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We’re celebrating the littlest holiday go-ers today on SMP today and this next treat is one of those projects that you will bookmark and use for years and years to come. We’re officially transforming those icky plastic toys that your kids seem to collect into a timeless treasure that children large and small will love. It also makes sort of an awesome (read: adorable + cheap) holiday gift. This was originally blogged on our series for Gilt and we simply can’t get enough.

plastic animal toys
white plasti dip spray
leather cord
wooden bead
red paint & small paintbrush
wood stain
wooden wheels
metal rod (to fit in the wheels)
drill & drill bits
wire cutters
scissors
pencil
ruler
1/2″ thick piece of wood, 3″ wide by 24″ long
craft saw
hammer
3/4″ nails
small eye hooks
super glue

Step 1: Spray all the plastic animals with 1-4 coats of plasti dip, following the instructions on the can. Let dry.
Step 2: Stain the wood, wooden wheels, & wooden bead with the wood stain. Let dry.
Step 3: Cut the wood into 6-7″ lengths (proportionate to the length of each animal) with the saw.
Step 4: Measure 1.5″ in from the edges on the length of each board. Drill a hole all the way through for the wheel axles. (Use a drill bit one size larger than the diameter of your metal rod).
Step 5: Cut the metal rod into 3.5″ lengths. Insert into the drilled holes.
Step 6: Put a dab of super glue in the hole of the wheels and insert onto the metal axles.
Step 7: Super glue the paws of the animal on top of the wood (making sure they’re not over the wheel axles if possible). From underneath, drill a small hole through the wood and into the paw of the animal.
Step 8: Take a hammer and pound a nail into each animal paw through the wood.
Step 9: Drill a small hole to the front of the wood. Screw in an eye hook.
Step 10: Cut a length of leather string and tie a wood bead to one and end, and the other end to the eye hook.
Step 11: Using your red paint, paint a small scarf onto your winter animal.
Step 12: Tie your circus animals together to form a train!