December 5, 2012

DIY: Spray Golden Deer Family

Yesterday we had fun playing with letters, so today we thought it would be fun to play with toys! Plastic deer to be specific:

I thought this little deer family was cute and picked these guys up for next to nothing during all the Black Friday mayhem at the craft store. I've been inspired by all the recent renditions of spray painted plastic animal toys and wanted to give it a whirl with a little bit of a holiday spin.

Just look at what a little shimmery spray paint can do — pretty incredible, no?


There were tons of different animals, all at different sizes, so this project could work with anything you can think of — I just wanted to try it with something that could work for the holidays.

Transforming the plastic deer into shimmering gold goodness was pretty straightforward.

You'll need:
  • Plastic toys of your choosing
  • Spray primer
  • Spray paint, color of your choosing (we chose this satin champagne finish)
  • Paper for protecting your work space

I wiped down the deer to make sure any debris and dust were removed, then positioned these guys over the protective paper to give them several thin and even coats of spray primer. We used the same Rust-Oleum primer we used on our stool makeover and gourd rain-stick. This stuff is good.

Before we knew it, our little deer were already starting to take shape:

Once the primer was completely dried, a couple quick coats of this shimmery champagne finish really stepped our little deer family up a notch:

Note: we completed all the spray painting portions of this project outside to avoid inhaling any harsh chemicals — if you are trying it, make sure to spray in a well ventilated area.

After letting the deer completely dry out and set up, we brought them inside and marveled at the transformation they underwent:

We went with a champagne color in a satin finish since I didn't want a super shiny brassy feel — I feel like it really classed these little plastic toys up, right? It's almost hard to imagine they were plastic toys to begin with.

I tried them in different areas around the downstairs, like the fireplace mantles and front entryway secretary. The deer were cute on their own, but then I pulled out the vintage rubber stamps we'd been playing around with and paired the two together in different ways (this time we spelled "xmas" correctly):

Pairing them with the letters seemed to really seal the deal. We finally settled on this noel configuration to greet us on the secretary in our front entry:

It's been a subtle and welcoming holiday greeting when we come and go.

We've seen so many uses for spray painted animals like these — from table place markers, to cake toppers, magnets, bookends, planters and more. They're so versatile.

What holiday updates have you been working on? Have you gone all out already or taking it step by step like us?

P.S. This time last year we were spray painting acorns in a glittery gold — check out the project here.


  1. I love it - especially combined with your letter stamps! I've been seeing people do this a lot recently to make magnets, but I quite like the animals grouped together on a shelf like that.


© 17 Apart. Design by FCD. Privacy Policy.