New Life to Old Toys Through Magnetism




Since the video doesn't show up on all mobile platforms, here is the YouTube link:

They're lurking in boxes hidden away in attics and basements, they spread across flea markets like dead-eyed vermin, and they're the stuff memories are made of. What am I talking about? Old plastic toys of course, and we could give them a new life with a little bit of ingenuity!


Neodymium magnet
Epoxy glue


Cutting tools,
saw, knife, teeth, whatever you have on hand
Steel plate
Glue spatula, using half a clothes pin works great
Sand paper

Watch the video above, or follow the the following steps for the instructions.

Please favorite, like and subscribe if you enjoy what you've seen!

Thank you!

Step 1: Find Your Toy

Obviously you first need to source your toy, which considering the billions of these which have been made through the years shouldn't be very hard.

We're starting off with a small plastic tiger toy.

Step 2: Planning

The plan is to chop off the head, drill a small hole, fill it with epoxy and shove a magnet in there.

Step 3: Head Prep

First of all you want to separate the head from the shoulders, or whatever body part you want to separate from whichever it's attached to.

Secondly, the cut surface should be smoothed out a bit. Using coarse sand paper works great if the plastic is a bit soft and gummy.

Finally you'll want to drill a recess into the back of your part. Make sure the hole is slightly bigger than the radius of your magnet.

If your toy is already hollow inside you can obviously skip the drilling step.

Step 4: Fit the Magnet

Next, go for the magnet. You're going to want to scuff up one of the flat sides and around the circumference with a sand paper. You don't have to sand much, just enough to rough it up, as it will help the glue to bite into the surface. Neodymium magnets, due to their nickel plating, are notoriously difficult to glue, so any help we can get is good.

Cover a steel plate with some electrical or packaging tape. This is essential as the epoxy glue won't stick to it. Put the magnet with the non scratched surface facing down on the tape and mix together your epoxy. Follow the instructions for your epoxy, but usually it's just a 50/50 blend with a few minutes of working time.

Fill the hole you drilled with epoxy. It doesn't have to go all the way up, but at least enough to have a little bit of a squeeze-out when fitting on the magnet.

Put the head down on the magnet and hold it in place with some masking tape while the glue cures.

Step 5: If Your Toy Is Hollow

If your toy happened to be hollow inside you can simply just fill the void with epoxy (make sure you mix enough) and place it over your magnet. Make sure you sanded the cut surface perfectly smooth so the epoxy doesn't all leak out before it cures.

Step 6: Finishing Up

Once the epoxy glue has cured you can simply remove the toy from your tape and snap off any squeezed out glue with your nails. If it's being particularly stubborn you can use a utility knife.

Step 7: Done!

You're done. put it on your fridge or wherever you see fit.

You can of course prepare quite a few and make several when you have the epoxy glue mixed to cut down on wasted epoxy.

Step 8: The Horror! the Horror!

Of course, if you're so inclined you could also make new abominations of nature!

Thanks for checking out this instructable!

Please do like and subscribe!

See you next time!




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11 Discussions


4 years ago

Really nice


4 years ago

The magnets you speak of are able to do great damage if ingested. Since you are using kids toys here I would have listed a caveat. Other then that this was and awesome production. Completely enjoyed it.

1 reply

I see your point, but I never recommend this to be for kids or to involve them in the crafting. If anyone chooses to do so they should educate themselves on the risks involved (especially so with sharp tools and cordless drills).



4 years ago

this is super! thanks for sharing.


4 years ago on Introduction

Hahaha I love this! I can see people doing this to a hand full of toys and then mixing and matching to their hearts content! Just make sure that you glue the correct polarity the direction that it needs to go. Great Job!

3 replies

Reply 4 years ago

I'm doing an A-level project on this exact concept only with dinosaurs.


Reply 4 years ago

I hope to do so, all done in the school wood shop. White american oak, laser cut edge definition and minor dinosaur details as well. another neat addition is the names of the dinosaurs on different body parts so when you mix it up you can end up with a dip-osauraus-tops.

Mr AbAk

4 years ago

Nice Ible ...