Gold Animal Head (and rear) Artwork

May 6, 2013 | FUN!, Projects, Whole House

A couple days ago, I posted a mood board with Sofia’s new room design and I included this animal menagerie that I thought was so appropriate for my cutie-pie! animals

I got on that on this weekend and here is my version (with instructions):


And here’s a close up:


After searching, I couldn’t find a site that gave instructions on how to do this, so you’re in luck because, after doing it myself, here they are!

1.  Gather supplies:  frame with 8×10 opening (I got mine from Michael’s)

                                          plastic animals (also from Michael’s)

                                          gold spray paint

                                          white poster board

                                          sharp scissors

                                          superglue or Gorilla glue

2.  First, cut the poster board to the size of the frame opening.  The poster board should go all the way to the inside edges of the frame since it will provide the most support for the animals.

3.  Put the frame together the following way: mat, then poster board, then glass, then back of frame.  You want the glass in the frame but not showing to give even more support since the animals can be heavy.  It should look like:


4.  Cut the animals in half.  Okay, I am a big idiot and at first I broke out my power tools.  BIG FAIL!  Then I used my noggin and thought, hello, the animals are plastic, if I could just melt them a little, I could cut them with scissors, so that’s what I did.  Put each animal in the microwave for about 15 seconds at time.  After a few animals, I learned that 25 seconds was perfect for my animals but yours may be smaller or larger so play with the time a little.  The animals should be WARM but not mushy.  You just want the plastic to be soft enough to cut with scissors with moderate force.  If you can easily cut them, they’re too hot and you could deform them when you cut!

Here’s what an animal does when left in the microwave for too long: DSC_0055

No, that dog did not come with a weiner…. That is a melted dog leg.  Sadly, I had to throw Fido away since he was so deformed.

5.  As you cut each one, check to make sure it’s level by putting the cut side on a flat surface.  If it’s lopsided, then just take your scissors and snip away the uneveness.  If needed, warm up the animal a little to cut (I didn’t have to but you may).

6.  Spray paint all the animals.  I did one coat on each side.  I found that if you spray paint the animals in the sun, they dry super quick.  After about 15 minutes, they were completely dry.


7.  Arrange all the animals the way you eventually want them in your frame.  I did face first then butt next for all of them.  Make sure the spacing is even for all of them.  I had a tendency at first to have the head and butt of one animal close together then put a larger gap in between the next set of animal parts, but that looked bad.  Even spacing is key to have the “art piece” look right.

8.  When you’re satisfied with the spacing, put a thin layer of glue on the cut sides then push them gently onto the poster board.  Don’t use too much glue or it will seep around the animal and cause a shadow.

9.  Admire your work of art!

After I was done, I liked the piece so much that I’m thinking of doing one for the family room to put behind our arm chair or to put in the foyer.  It was also an easy project (don’t let all the steps scare you, I was just thorough!).