DIY Party Animal Candles

Hi there, it’s Jenny from Hank + Hunt with a fun and super easy diy today! As soon as I thought of making these I got a huge kick out of naming them Party Animals. Hilarious, but if you hear groaning…it’s coming from my house. Regardless of how cheesy the name is, these turn out awesome. Your kid’s favorite animal holding that birthday candle minus those red eyes that are oh so typical for plastic creatures, awesome.

Supplies –

  • plastic animals
  • plastic candle holders
  • drill with 1/8″ drill bit
  • pliers
  • gold spray paint

For the plastic animals, you can use any kind you can find. Keep in mind the size of the cake or cupcake you are sticking it on. I used the animals with a flat back, so it is easier to stick in the candle holder.

Hold the animal with the pliers and drill a hole straight down, being careful not to pop out the other side. The hole just has to be deep enough for the holder to fit.

Spray paint the animals in a few light coats, rotating them to cover all sides. Note: I used gold (w/o primer) and it worked fine for both the nicer plastic animals and the dollar store ones. I wanted a pop of color but some of the animals didn’t take to regular spray paint, be sure to use a plastic spray paint or a primer for plastic and always test one first.

I also painted the candle holders to match. Let dry.

That’s it. Party on like an animal! Rawr.

{Photos by Hank + Hunt for The Sweetest Occasion.}



GAH. I’m in love. I kind of just want to spray paint animals and put them on a shelf to look at.

These are adorable!
.-= Lisa p’s most recent blog post: graduation cookie toppers =-.

ahhh how fun are these!

Wow! These are awesome! I just HAVE to make them. Like now!! Thnx for sharing!
.-= Caroline_GoodCupcakesGood’s most recent blog post: Bakglädje – give away =-.

PERFECT!!! My sons bday is coming up in 2 weeks and I now have some inspiration!
.-= Erin’s most recent blog post: Baby Everleigh… =-.

Ok. I am SO happy to know my mom and I are not the only ones who buy those bags of animals at the dollar store, spray paint them, and use them as décor. One year we bought an animal to fit each of our family member’s personalities, spray painted them gold, then dusted them with gold glitter, cut a slit in the back and used them as placecard holders for Christmas dinner. Odd? Yes. Sparkly and cool? Yes. Weird? Now that I know that we’re not alone with this obsession: No!
.-= Erika {Delphine}’s most recent blog post: summer treat: shave ice =-.

Truly, truly brilliant!!
.-= Laura’s most recent blog post: The New IKEA Catolog is Here! =-.

What a super cute idea! Definitely something to try.

that is the cutest idea! love it.
.-= sara’s most recent blog post: back to school: pencil cake tutorial =-.

Fantastic! In the first photo, I thought I was looking at a bronze candle holder. I’m floored that you were able to so elegantly transform inexpensive plastic animals in to holders that look so refined. I’m certainly going to borrow this idea. Thanks!
.-= Linda at Circular Needles’s most recent blog post: A Pleasant Surprise =-.

THIS IS SOOOOOOOOO effing brilliant!!!! I have so many of these little plastic animals too! Don’t ask me why, but totally know what im doing with them!! love favorite DIY ever in the history of DIYs!!
.-= Two Brunettes’s most recent blog post: The version of CommentLuv on this site is out of date and will soon stop working. Please ask the webmaster to update their CommentLuv in the dashboard of this site! This version will continue to work for a few more weeks and then stop. =-.

Wow, I’m so going to do this one day. Totally in LOVE! xoxo

I really like your idea. My children always brings home these plastic things from the dollar store and i always end up throwing them out in the garbage. But thanks to you I am going to use them to decorate for all occasions.

this is AWESOME!!! thanks
.-= Sheila’s most recent blog post: DIY Party Animal Candles =-.

This is the best idea ever. Thanks!

so beyond in love with this idea. i love that ostrich in particular! thank you for sharing! xo

I feel like I’ve said this before with one of your DIYs, but this is the most brilliant DIY ever and so stinking versatile. I love it! It would be fun to spray paint them all different colors but I really think the gold looks the best!
.-= Laura *You Stir Me*’s most recent blog post: Extra Sprinkles on My Oatmeal, Please =-.

I love this! Genius!
.-= Emily W.’s most recent blog post: Walkin’ on Sunshine =-.

