I saw a similar project a while ago on this and so decided to make my very own Plastic Army Man Fruit Bowl. Best part is it only costs around £6 to make.

Here's how you do it.

Step 1: You Will Need

WARNING: Plastic Army Men are toxic and just like the real things, can kill. So make sure you do this outside on a breezy day.

You will need:

  • 2 to 3 bags of plastic Army Men (eBay sells many at dirt cheap prices £3)
  • Metal mixing bowl (£3 from a home/kitchen store)
  • Heat gun
  • PVA glue (optional)
  • Paint brush (optional)
Made it! Turned out great! Ty for instructions!
Nice work! That looks ace :) Thanks for posting it up. It's great to see other examples. Hope you enjoy it.
<p>hey! a question. What should be the aproximate size of the army men???</p>
This would make a cool light future/lampshade!
<p>This is awesome! great idea. </p>
<p>Congrats on making finalist! How was your sleep until now?Are you waiting for the big announcement? What prize would you like to receive? :D</p>
<p>Fun project. Doesn't photograph particularly well, but looks great. Thanks for the instructable and the inspiration.</p>
Nice one! Thanks for posting a pic. It came out really well and each figure has kept its plastic form really well. Hope you enjoy it with some fruit in. Mine is in pride of place on the dining table :)
I have been making these for years on my Etsy account and store. I use a glass bowl, not a metal one. https://www.etsy.com/shop/grapewirex
<p>What's the conversion rate of dollar store to pound store army men?</p>
<p>Excellent!!!!</p><p>This would be great when fitted to a lamp shade frame in a kids (no matter what age) room.</p>
<p>Agreed! I'm thinking about doing one as well :)</p>
<p>Wait! Would the heat coming from the lightbulb melt the plastic toy soldiers?</p><p>Would the melted toy soldiers be in contact with the lightbulb and cause electrical short circuit and fire?</p>
<p>low wattage lightbulb, not enough heat is generated and lampshades don't touch the bulb</p>
<p>You would make the shade so that it was far enough away from the bulb so that no melting or emissions from the plastic would occur. you can prchase shade frames from craft and fabric stores.</p>
<p>Beat Me To It !</p>
<p>Lamp shade? I'd be concerned about &quot;off-gassing&quot; or even fire-safety in that particular usage.</p>
I imagine it would be ok with an energy saving bulb or LED as they don't get hot.
Great idea, would be easy to put a metal ring in the centre to form the light fitting cuff. Shadows would look good too on the ceiling.
<p>Great fun idea..and those who are offended by the army men..change it out to bugs or lizards or any other little plastic creature or thing.....</p>
<p>this is what they get for fighting and dying for their plastic country? that's horrible! but gives me an idea for a miniature Iwo Jima statue.</p>
<p>I love it. Following the previous post, I could definitely see this in Sid's room.</p>
They had a good, all but short lived commission. Its what they would have wanted... Utilitarian to the end!
<p>just commit them to the here after while taps and amazing grace are playing!</p>
<p>You could also try building on the outside of the metal bowl, then the army men will show up more clearly on the outside of the final product,and the inside of your army man bowl will be smooth instead. <br>Could use some steel/copper wire to temporary hold them in place perhaps?</p>
<p>if you have a full set of nested stainless bowls line the bowl as outlined and carefully set the next smaller (or best fitting) bowel in place and heat that bowel OR Bake sand slowy at about 200 degrees for half hour on a shallow pan to dry it then transfer to a deeper pan (remember enough sand to fill the inner bowl) and heat to 300-350 degrees, (use thermometer) and pour sand into inner bowel and let cool. Decades back , plastic containers and similar items used to be made in the craft arena this way. today you may still see some of the holiday decorations that were made this way still in use including the direct backed plastic dot figures that were hung in windows... Lordy, I'm getting old, and cant deny it when the word decades has replaced years when referencing memories.</p>
<p>Hi yes that could work as well. You might just have to stack them up in smaller amounts too so they don't tumble down before heating.</p>
<p>Whoa, it looks amazing! The little guy would love that. Thanks for the great instructable. I don't think the &quot;food-safe&quot; business is a concern in this case. Just make sure it only holds things like lemons (rinds not to be eaten) or walnuts (shells are tossed away).</p>
<p>line it with filter paper such as used in large percolator type coffee makers and then that would be of no concern, however, if you are buying items in the US that meet safety requirements for manufacturing or importation, they are nontoxic. </p>
Thanks! RE fruit. I'm with you on that. Citrus fruits with skins are fine.
<p>Really nice. It seems to be the perfect starting point for lost wax casting...</p>
<p>the idea is there except they wont work, the plastic melting temp is too high and would obscure the mold, However, if you wanted to go the extra steps and costs you could use the soldiers to make molds to pour wax figures in and use them for LWC work</p>
<p><strong>cute chicken</strong>, ab1 :^D</p>
<p>All I can think of is Toy Story and how I could never do that to the soldiers.</p>
<p>it was a MOVIE! And more so that much more reason to do this as a theme</p>
<p>I freaking Love it! Dinosaurs, Cowboys and Indians and every other plastic figure under the sun can be done lie this!</p>
<p>You can also get cheap bags of plactic soldiers from any local poundshop, although I'm not exactly sure how much they cost.</p>
<p>Hahahaha, that's really funny. You have a pound shop and over here, in Canada, the colonies, we have Dollar stores.</p>
<p>A pound.</p>
<p>Absolutely love it.</p><p>I could be wrong but the plastic most good toy soldiers are made of is either polypropylene (PP or HDPP) or Polyethylene (PE or HDPE). </p><p>In the case of the hard brittle soldiers some are made of ABS.</p><p>But if we are talking about good quality TOY soldiers wouldn't the be safe for kids to chew and suck on thus also food contact safe. (not high temperature of course) </p>
<p>If you do 2 bowls, you can weld them into a ball...</p>
<p>&quot;Woody......help us!&quot; </p>
Very creative and practicable. However I don&rsquo;t think the product is practical, because it is not food-safe dude. Apart from this,it is of very high artistic value.
<p>so put a paper napkin in first, then the potato chips!</p>
good idea
<p>Hi Stoveman, yes this is a bit of a concern as PVA is non waterproof, so if the fruit started to decompose it could leech into the fruit, but if decomposed that much you'd probably throw it away. Could also put in a fabric/plastic liner to solve that.</p>
Oh, I think this makes some sense. Since we shall peel the fruit before eating it, the material doesn't matter that much. We put fruit on table regardless of whether the table is made of food-safe materials.

About This Instructable




Bio: Design and innovation researcher in all things digital, but also enjoys getting hands dirty making physical creative things for fun and sharing the results.
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