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Sunday, February 24, 2013

{DIY} Painted Toy Animals

We've had a pretty quiet but fun weekend here complete with a visit from a special friend from college for a date night filled with reminiscing. The sunshine was a nice and welcome change.

Today's DIY is a two-parter. There are pictures all over Pinterest of the growing trend of painted animal figurines. So, today I tried my hand at a DIY animal toy makeover.

Part I

To begin this DIY, I made a trip to the store I despise the most-Walmart.  The truth is, it takes patience of steel for me to get in and out of this store without having a complete meltdown.  Just ask Mr. H.  The aisles are too skinny and the store overcrowded.  Just not my idea of a fun shopping experience.  With that said, it is common knowledge that Walmart has everything!  So after unsuccessful trips to the Dollar Tree and Target, I decided to give ole Wally World a chance in hopes of finding the perfect sized plastic animal toys.

I found these guys for $1 each.

Before (poor giraffe. Excuse my poor photography)

They also have lions, tigers . . .no bears (can't help myself).  But oh my, I was most drawn to the elephant, giraffe and naturally the horse.

To be completely honest, I bought these little guys on Saturday but never made it home with them.  After the excitement of finding the perfect sized animals for the perfect cost,  I apparently left the bag that they were in hanging in the carousel of shopping bags at the express checkout counter.  Has this ever happened to you?  I thought I double-checked every bag in that carousel!  Words can't describe the frustration!

Anyway, due to my complete obsession with gold I decided to try a new product out on these guys-liquid gold leaf.

I picked up this liquid gold leaf at Hobby Lobby for about $4.00.

I chose the horse to be the liquid gold leaf guinea pig:

The application was so easy with a small paint brush.  And, a little bit of gold leaf goes a long way.  It only took about 2-3 dips of the paint brush in the pot of leaf to coat this stallion.

Here he is in all of his golden glory:


 Here are a couple shots of this golden beauty in an equestrian vignette on the buffet:

Next up, the elephant.  Same application, same beautiful and easy results.


And who could forget about the giraffe.  Sometimes they all like to hang out in the jungle together on the dining room table:

Don't they look fun and chic?  I can see these figurines perched on bookshelves in a beautiful nursery (out of the reach of children-not sure gold leaf should be ingested), as table decor at a baby shower or just as a fun addition to a coffee table.

I found similarly painted plastic toy Elephants on Etsy for $25.00 - $33.00 each. For just a little more than $1 each, these are an easy and inexpensive DIY project to add some whimsy and fancy to a room.  

Part 2

Now, this part incorporates painting some smaller plastic toy animals with organization.

I searched for some smaller plastic toy animals and found a set of 3, white, paintable guys at a Kroger Marketplace for about $3.

While at Hobby Lobby buying the liquid gold leaf, I picked up 3 mason jars for about $2.50 each.  

 And also this pink spray paint on sale-30% off:

I knew I wanted a shiny gloss finish in a fun color for this DIY.

I used a hot melt glue gun to secure the mason jar seal to the metal ring.  Then I placed a dot of hot melt glue on each hoof to secure one animal per jar lid.


After about 2-3 coats of spray paint, we have fun organization store-all's for a kids room or your own!


You can really choose any color you'd like.  I'd recommend a high gloss paint for this glossy shine effect.

These are so fun for a kids room to corral anything from hair bows and ponytail holders to rubber bands and paperclips.

For about $3.50 each, these animal-topped mason jars are unique and functional.  I may make myself some for the office in a glossy gold-of course.

Hope you've had a great weekend and feel inspired to go rummage through your little one's toy chests and paint some plastic animals - make sure you get their permission first!



  1. Yes, I have left items in the carousel at Wal-Mart!!!! But I found out that if you take your receipt and go to Customer Service, they usually have a list of items left and will replace the items free of charge. Too bad you didn't pick up some of the Mason jars that I have at home. Would have saved you even more money! Great ideas!


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