Just because the wedding is over, doesn’t mean that I’m done sharing my wedding DIY projects with you. I’ve been dying to share these with you guys, but I had to wait for all of the wedding photos to come in first. So now that the wait is over I can finally dive into some of my favorite details from the day.
True to form, we wanted to have favors for our guests to take with them at the end of our wedding. I had originally thought of some sort of food item, but we wanted everyone to have something they would be able to keep and look back on to remember our day. And since we already had an animal theme happening with our centerpieces I thought that sending our guests home with little animals would be pretty fitting.
I started searching around for plastic animals in bulk and they all seemed to be pretty expensive (about $10 for a sleeve of 12 at Hobby Lobby or Michaels). Then I came across these guys on Amazon that were only $17 for a bucket of 60 and with free shipping I couldn’t click “order now” fast enough. I bought two buckets for my 95 guests knowing I’d have some left over to use for other crafts (like Christmas ornaments!)
After sorting through my animals I found that there were 5 of each animal and 12 different animals. I elminated the ostriches (because they had a hard time standing on their flimsy bases), the wildebeests (because they were kind of scary, and *spoiler alert* they killed Simba’s dad), and the jaguars (because I already had two kinds of cats). Which left me with around 105 favors which worked out in case I had a bunch of surprise guests, that way no one would feel left out.
I went to Home Depot to find the perfect gold paint and primer for this operation. I wanted the gold to be very reflective and shiny (like actual gold) rather than bronzey and kind of dull like many spray paints tend to be that claim to be “gold”. I settled on this Rust-Oleum Metallic, which as the cap conveys is very shiny! I asked one of the workers which primer would be best for my project, and after gabbing about my wedding for 30 minutes we decided that this Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover primer was the best bet because it “also bonds to plastic” as you can see on the can (which is also available at Home Depot for way less, I just couldn’t find it to link for you guys).
I was a little nervous because some of these animals were plastic while the others were more rubber-like, so I did a test run on some of my animals that didn’t make the cut.
Take that wildebeest!
It went on very smooth and dried within an hour. The finish of the primer was uniform on all three different textures of animals so I knew it would hold my gold paint nicely, and went ahead and primed the rest of my animals. Since the animals are a little awkward shaped, I laid them all on one side and primed, then after they dried I flipped them all over and primed the other side. I just used one nice even coat on each side. Nothing too gloppy.
After the animals were nice and dry on both sides it was time for my gold paint. I was very excited and nervous about this part in case my gold wasn’t shiny enough, but I was pleasantly surprised and how metal everything looked after my first coat. And yes those are my snazzy painting clothes..
After one coat had dried, I flipped them all back over and did a final coat on the backs of each animal. They were dry within the hour!
I let them cure overnight because I knew that I would end up having to pile them all together to store them before the wedding, and I didn’t want them sticking together. This also helped them off-gas a little, spray paint + plastic = stinky! Then the next day I printed out little tags for each one, punched a hole in the ends and tied one to each animal with a small black ribbon.
And here is their big debut at our wedding :)
I just love how charming they looked on our favor table next to the confetti cannons. And several of our guests still rave about them and have sent me photos of their animals on their shelves at home. I love that!