Picture of Magnetic Animal Photo Holders
When I saw these awesome "Animag Photo Holders" in the Photojojo store, I knew they would be a perfect DIY project.  They're great for holding photos up to 4x6, as well as business cards, greeting cards, and other small pieces of paper.

The concept is easy:  cut an animal figurine (or almost any solid figurine) in half, drill a few holes, and glue in magnets.  The magnets exert enough force to hold the two halves together, and support the weight of thin objects (like photos).

I made this set as a gift for Scoochmaroo, for the Instructables Gift Exchange.

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Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials
Well, the requirements are pretty basic.


A bandsaw or scroll saw - I'm not sure that any other saw would work.
A drill press
A 5/16" drill bit (I used a brad point bit, it helps with alignment of the bit)
An X-acto knife
A pencil
Scrap paper (or tracing paper, if you have it)
Thin double sided tape (optional)


Plastic Animal Figurines (I used genuine Schleich figurines from my local hardware store)
8mm diameter neodymium magnets (I bought a 100-pack, Sku 13518 from DealExtreme)
Two-part epoxy or superglue

SparkySolar4 months ago
Did you design the Instructible cards yourself?
pennyf243 years ago
Sweet! looks like i found my next project to diy. :D Never thought of doing this, now some of those old toys i have lying around i can keep and people cannot say anything about it, lol :D
Ninzerbean4 years ago
Oh wow, these are fantastic! I am always mutilating my "toys", this is something I am going to favorite!
jeff-o (author)  Ninzerbean4 years ago
scoochmaroo4 years ago

They arrived!!!!!  Thank you thank you thank you :D
jeff-o (author)  scoochmaroo4 years ago
Glad you like them! Sorry about not making all the heads and bums "compatible" - I only thought of that after I'd glued a few of 'em together. But, it would seem you're having fun playing mad scientist anyway. ;)
acidbass4 years ago
so you put the cards of everyone important besides ME! jk jk jk great job i did notice some very feminine looking nails on the cutting step (hopefully not yours)
jeff-o (author)  acidbass4 years ago
Ah, sorry man. :) Alas, I'd take one with your card too but they're already shipped out. Those are my nails, and I cut them the very same day that picture was taken. I tend to let them get long because I use them as tools. They're strong enough to use as screwdrivers, etc...
acidbass jeff-o4 years ago
no prob just joking and i said they looked feminine because they had a shinyness to them it almost looked like polish (no offense it must of been the lighting they are good tools though i chew mine so i dont have those tools)
jeff-o (author)  acidbass4 years ago
Nope, no polish, I just have awesome nails. ;) They're too hard to chew without hurting my teeth...
acidbass jeff-o4 years ago
they look that way
scoochmaroo4 years ago
This is adorable.
I can't wait to get them!
p.s. you know I'm going to mismatch the heads and bums. :D
jeff-o (author)  scoochmaroo4 years ago
Hehe, you're welcome! Some will match up, some won't (due to size and polarity of the magnets). For anyone else making these, definitely make the effort to make them interchangeable if you can!
Oh I can see a whole art project with off to find the cheapest bulk distributor of little magnets ('cuz I have 200 students....)
jeff-o (author)  artfulann4 years ago
Hey, the magnets are the easy part. I posted a link on the next page, it's $6 (including shipping) for 100 magnets. There's a bulk discount if you buy more. The expensive part will be finding stuff to saw in half.
I was actually going to have the kids MAKE the animals out of a light weight clay or even paper constructions....thanks for the information about the magnets as I was wondering what type and size, etc...
jeff-o (author)  artfulann4 years ago
Oh! Well that's... a fantastic idea! Something like fimo should work great. Fimo:
No fimo is out of my budget. I have other kinds of sculpture materials that are more friendly to my non-existent budget!! Such as paper pulp that I make out of recycled paper that cost only effort.
jeff-o (author)  artfulann4 years ago
Hey, as long as it's relatively lightweight and solid, it'll work just fine.
Thank you so much for this idea! I will go off in totally new directions, but always remember where I got it from. My highest gratitude!
jeff-o (author)  artfulann4 years ago
Sure thing, and best of luck!
Ooh, oooh ooh, Instructable pleeeze!!!
will do soon. But it is EASY!! Papier mache that is more "blended". I guess I should check out whether there is an instructable already!! There are so many awesome things out there and one only has a little time to really LOOK.
here you go-- it is already done once you know what to look for.... I also have a recipe for making bread clay which is better than paper but finding day old bread (why buy new?) is the hitch. It is basically, white bread with the crusts cut off and white glue- mix together until it makes a clay.
pps (there will most likely be a long string of these in the near future) my ex-roommate invented photojojo! what a small world!!!!!
jeff-o (author)  scoochmaroo4 years ago
Hey, that's cool! I subscribe to their newsletter, I always look forward to it arriving every week.
omnibot4 years ago
Cool! Let's do dinosaurs next.
jeff-o (author)  omnibot4 years ago
Why yes, it does appear to be some sort of card game with an Instructables theme, doesn't it? ;)
jeff-o (author)  jeff-o4 years ago
That was weird. I wrote an entirely different response and yet this is what showed up?!? Schleich makes a whole line of dinosaur figurines so a pack of dino photo holders would be easy to do.
Jayefuu4 years ago
These are great :D Nice pack of cards you've got there ;)
gmjhowe4 years ago
Great work! I, like Scoochmaroo, would definitely swap the bodies and heads around. I do say, is that some kind of 'Instructables Card Game' you have there?
jeff-o (author)  gmjhowe4 years ago
Why yes, it does appear to be some sort of card game with an Instructables theme, doesn't it? ;)
Wow! These are exactly like these toys I had when i was younger, they were little lizards exactly like this, but I never thought to use them as a photo holder. They were just supposed to have the look of being able to go through solid objects. Very creative! Good job!
jeff-o (author)  Tape-structable4 years ago
Thanks! :)
ChrysN4 years ago
They are so cute!