• BUY or DIY? Gold Animals

    Hello again,

    Thank you to all of you who have taken the time to fill in my reader survey, it means so much to me.

    Hopefully together we can make Bridal Musings the best it can be. *dramatic fist pump*

    Now onto a feature that always goes down well with you crafty, creative brides and lovers of all things pretty ~ it’s BUY or DIY? time!

    Gold Animals

    Have you noticed that gold animals have started to pop up everywhere?

    I’ve seen them used as ornaments in stylish homes, as place settings, escort ‘cards’ and table numbers at weddings, and even cut in half and used as fridge magnets. Pinterest is a veritable golden menagerie at the moment. And is it any wonder?

    These gilded creatures are cute, quirky, whimsical and give an air of luxe to any tabletop.

    via Sitting In A Tree Events

    This is my kind of DIY project ~ it’s simple, cheap as chips and doesn’t require a lot of resources. However, if time is of the essence or you’re just not into DIY, which is ok too, you know. (Please don’t ever feel pressured to DIY your wedding to the nth degree!)

    Then here are some options of where to buy them:

    BUY ~ Gold Animal Decor

    top row: large gold animals (7″ x 4″) $18.50 via Original Animal Magnet

    bottom row: (7″ x 4.6″) $29.99 via White Faux Taxidermy

    These gold animals are perfect for wedding – to – home decor, you could place them in the center of tables on stacks of books as a centerpieces. Guests can then go to their assigned animal table. Then after the wedding use them as mantle piece/bedside table decor or as bookends. However these gold animals would be a very expensive option to buy in bulk!

    Gold Animal Magnet Favors

    Buy animal magnets in bulk from $1.35 per piece ($148 for 100) for your wedding favours and/or place settings they’d be perfect for a barn or backyard wedding. (Unless, of course you find them a little creepy like I do!) The ones above are by Original Animal Magnets.

    BHLDN also do a set of 6 animal magnets in white with cute gold dipped feet for $34

    DIY – Spray Painted Animals

    It’s amazing what a lick of gold paint can do for tacky, plastic animals bought from your local dollar store!


    ~ A selection of plastic animals

    ~ Metallic gold spray paint

    That’s it.

    Oh and you might want to put some newspaper down and put on gloves before you end up covering yourself and your floor in gold paint.

    photos via With An IE

    Here’s a step by step tutorial with photos via Design Sponge if you want a visual guide…but really, you just spray and go!

    Where to buy plastic animals in bulk for this project:

    Dollar / £1 stores usually have a selection of plastic animals.

    Windy City Novelties offer plastic animals at 2 and a 1/2 inches in assorted packs from farm animals to wild animals for around $2 by the dozen.

    Safari on Amazon have a wide range of plastic animals that come in tubes of around a dozen.

    Toy Farmers have lots of farm animals in a wide variety of sizes (which is helpful, depending on how you wish to use your animals).

    How To Incorporate Spray Painted Animals Into Your Wedding

    Style Me Pretty | Sitting In A Tree Events | 100 Layer Cake | 100 Layer Cake | Green Wedding Shoes

    Martha Stewart Weddings | Kara’s Party Ideas | 100 Layer Cake | 100 Layer Cake | Bridal Musings

    A stylish couple who’s wedding I featured a few months back had a fantastic idea on how to use animals as table settings, check it out here.

    Green Wedding Shoes | Sarah Fritzler |  Simply Jessie Photography via Bridal Musings 

    The Sweetest Occasion (check out the full tutorial on animal candlesticks here) | Paper and Ink

    How chic is that? A white pig on craft paper menue with a cute name tag via Once Wed

     Top Tips

    >> Choose animals that are meaningful to you and your partner. Are you dog lovers? Get a selection of cute pups. Do you refer to each other affectionately as ‘honey bunny’ and ‘pookie bear’? Gold bunnies and bears it is!

    >> Why limit yourself to animals? Dinosaurs are fun! Or how about toy soldiers, skulls or vehicles? (Mini gold plane favours for a destination wedding anyone?!)

    via The Glitter Guide

    >> How about dusting a little gold glitter over your animals for a super sparkly effect?

    >> Don’t just go for gold! How about painting your animals neon, silver or white? Or a mix!

