an animal for you...

  11. Thank you for these cute ideas! :) I shared this in my blog:

  12. I just bought some animals today at Party City for $0.35 a piece! They are going to be sliced on the back to hold a name card, then painted chrome for a dessert party that I'm catering on Saturday! So stinkin' cute...