Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I Spy Toy Collage Heart

Heart collage made with small toys

Our latest project is this I Spy heart collage made with several of R's small toys. It's currently bringing some Valentine's Day decor into R's playroom. The whole family was involved in the making of this one, and we are all pretty thrilled with the results.

What You Need:
  • One Canvas (We used 11x14)
  • Paint (For the base of the canvas) 
  • Several of your children's small toys
  • Spray Paint (For the toys- paint for plastics would be ideal)
  • Glue (We used hot glue)

The Step By Step:

The first step is to gather your supplies. This may be trickier than in other projects because some of those supplies are your children's toys. R was absolutely fine with us raiding his toy bins, and even suggested things to add. We used mostly cheap dollar store toys from his stash. You could also use toys that have seen better days. 

Arrange your toys on the canvas. Make sure you have enough. Experiment with layout. It's a good idea to take a picture of the layout you decide on for later reference.

Spray paint the toys. We used Krylon Fusion for plastics. It also works on other materials, but cuts out the prep work. We've previously tried regular spray paint on plastic toys and it wasn't pretty. My advice would be to invest (around 5 dollars) in the paint specifically for plastic for the best results. R got to use spray paint for the first time ever during this project. It was hard for him to hold down the trigger long enough so we helped him.

As the toys are drying, paint the canvas. This is a perfect job for a willing child. We used acrylic paint. Be sure to paint the sides of the canvas as well!

After everything is painted sufficiently and dry, rearrange the toys on the canvas. Get them just how you would like them and then remove one toy at a time to glue down onto the canvas. Work your way around the edge of the heart and then complete the inside.

And that's it! It's pretty simple but really neat. R absolutely loves his I Spy heart. We are getting geared up for Valentine's Day!

So what do you think? Would you consider making one of your own?


  1. This is an AWESOME idea!!! Wow!! What a great way to decorate for a boy, or girl, on Valentine's Day!!

  2. THIS IS AWESOME! We have so many small toys that I've been tossing in a box to donate because I don't know what to do with them. We could do this! And it's something that gives appealing decor and functional learning and play that can be done for each season! Thanks!

  3. I love this and what Tricia said about those tiny toys that seem to have no use. The language opportunities are endless and it will forever be a reminder of a fun time had by your family.

  4. Wow this is neat. I'd never have thought of painting the toys from the $1 store. Now I'm thinking about all I could do with the toys I could get there. You heard it very creative. Another great share.


  5. This is great! C loves I Spy games, they are her favorite!! This would be such a fun project for her to do!
    I think it turned out wonderfully!

  6. What a neat idea! Love that it was a family project, too!

  7. Very cool! Great idea :) Nico doesn't have enough little toys yet, but we'll have a look out at our favorite store, yes the dollar store!

  8. JDaniel would love to help put this together!

  9. This is so fun. I just shared on fb but for some reason I couldnt tag you (thanks fb) ! Fixing to pin so I don't forget this one.

  10. You could take a photo and make cute I spy Valentines too.

  11. echoing what others have said - a perfect use for a;ll of those (junky) toys that we seem to accumulate at carnivals, etc. Brilliant! Thanks so much for this inspired idea.

  12. That is so cute. You really are clever. What kid doesn't love I spy.
    I like the idea of adding some Valentine's day decor to the playroom. I am a new Pinterest follower visiting from It's playtime. Vicky from Mess For Less

  13. Thank you all for taking the time to comment. I'm glad you liked it! It was a great family activity and I can see us doing it for other events. If any of you complete one, I'd love to see it!

  14. Love this!! (And im pretty sure we have every single toy you used :) ) Can you pictures Brooklyns? made from all the barbie shoes she isnt allowed to have :)

  15. I absolutely love this! I will so be doing this with my girls :)


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