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OMGoodness this has to be one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE DIY’s!!! Seriously, Jenny you are AMAZINGLY talented ;-))) Love every.single.thing you do!!!


I’m dying as always, Miss Jenny! Awesome DIY idea.
.-= Jenny’s most recent blog post: The Adventures of a Thrifted Frame =-.

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Awesome! Where does one find plastic candle holders? I’ve tried all my local party stores :/


ooooo- this would be so perfect for all the cousins at the Christmas get together as well! Thanks for the cool tute!


Love these little critters! But if you’re like me and a bit concerned about the spray paint sitting on your kid’s frosting, you might want to consider applying a food safe varnish. There’s a product called salad bowl finish that’s approved for contact with food – Home Depot carries it. :)

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Jenny @ Hank + Hunt

Kelley, That is a perfect suggestion! What a great idea! I will have to go grab some! Thanks!

Jenny @ Hank + Hunt

Hi, I found mine at the grocery store (Fred Meyer’s – a Kroger company) but I bet you could find them at Target, too! I would check the dollar store also!

Fabulous! Glad to see the comment here about where to get the plastic holders, and the salad bowl finish spray. This may be the finishing touch I need for my daughter’s first bday cake! Thanks!

This idea is the cutest! Must do!
.-= Jaime’s most recent blog post: Yippie =-.

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I think I have a craft-crush on you – this is just the most fabulous thing ever!
.-= Stephanie’s most recent blog post: "Mailing" Birthday love =-.

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Wow, these party animals are fantastic! I’m amazed what changing the color of a little toy can do :) Posted as inspiration on my blog!!!
.-= Tamara @’s most recent blog post: Today’s inspiration =-.

I am loving this idea! Can’t wait to mention your diy savvy on my blog and try these for my child’s 2nd birthday this fall. Thanks!
.-= Marissa’s most recent blog post: cappuccino time =-.


I’m in love– Thank you for being so brilliant! The idea impressed me so much, I am definitely making these for my wedding table numbers (instead of cupcakes).

[…] Me han encantado estos portavelas que he visto en The Sweetest Occasion. […]

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How Cool!!!! This gold color is exactly what I am looking for, more like antique gold. Can I get the product detail?

[…] are out there that come up with such ingenious ideas. Thanks to This Is Glamorous and also to The Sweetest Occassion for inspiring […]

[…] Remember those cheap plastic animals you got as a kid? The ones that sometimes had really sloppy paint jobs and sharp edges, and inevitably ended up collecting dust at the bottom of a huge toy bin? What a AWESOME way to reuse these- spray painted gold, drilled to create space for a candle holder and BAM, awesome cupcake. Or create a slit and use them as placecard holders. Brilliant idea brought to you by The Sweetest Occasion. […]


Love this idea! Complete golden goodness. I made a few on the weekend and they turned out great! Big thanks.

[…] These candle holding animals are genius! We flipped when we saw these adorable animal candle holders thought up by Jenny from Hank & Hunt. It’s a simple project that involves cheap plastic animals, a drill, and some gold spray paint. Find all the directions right here. […]

WOW these are amazing! Very creative!!
.-= Pamela Alexis’s most recent blog post: Photoshop how to rem =-.

I don’t think spray paint is food safe though… ? :(
.-= Kayleigh’s most recent blog post: Dating, dating… Dating =-.

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I’m so late for this party but i have to say it anyway… THIS IS GENIUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
.-= Brancoprata’s most recent blog post: Thursday Purse Day =-.

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[…] them in place, love that! Here’s a great idea for all of you party animals. Inspired by The Sweetest Occasion (left), Chelsea of Lovely Indeed created some fun DIY animal birthday candles (right) with the […]

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I just wanted to let you know I included this in my 2011 Ultimate DIY Gift Guide (101 tutorials/recipes)! :)
.-= Dani Marie’s most recent blog post: 2011 Ultimate DIY Gift Guide =-.


Thanks, Dani! That is so awesome of you.

Just wanted to let you know that I blogged about your DIY, and have had several friends make this project – they loved the results! I told them to follow your blog. Thanks again.
.-= Marissa’s most recent blog post: changes =-.


Thanks so much, Marissa! So sweet of you!

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That ostrich is bowling me over. What a genius idea! Love this!
.-= Johanna’s most recent blog post: Walter =-.

