Plants Vs Zombies Coin Bank From Recycled Toys




Introduction: Plants Vs Zombies Coin Bank From Recycled Toys

About: I try to push myself each day to be more resourceful, innovative, & creative. I am constantly inspired by some of the brilliant minds here on Instructables, & I hope that I can inspire others as well. I thin...

If your tired of tripping over junked up toys, but can't convince yourself into trashing them, then give this project a try. Turn a few of your dead toys into "The Undead'" by giving them a new life as a useful coin bank. It's fun, simple, and doesn't require a lot of "BRAINS."

NOTE: If your not too good at saving money it makes a perfect container for a variety of things. I thought it would be fun to fill his head with pink jelly beans to resemble brains. 


Go to your nearest toy cemetery (kids room) and round up some donors. If you are a crafting weirdo like myself then this project will cost you $0.00 because you'll have everything on hand. If you find yourself having to purchase a lot of the supplies then you may want to consider the expenses vs. value of the bank. 

*barbie body 
*potato head
*2 mega blocks (2 pegged)
*platform (it can be anything on hand but must be at least 6" wide and have a little weight to it)
*large doll hands 
*air drying clay ( I used a celluclay recipe found here: )
*1 screw (about 2")

*acrylic paints (black,white,green,brown)
*spray paint (a color you feel represents "The Undead" best)
*sealant spray
*2 large craft eyes

*old tie (the narrower the better)
*1 white tube sock
* blue felt (or no fray material, 17" x 12" )
*brown felt (or no fray material, 13" X 6")

*hot glue
*dremel with sander (or sand paper)


*To build your coin bank you'll work from the ground up. Start with your base and your 2 mega blocks. Hot glue the center divider on the bottom of the mega block and place them on the platform were you would like your zombies feet to be. (You don't want the distance between the pegs to be great then 5" because barbie can't "spread-em" that far)

*Drill a hole through the top of one of the pegs on each block. Drill the holes just wide enough for barbie to squeeze her fat foot into, but not a lot of slack around the ankles.

*Secure the footing with a ring of hot glue around the ankles.


*Now working your way up the body. Bend the legs into a zombie like stance, but make sure the hips are still fairly vertical. Are zombie will be top heavy once filled with money so we need to keep its center of gravity in check.

*Glue the hip joints in place with a generous amount of glue.

*Take your large doll hands and glue barbie's hand to the edge of the doll hand. This gives a little more length to the arms.


*Take your potato head and drill a hole on the back side. Approximately in the center of the sway in its back.

*Push your screw up through the hole going from the inside out, and hold the screw head tightly against the inside wall.

*Then glue a ring around the screw on the out side to secure it. 

*Now remove barbies head (if still attached) and look inside the neck. Some are hollow already and some may have some connecting plastic. Hollow out the neck with your drill.

*Then connect the head to the body. Point the fatter slotted end of the potato up, then slide the screw down the neck until they fit closely together. 

*Secure the neck with a ring of hot glue. 


*It's time to work with our clay now that our skeleton is constructed and stable. First round out the mega blocks so that they look like shoes. 

*Then construct some heavy duty socks that extend up to the knees. This will give it more strength to support his huge melon. 

*Next construct a giant diaper around the hips. This will prevent him from tilting forward.

*Continue your way up the body to the neck. Construct a nice neck brace that butts up against the base of the head. This is to strengthen it as well as beef it up a little so its not a pencil neck. (keep in mind you don't want to add a lot of extra weight here since it will already be top heavy)

*Finally plug up all the holes on his head (except the coin slot on top)

*Be sure your bank is in a well balanced position for drying. Its a good idea to prop it against something stable to avoid tilting while drying. Let  it sit and dry as directed on your clay. (Mine took about 2 days)

NOTE: Remember as you work with the clay that it doesn't have to look perfect. A lot of it will be covered later, and those that are exposed will be sanded smooth. 


*Once the clay structures are completely dry you can sand them smooth.So that they blend in nicely. Especially pay attention to the face plugs, that they are sanded flush to the potato.

*It's time to give your zombie an "unhealthy glow." Take it outside and spray paint it your preselected "undead" flesh tone. (You don't have to spray the base or shoes because they will be painted later) 

*Once the flesh tone is completely dried you can paint the details. Get out your acrylics and paint the shoes, socks, nose slits, and a gaping mouth. 

*Once the paint from the shoes is dried you can paint the base.

*When your acrylic paints are done you can use a clear sealant spray if you wish it to last longer. (I forgot to coat mine OOPS)

*When your sealant is dried you can add your 2 large craft eyes with glue to finish the look. Now you have a naked zombie.

Step 7: SHIRT

WARDROBE PLEASE! This is where things can get a little tricky, because you have to custom tailor the clothes onto the zombie.

*First take your tube sock and cut about 6" of the tube off.

*Cut open the tube sock down the center of the top layer.

*Come down about 2" from the top of the tube, and cut about 1/2" slit on both sides (these are arm holes).

*Put the sock on your zombie as you would a button-up shirt.

*Roll under the cut edges a bit then overlap them in the front. Glue down this front seam.

*Roll down the collar.

Step 8: TIE

*Take your tie and cut about 4" off of the narrow end.

*Then glue the cut end shut.

*Now place a dot of glue about 1" down from the cut end and fold sides over the glue. (this creates a gather)

* Glue your tie in place at the top of the shirt just with the collar rolled over the top.

Step 9: JACKET

*Take your brown material and cut a 17" x 12" rectangle.

*Fold the rectangle in half horizontally so you now have a work area that's 17"x 6"

*With the fold at the top remove 2 bottom corner sections that measure 6" X 3" (you should have a T shape remaining)

*Working on the top layer only cutting straight up the middle making a Y shape. (cut up to the fold line but not past it)

* glue, (or sew it you prefer) all the seems together leaving the Y open and of course the end of the sleeves.

*Now slip it on to your zombie as you would put your own coat on, and tuck under any extra length on the wrists.

*Trim it to the length you want or cut it zigzagged to look tattered. 

Step 10: PANTS

* For the pants you will need 2 rectangles cut from your blue material one that is 8" x 6" and one that is 6" x 5". 

* Take the 8" x 6" piece and fold it in half.

*With the fold at the top cut and remove a 2" x 4" rectangle out of the bottom left corner. (you should have an L shape remaining)

*Holding the L upside down wrap the long portion around 1 of the legs, and glue together the inseam. 

* Take the leg of the L and overlap them on the opposite hip, and glue them in place.

*Now take the remaining rectangle and wrap it around the remaining leg forming the second pant leg. Glue the inseam of this leg up to the crotch.

*Now make sure the remaining free edges overlap over to the center in the front and back of the pants. Then glue them in place.

* Cut the bottom edges of his pants with random zigzagging and maybe cut a hole here or there to give him a rough around the edges look. 

Step 11: HE'S ALIVE!

Your zombie coin bank is now complete! All that's left to do is fill his head full of "lead," or coinage. To fill your zombie just use the convenient coin slot at the top. My zombie could easily hold 2 large handfuls of quarters and a few bills so I think he serves his purpose well. To retrieve your money simply pop off the door and dump your money out. HOW EASY WAS THAT?

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    5 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Wait until my son see's this! He is mad about Plants vs Zombies game. v--v meow


    This is freaking awesome!!!! It looks great, kudos. The things you come up with amaze me. What better use for Barbie and Potato Head than a zombie!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! My favorite projects are the ones that cost me $0.00 like this one.