DIY Hood Ornament




About: I like to make things

i'm always seaching for ways to make my things unique. in a world of mass production, this becomes more and more difficult. thank the sweet Lord for instructables. here is how to make a really cheap and easy hood ornament for your car.

it may not make you cooler, but at least you'll be able to spot your car in a parking lot.
. . .presuming no one swipes it
. . .and you backed into the spot
. . .and an suv hasn't parked beside you
look, on second thought, yes! it will make you cooler!

Step 1: Find Magnets

i am always on the look out for magnets. you can find them everywhere:
-hard drives
i've found magnets in the oddest places. they are so utilitarian they largely go unnoticed. either way, the stronger the magnet, the better. rare earth magnets are excellent. you can find small ones at radio snatch or check the web for other deals.

the magnet i'm using in this instructable is just about perfect. it is very strong, has a nice hole through the center and also is countersunk to allow a screwhead to nest in there nicely. better yet, it was free. score!

keep your eyes open. you never know what you'll find.


Step 2: Find a Fun Hood Ornament

i love to laugh. absurdity is fun. people get so caught up in the humdrum it's hard to extricate themselves and see humor sometimes. if i can get people to laugh just by glancing over at my car, all the better. not to mention the fact that i get a big grin on my face every time i walk up to my car and notice something not quite stock.

anyway, at tractor supply they have these plastic animals and dinosaurs and what not made by this german company. (someone please enlighten me, i threw away the tag.) they are durable and seem to work well. there are many interesting animals to choose from. the type of magnet you are using will generally dictate what is a good candidate. but be creative. i've thought about using all sorts of animals. it doesn't even have to be an animal. it could be a symbol or something quirky. get funky and have fun.

for me, this time, i'm using the mouse.

(i mean 'this time,' because my initial go at this was a chicken. it was fantastic and i miss it greatly. alas, it was stolen. and if i find out who took my chicken. . . anyway, be prepared to lose this and don't spend too much money. the magnet does help keep from destroying your hood when someone decides to be cute, though.)

Step 3: Fun With Dick and Jane

okay, here is where the fun begins. powertools! if you are under the age of eighteen, cool!

drill a hole in the posterior region of your new hood ornament.

with these plastic creatures, this is a no brainer. grab your drill, find a bit that is slightly smaller than your screw and go to town. the plastic will do the rest. wood is about the same but if you're using something wooden, best think about painting it very well. metal is another story. haven't done anything with metal yet, but i would think you'd be getting into machining some interior threads and this takes it out of my range of 'expertise.'

i have used super glue with some encouraging results. depending on the type of metal and/or the weight of the hood ornament (be it metal or otherwise), this could be a viable option. just remember to rough up surfaces before applying any type of adhesive.

Step 4: Screw the Mouse

basically insert the screw threw the magnet into the hole drilled in the rat's a. . . excuse me, the mouse's posterior and give it a few turns.

this is a short step. go to the next one.

Step 5: Even Shorter Step

when the screw is all the way in, you're done.

(see application)

Step 6: Application

stick it on your hood.

i don't know if you are any cooler now than you were, but at least you've got something creative that makes you and others laugh, or expresses a certain dimension of your being.

be creative and please send me pics of your hood ornaments or art cars!

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27 Discussions


2 years ago

hey daddy ;)

I really like this idea! I could probably get some antique silver ornament to put up on my car hood this weekend!


5 years ago on Introduction

Fun hood ornament article! I just stick mine on with double-sided foam tape. One assumes that they will be stolen/molested and need to be replaced at some point.

I just created a "collection" for hood ornament articles and added yours. Feel free to let me know of any others I should add.


9 years ago on Step 6

i glued a lego guy onto two magnets and stuck it on my moms hood.

1 reply

Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

thanks for the heads up! i didn't realize my instructable was on lifehacker. i appreciate your kind words, and nice job on your own project.


12 years ago


Check out all these sweet hood ornaments that turned up in the shop a few weeks ago. (They're probably packrat saul's).

4 replies

Reply 12 years ago

really cool stuff, man! where did these come from?


Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

These are old Mercury hood ornaments from the mid 50's-60's. Many are available on ebay.


12 years ago

neat-o i will do this till i get my chrome flying pig ornament on the hood of my car. I dont want it getting stolen so im gonna try to get a hood release from a junk yard and set the thing up so i can pop the ornament off and throw it in the car. I want to go to a trophy store and get some dope figures for the hood of my 100 horsepower Scion XB!

1 reply

Reply 12 years ago

high strength magnets are great for this application. you can install and remove them without damage. you can change your hood ornament every day!


12 years ago

hahahaa! cool idea! Very retro! i want the spring loaded spikes!!!!! yayyy! pain!!! wooohooo!


12 years ago

Just had my factory hood ornament stolen last week. Bummer! My idea was to make a tux the penguin hood ornament to replace my missing one. I would have to get the spring and stalk assembly from a wreckers and then graft tux onto that as my hood has a raised centre line. Might just give it a shot...

2 replies

Reply 12 years ago

sounds pretty cool. what kind of car is it?


Reply 12 years ago

Just an old boat. 82 Parisienne. Low mileage and great shape though... reliable as can be :)