These are so super cute, and so chic at the same time! LOVE IT!
.-= Maureen’s most recent blog post: =-.

[…] disclosure: this tutorial is my take on The Sweetest Occasion‘s “DIY Party Animal Candles“.  I’m not really doing anything different, but it’s a good reason to post lots […]


I just ran across this on Pinterest today. These are adorable! I can’t wait to make some. Thanks for sharing.

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such a fun and whimsical idea! I included it in a round up today on my blog with some other cute creatures:

thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas!

Natascha Baan

I think this is fantastic and I am jealous that I’m not this creative but I do have a question.. Is it food-save?
Kind regards, Natascha Baan

This is so unbelievably awesome. I don’t have kids, but I think my husband would be pretty impressed by a dinosaur candle!

Thanks for sharing this cute & unique idea.It is just like a fun.I really like it.

Angie A

Ahhhh You just gave me an idea for my kiddos room……It is so Blue and gorgeous and she wants a mural on the wall and I dont want to do it witht he tray ceilings and crown molding I want the room to look classy…..I have all of her Plastic horses I am going to spray paint them Royal Blue and White and put them on white painted shelves! THAN YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

This is sooo awesome! Are there food safe spry paint available? or regular is ok?

This is such a cute idea…and the name of the post is fabulous…with or without the groaning :)

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Love these, especially the stegasaurus one! Too cool!


These are awesome and I believe I will have to make these for my daughter’s next birthday. She will be 30 and I can’t think of anyone who would appreciate them more!!

[…] Where will we have it, and should we invite her whole class? – and was thinking I might make animal candle holders, so I went to Michael’s website to check their store hours (they carry those tubes of plastic […]

The dino is the coolest! Great idea :)

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LOVE this to bits and bits and bits!!! Found you through The Dainty Squid. :)

xoxo Jenny

Wow, these look awesome! Fantastic idea, thanks for sharing!


[…] For the plastic animals, you can use any kind you can find. DIY Party Animal Candles | The Sweetest Occasion […]

OMG! These are so great! They look expensive too! I think they would be super cool without the candle on the top for “Manly Cupcakes”!!!!

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I just made these for my sister’s birthday and they turned out GREAT! I’m looking for excuses to use them in my daily life because they are so cute. Thanks for the fun idea!


how brilliant! thank you so much for sharing it with us all, can’t wait to have a go!

These are so simple, and so gorgeous! What a great idea, I will steal this idea for the next birthday coming up ;)

Love these, such a fab idea. But a question- is there some way to make the spray paint food safe? I’m wary of it sitting right in icing that I’m eating!

What a fun thing to do for a decades party! Toys that represent the birthday person’s childhood. How fun!

What a fun idea, and easy, too! Cute. Thanks.

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These are stinking adorable– and what a great tutorial! Was the holder loose at all?


that is such a wonderful idea! very creative and brilliant :)

wow – this is seriously ingenious! so nice to find you (through Charmaine’s blog this morning). Love your ideas!


Ever since I saw these, I have been on a mission to make them with and I am having a heck of a time finding the stuff to do it with. I can remember when bags of plastic animals were evrywhere, and I sure can’t find them now. I am aware that I can get them at Toy ‘R Us, but they’re pretty high dollar for a project like this. Please let me know if anyone has any ideas. I’m going to google them and see what pops up.


I finally found some animals, but I can not for the life of me find the candle holders. They used to be everywhere! I have looked at Walmart, Kmart, Target, and three grocery stores. Online I found a source with a minimum of 6000, and two places in the UK (I don’t know how to order and pay in pounds!) I checked Party City online, but not a physical store. Any one have any ideas? I am making these for my daughter’s birthday in August, so I need to get on with it. This just amazes me. Had no idea I was so out of touch.


^cyd-You are the absolute bomb! I don’t know what I was thinking! I am an Amazon junkie and when I googled the candle holders, all that showed up for Amazon was some vintage things. Didn’t think about the site itself. You have saved the day! Having a really big “Duh!” moment. Thanks again.

[…] 6. Make a party Animal Candle Cake Topper by Jenny of Hank and Hunt for The Sweetest Occasion […]

Absolutely brilliant! And so stinkin’ cute! I’m going to remember this one.

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Theresa Thompson

These are adorable, does anyone know if spray paint is “food safe?”

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