DIY Animal Butts and Heads Magnets

7 Sep

We had a garage sale a few weeks ago, and I salvaged these animal figurines from the Goodwill pile to make into magnets. I’ve seen these around the Internet for a while now, and I didn’t think it’d be that difficult to recreate them. To my delight, this project ended up being extremely inexpensive as well as easy. A win-win. If you want to make your own animal butts and heads magnets, read on. I promise it’ll be pretty painless.

You will need:

  • Animal figurines
  • Drill
  • Tiny strong magnets
  • Super glue
  • Ratcheting PVC cutter (or other cutting device)

You’ll notice that the figurines pictured above aren’t the same as the ones I made into magnets. I bought these adorable figurines for future projects at Tractor Supply Company, which has a surprising amount of animal figurines. So if you don’t have any lying around, I’d suggest going there. I bought 3/16″ rare-earth magnets from Radioshack, but you can also buy these in bulk online or at places like Harbor Freight Tools. They also can be a little bigger as long as they fit within your figurines.

The first step is to take your animals and cut them in half using your ratcheting PVC cutter. It’s very easy with this tool. If you don’t have a ratcheting PVC cutter (a tool also seen in my DIY for making hula hoops), you can try carefully using a saw or a very sharp knife. But this tool is only $10, and it makes a nice, clean cut. Think about it. When cutting, try not to feel bad for them. It helps if your mom isn’t standing across the room yelling, “Animal murderer!”

Now you have some nice animal halves. Take a pencil and mark the center of each half to help guide the drill.

It’s time to break out the power tools. Since I used a 3/16″ magnet, I’m also using a 3/16″ drill bit. Be sure that whatever size magnet you use that you choose a drill bit to match it. You can also make the hole a little bigger than the magnet, but I wanted mine to fit snug. It takes a bit of pressure to drill into this hard plastic, so don’t be afraid to break out your guns.

Once you’ve drilled enough to have the magnet fit almost flush within the plastic, you’re done. You don’t want it to be completely flush because it won’t stick to surfaces as well. So check periodically while you drill to make sure the hole isn’t too deep.

Now take the super glue and put a very small drop in the hole you just drilled. Place the magnet in the hole, and use something other than your finger to press it into the plastic. Glue will most likely seep out the edges, and it will definitely glue your fingers. I used a pencil eraser to push the magnet into its resting place, and I didn’t glue any fingers.

While you’re gluing, make sure that you make all the heads negatives and all the butts positives (or vice versa) to ensure that you can experiment in cross-species genetics once you’ve finished with this project. I think the Cheetelephant is a rousing success. Once all the magnets are glued, you’re done. Wait for the glue to dry, and you can stick them to any metal surface. Or each other.

Safety note: This project is NOT necessarily safe for children. The magnets could potentially fall out and pose a choking hazard. Because I don’t have kids in my house, I didn’t take any measures to childproof this. However, if you want to make these for a child, try trimming a thin piece of plastic or a thin sheet of magnet to match the back of the animal, and glue it on as a final step. This way, the magnets will be hidden and even more unlikely to fall out. If you have any other suggestions or ideas, feel free to share!

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2 Responses to “DIY Animal Butts and Heads Magnets”

  1. jayna December 19, 2012 at 8:14 AM #

    I love this! thanks for the instructions, and the tip about cross-species genetics šŸ™‚

    • sreagle December 19, 2012 at 9:42 AM #

      You’re welcome! I’m glad you like it.

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