CRAFT TUTORIALS: Plastic Toy Makeover

Recently I saw these necklaces (1st photo) on Pinterest. They are made with plastic toy animals. It's a great way to reuse old children's toys, or make something unusual with the toys found at craft and toy stores. The Anthropology Party Animal Necklace by Flamingo Toes use chain, beads, fabric scraps, rhinestones, and sequin strands to transform the animals into party animals. This is an easy project for kids to adults. So, I got to thinking...what other ways can these toys be reused...

Say you don't have enough patience to add small embellishments, or the party animal necklaces are too busy for you, what about just painting them? This tutorial by Papernstitch shows us how to transform dinosaur toys into Faux Gold Dino Pendant Necklace. Of course if gold isn't your preferred color, you can paint your dino any color you want. I'm thinking of "borrowing" a pterodactyl toy from my daughter and making it into a silver necklace.

What about something more glittery? You can use this tutorial to Make Sparkly, Glittery Animal Christmas Ornaments by Chrisjob of Curbly. These can easily be used for necklaces when they aren't decorating for Winter. Again, the colors are up to you. Wouldn't they look great with stripes or polka dots too?

Speaking of stripes and polka dots, these DIY Gold Patterned Beasts by Heodenza show us how to give the animals unnatural markings. These are show as standing decorations, but of course with a screw of bezel back, you can turn them into jewelry or hanging decorations.

This is a festive take on metallic animals. These DIY Party Animal Candles by The Sweetest Occasion make standard cake candles more elegant...and a bit squirrely. These use a combo of the metallic and drilling techniques shown some of the above tutorials, so easy enough. This could be amusing for my daughter's upcoming birthday!

I like this jumbo take on reusing dino toys. This is a great way to tie in outgrown toys or a but of quirk into your space. These Animal Toy Planter by The Thrillz of Hills use metallic paint and a cut out back. Since the toys are normally hollow and plastic, they are great for planters. If you don't want to grow anything in your toy, with small container or some floral foam inside, they would make great vases too.

Do you like to make practical items a bit unusual, make these Plastic Animal Head Hooks by Karin and Freya of Pysselbolaget. If you aren't a bit freaked out by mounted or decapitated animals, this could work well to hang light objects like necklaces. Could be great for a kid's dress up area, or older child's bedroom. The color is up to you. I think a metallic would add a bit more lux and surprise to this organizing board.

If you've chopped off the heads of the animals for the previous tutorial, then you have a bunch of animal butts left over. Try recreating these Animal Butt Magnets by Steph Mantis. You just need some industrial glue like E6000 and round magnets to make them. This could also work with the animal  heads too. Of course this also works for any small toy or object. Could be funny for a laid back work place, or a kitchen.

As always, you just need your imagination, some inspiration, and basic supplies to transform something common into something uncommon. Happy Makery!


  1. Thank you so much for sharing and giving new inspiration :D
    I can always use that for my 365 days project.
    Yesterday I made an over the top pair of earrings with Hello Kitty (mmm for me they are quite over the top hihi).
    Will definitely look out for more toys now on fleemarkets and second hand stores ;). Creative greetings from Susan from the Netherlands

    1. You are very welcome. What is your 365 project? Link, if you have a site?
      I've made a lot of toys into hair clips, which are very fun.
      Try dollar stores too, they have a variety of cheap toys (like the ones featured) that work well of crafting...or play.


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