    Design by The Good Machinery , check out the shop here

    I love the effect created by painting animals a bold neon colour then dip dying certain parts gold.

    >> Everyone loves mason jars (especially here in the US) so why not create cute displays for your sweetie table with these adorable animal topped jars!

    via Land Of Nams

    >> Keep a few animals aside to use on the kid’s table (young children will most likely prefer to see the markings/true to life colourings) but bear in mind that these small toys are not suitable for children under 3 as they’re a choking hazard. (For more advice on children at weddings, check out my complete guide.)

    So are you loving these gold animals as much as I am?!

    If so, would you BUY or DIY? (This time I’d definitely DIY, can’t wait to try this one out!)

    More crafty DIY projects + my BUY or DIY? series

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  • I adore this Lizzy! Really aces idea, totally transforms those little plastic creatures xXx

    • bridalmusings

      Thanks Annabel! :) xx

  • OMG you read my mind, I’m working on a little project right now with these beauties. Great post lovely xx

  • OMG you read my mind, I’m working on a little project right now with these beauties. Great post lovely xx

  • I’m officially obsessed with this post. 

  • Wow! I love it. It is indeed very clever of you to think of  this. Great job!

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  • bree [capitolromance]

    DIY!!! My husband Andy has been chomping at the bit to get some sprayed painted gold figurines in our house!

  • *love* these, so cute!

  • Jdt25

    I spray painted my animals earlier this week, but they are still sticky to touch…and they leave paint smudges on my fingers. Any suggestions?

    • Aja Ricketts

      “Just spray and go” isn’t really the whole story here. Some tutorials suggest sanding the plastic animals before using a tan or clear primer spray paint intended for plastic before using the gold. I went to a paint store and they suggested that the best way to get the gold paint to stick AND set properly was to use an oil-based enamel primer for all surfaces (including plastics). This is actually a very tedious project if you’ll notice how much they’re charging per piece. They probably made those 2-piece magnets because it’s easier/faster to spray the animals if you’re only dealing with half of it. … They don’t stand up very well on those tiny feet, esp if you need to move your project from the spraying area to the drying area (ie, from my front yard to my porch when it started raining after i sprayed them…)

      • Sarah

        I spray painted figurines and with a rustoleum “go on anything” paint and they (4 weeks) later are STILL sticky. So something is not working. Im not sure how to salvage all these guys. Any suggestions?

        • Aja Ricketts

          “Set them in the sun” is my instinct but even that might not help cure/dry the paint. Worth a shot? The “go on anything” paint still might be the problem — plastics are tricky and nothing will stick to some kinds without drastic, tedious measures. You could always get some more, sand them, prime them with oil-based enamel primer, wait for them to dry completely THEN spray them with the “go on anything.” If it doesnt dry then, it never will. Or you put on too heavy of coat and that’s why they’re not dry.


  • Who knew spray painting was so much fun! I’m addicted! x

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  • CatSF

    Very late to this post but thank you! I’m going to experiment in a few woodland animals for an upcoming wedding.

  • Monica

    Very late to this post, but I LOVE this idea for wedding table number!

    Any recommendations on the type of spray paint to use?

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  • mary

    I’m looking for deep but can’t find any in bulk for a reasonable price…any other suggestions??

  • mary

    I’m looking for deer but can’t find any in bulk for a reasonable price…any other suggestions??

  • Natalie Horner

    I spent a year collecting these from car boots, etc we collected about 80 or so. The costs can add up if you buy them all at a £1 a piece. But we loved them and so did everyone else. It was funny matching people to the animal though – I didn’t mean to but I consciously did to some degree, I couldn’t resist! We attached a navy tag with white/gold bakers twine xx you can see some of them on my pinterest page on the “our wedding” board xx

    • bridalmusings

      Thanks for your reply, Natalie. It’s so helpful for other brides and readers to hear how you made it work for your wedding. Sounds like they went down a treat! That’s so funny about matching the animals to your guests!! :) xx

    • mhairi

      How did you find that they dried Natalie? Ive used thin layers on mine but they aren’t curing well.

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  • This is a great read. I did gold animals for my escort card holders and we went the DIY route. It was such a fun project and saved us a ton of money. I forget where we got the bulk animals from, but they gave us a nice discount when we told them how many we wanted.

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