Monday, December 10, 2012

holiday diy | painted animal ornaments

Lions and tigers and dinosaurs, oh my! Dinosaurs? Yes, dinosaurs!!

Remember when I said I wanted our tree to be colorful and whimsical? Well, that was just a nice way of saying I actually wanted our tree to look like a rainbow and a toy store met in a dark alley and had a tussle over a can of gold spray paint. The aftermath? Surprisingly beautiful.

My inspiration started with a DIY I found by my friend Brittni over on her awesome blog, papernstitch. She made an ornament out of glittery animals and tassels. I also found an older DIY she did with faux gold dino pendants and decided our tree this year would certainly need some shiny creatures of some sort.

// photos courtesy of papernstitch //

Come on, guys, a GLITTERY LLAMA! How awesome is that?

Truthfully, I've had a hankering to spray paint some farm animals for a while now (that sounds wrong, PETA please don't come after me!) It's just that gilded little animals are popping up everywhere. I love that they can look whimsical or sophisticated depending on your interpretation. In my version, I thought it might be fun to tie in the colors of my ornaments with the colors of the ribbon wreath I made for our front door.

I actually ended up scrapping the navy because I thought it would blend in with the tree, but for the four other colors I found Krylon spray paint that was pretty close to each hue (at Walmart no less!)

A quick stop at the dollar store and I was able to pick up multiple animals plus several packs of tiny dinosaurs, all for under $15. I also found a picture hanging kit there which is where I got all the tiny eye hooks I needed to add to each animal for the ornament hooks. Dollar stores... ahhh, what a crafter's delight.

Here are some shots of the little guys I snagged.

My coffee table. Otherwise known as Pride Rock. 

And this just makes me giggle.

Every last one of those stinkers got painted. (I would also like to note that screwing the eye hooks into the little dinos may or may not have given me temporary carpal tunnel syndrome. But totally worth it, of course.)

My only complaint with the painting of them all was that it took a lot longer to dry than I anticipated. That could have been because of the weird moisture hanging in the Florida air, but I gave it several hours to dry and it still remains a bit tacky. The lime green especially needed several coats because it seemed a bit thinner.

The gold, however, was extremely fast-drying. I was so elated by how fast and easy it was to make something golden that I think Jason was afraid I was going to spray everything in sight. Come here Plaxico... Mommy Midas wants to try something! Guys, I'm kidding, who would spray paint their dog?! Not this girl. (Seriously though, think about how cool he'd look with a gold tail. Just saying.)

The result was a happy, delightfully wacky array of color on our tree. I think it is just splendid. :)

Little known fact: the standard fare of the gilded tiger is evergreen tree branches.

Hello there, I'm a pink elephant. Just hanging out. Lookin all cute n' stuff.

There's no doubt about it. This guy will stay out somewhere in the house all year long. Because T-rex. (Can we start that meme, please?)

I also found an owl and a fox at Target for $1 so I had to get those and paint them too. This one's named Kim because Jason's sister loves owls.

I realize now that I didn't get any photos of the turquoise, lime or red ones... I swear the tree isn't just pink and gold.

Also, I'm aware that the green ornament hooks are a bit tacky but after way too much time spent on doing everything by hand, the thought of tying pretty thread around each and every one was enough to put me over the edge. Green hooks it is!

So here she is in all her imperfect, colorful glory (reminds me of someone else I know.) For now she's topless (HEYO!) because our attempt at putting the plush toy of Plaxico we own on top was a failure. Yes, we're THOSE people. The people that top their tree with stuffed animal versions of their dog. It's fine. 

You can also see my yarn pom-pom garland and ornaments which I may share my affinity for in another post coming soon. Another inexpensive DIY tree-decorating idea I found online!

I don't know if we'll reuse these next year or maybe the yearly tradition will be to do something equally silly and handmade. All I know is for not a lot of money we have a tree that is one of a kind. It makes me smile every time I walk past it and that's all I can ask for.

What did you guys do with your trees? Do you buy your ornaments or make them each year? Do you have any ornament traditions? 

ps. some of the photos in this post were thankfully taken by my lovely boyfriend with his big fancy camera. Can you tell which ones? :)


  1. I love this! I just gilded a rhino and wolf myself to keep on my dresser on Sunday, and then started hunting around my room for other things to spray paint gold. It's addicting. (I wonder how a gold ombre on the handle of my toothbrush would look...)

  2. they look so awesome caroline! i love 'em. and thanks for the shout out.

  3. You have the cutest crafts! I've also got your wine cork letters open in a tab on my computer, lol.

  4. Right? Seriously, that stuff is dangerous! When I come visit I'll bring my gold T-rex to keep your gold rhino and wolf company. They can start a club.

  5. Thanks, Alex! I'm glad you like them! Those cork letters are still serving us well in our kitchen... Let me know on Facebook how they turn out if you end up doing them! :)

  6. Always. Gotta give awesome credit where it's due!