Crafting with dollar/thrift store plastic animals is one of the many new crafting trends. You can buy a lot of these finished crafts online. But if you've got some spare time, why not just make your own? Google "plastic animal crafts" and you'll find a whole slew of tutorials. I decided to try a few on my own. I used small plastic figures but there are other crafts out there for using the larger ones. If you're going to do something such as bookends, you will probably want a larger, more sturdy toy.
Here is what I made:
magnetic necklace holder
magnetic photo holder or fridge magnet
place card holder
Gather your supplies...I got a little crazy with mine! You probably won't want to do all of these projects in one day. It really did take a long time because of all the painting/waiting for paint to dry/cleaning up the glitter, etc ;)
Pick out acrylic paints in whatever color you choose. I did a couple of neons, gold, white and black. I also grabbed some glitter. I am not so great with glitter, it pretty much got onto every animal!
Here is a list of everything I used...
dremel multi max
acrylic craft paint
miniature wood plaques/hearts
newspaper to protect the craft surface
Mod Podge Hard Coat
To make the place card holders use your exacto knife to carefully slice a line through your toy. For the zebra, I chose the mouth; for the lion, I cut in the middle of his back. Cut as deep as you want the cards to sit.
Use your Dremel tool (or Exacto knife, but I promise that will take longer and your hand may get sore!) and slice the chosen animals in half. Be careful because the friction of the Dremel will cause the plastic to heat up quickly! Either clamp one end of the toy to your table or have someone carefully hold the toy down while you cut.
Once they are cut arrange them on your plaques and decide how you want to decorate them.
Start by painting the animals with a base of white for primer. Once dry, paint each animal with your choice of colors -- or if you're adventurous, try some glitter! That picture above is my poor hippo drowning in glitter!
You may want to use a couple of coats depending on how well the white covers the original color. Once all paint is dry, coat with some Mod Podge Hard Coat for a glossy shine. Also, paint your wooden plaques/hearts being used to mount the animals.
Once everything has dried, use your E6000 or hot glue gun to attach the animals to their base. Glue the magnets onto the back or use a picture frame hanger if you want to be able to mount it onto a wall.
There are so many fun colors and combos you can come up with! What do you think? Will you chop up your plastic animals and make something fun?! :)