Introduction: Plastic Insect/Animal Brooch

It started as a Halloween project I made with my cousins and quickly evolved into a tiny obsession. I now own over 30 different animal brooches, earrings and hair accessories. If you have a slightly warped sense of humour and enjoy creepy accessories... you just hit a jackpot. If you don't share my fondness for weird and spooky... it's still a great project for Halloween.

The best place to score some great quality plastic animals are gift shops most zoos, botanical gardens and science museums have. Ebay, Amazon and toy shops have some good options as well.


Black acrylic paint
Gold/silver spray paint or regular gold/silver paint
Two-part epoxy (super-glue/glue gun won't work, it has to be a strong glue able to bond metal to plastic/rubber)
Spray-on varnish
Brooch pins/ lapel pins/ bobby pins/ hair barrettes/ blank earring studs
Some type of light air drying clay to fill hollow toys (optional)

Step 1: Plastic Toys

Just a few examples of plastic toys. Different shapes and sizes.

Step 2: Filling Cavities

Some smaller toys are hollow and have to be filled before gluing any brooch pins or studs. I recommend this superlight air drying clay mainly because it's easy to work with and doesn't add any weight.

Step 3: Painting

Toys have to be painted before adding another colour. Primer isn't necessary, just regular, full coverage black acrylic paint will do. One or two layers, as long as original colour is covered.

Step 4: Adding Silver/gold Paint

I used gold and silver spray paint, but if you can get your hands on gold/ silver paint that will do as well. I sprayed a few pumps of the paint onto a foil and used a small, soft brush to lightly apply the paint to the toys. It's important to paint them with a light hand in order to highlight the details and not cover the toys completely.

Have a look at the last picture, left ant painted with a brush, right ant spray-painted.

Important last step: spray the toys with clear, water-proof varnish to seal the paint.

Step 5: Examples

You can see how different textures and details look once highlighted with silver/gold.

Step 6: Adding Pins, Studs, Bobby Pins

I will be honest with you, I have no idea what most of those bits are called. It seems as though every website has a different name for them, but if you google ''brooch pin'' or ''blank earring studs'', you will end up with enough results to figure out what to buy.

From the top we have hair barrette, bobby pins, brooch pin, lapel pin and earring studs.

Use two part epoxy to attach pins to animals.

Make sure to mark and double check where to glue the studs if you choose to make it into earrings (PICTURE 2).

Step 7: Bigger Toys

Sometimes, if an animal is larger or more complicated, you will have to use more pins to keep it secure.

Step 8: Small Animals

Smaller toys can be made into earrings, collar pins (chain is detachable) or glued onto bobby pins.

Step 9: Hair Barrettes

Step 10: Brooches

Brooches can be used to secure scarves, ponchos, button-less cardigans etc.
Silver snake in the last picture is a semi-permanent feature on my winter coat lapel. In order to keep it secure and flush to the fabric I used 3 lapel pins to make sure it stays in place.

Step 11: Bags

Jewelry Challenge

Participated in the
Jewelry Challenge