As most of my readers are from other countries (hiiiii! 👋), I’m not sure how many of you will have heard about the great craze that is the Coles Little Shop Mini Collectables, but here in Australia, it is big news.
Coles is one of the biggest supermarket chains in Australia, and they recently started a promotion where you get a random mini figurine every time you spend $30, and they’re all shaped like one of the 30 most bought items from Coles.
There has been some controversy with this promotion as a few figurines are hard to find, whilst others are very easy, even though that is a basic practice amongst ANY kind of collectible item. Part of the fun of collecting is the hunt; trust me, as a collector of collections, I know what I’m talking about 😂
Another concern is that these tiny items are just going to end up in the rubbish as they serve no real purpose, which is where I step in! As an avid DIY-er, I believe anything has a purpose – you just might have to get a little more creative to discover it 😉
When the first round of these collectibles came out – which is when the first version of this post was published – I was overwhelmed with the amount of things I wanted to use them for.
Since then, I have only discovered more fun ways to use these adorable little items. When I found out that they were releasing EVEN MORE in July 2019, I knew I had to update this post with all my new ideas to ensure that everyone else can put their tiny figurines to good use as well ☺️
So, if you’ve got a ton of tiny figurines and are wondering what to do with them, keep on reading!
This was my very first idea on what to use these figures for, and it’s also one of the easiest ones to make. All you need to do is get some small magnets and glue – OR these super handy adhesive magnets sheets – then stick them onto the back of the figurines! Now you have a super cute decoration for the fridge that will hold up any photos, notices, or shopping lists 😊
For the heavier and slightly curved designs – such as the juice bottle, Vegemite, etc – I do recommend adding a bit of glue more to go between the item and the magnet to ensure it doesn’t fall from its own weight, but other than that, magnet away!
I actually find it super handy to have a little magnet egg carton or box of tea bags somewhere in plain view, as they are staples around the house and it reminds me to add them to the shopping list 😂
You would have to be brand new around these parts if you’re not aware that I’m OBSESSED with making my own accessories. I have an entire post where I go into a lot of detail on how to make different kinds of accessories – earrings, necklace, bracelets, rings, collar clips – with a range of items, including the Coles mini figurines!
This is easily my favourite use for these adorable items, I just love matching my accessories with what/where I’m eating, as strange as that may be 😂
I hear rumours that they’re releasing a Campbell’s tomato soup figurine soon, and I will honestly cry if I don’t get my hands on a few as I am DYING to be able to wear them as accessories 🙌
If you’re into unique accessories – or know of anyone else who is – it really isn’t difficult to turn these into any kind of jewellery.
The post I linked above goes into far more detail, but really all you need to do is add some glue or screw an eyelet pin into the top, and the possibilities are endless!
Another helpful use for these tiny figurines is turning them into push pins! I’m a sucker for a fun-shaped push pin.
Much like the fridge magnets, all this project takes is two simple items. Just find some push pins that have a flat top like these, add some adhesive onto them – such as super glue, or hot glue – then attach your mini figuring on top and you’re done!
Pencil toppers are some of the cutest stationery items out there, and these mini figurines would make some really adorable ones.
The box designs – such as the Weet-Bix and Sunbites pictured above – would be the best for this project choice they are much easier to cut into compared to the harder items.
To make mine, I just placed the end of my pencil on the bottom of my chosen figurine, and traced around the pencil. Then, using a sewing needle or push, carefully pierce the box along the INSIDE of the circle you just drew.
Continue adding more holes until the inner piece easily pulls away when you press your pin inside of it, as demonstrated in these photos:
Then, carefully insert the end of your pencil! How easy was that?!
I actually didn’t realise the these boxes had styrofoam inside of them until I did this, but it helps a lot as you can press the end of your pencil into the foam to ensure that the box doesn’t move around whilst you’re writing! Both colouring and writing just got a whole funner – AND cuter 🙊
MINI DRAWER KNOBS/PULLS
This is also one of the more difficult ideas, but still doable. It will only really work with the right figurines, that are BOTH big enough to be drawer pulls AND sturdy enough that they won’t fall apart or be crushed when you grab them to open the drawers.
These would be best on smaller drawers such as these ones, that often sit on desks or make-up tables. I don’t have any small drawers to actually do this craft with, but in my mind, there are a few options:
OPTION 1: If the drawers you have already have small drawer knobs on them, simply add some strong adhesive to the back of your chosen figurine (once again, I recommend a sturdy design, such as the pasta sauce, juice bottle, etc) and attach that directly to the drawer knob.
Since the drawers in question are small and light, the weight of them shouldn’t put too much strain on the figurine, especially since you can still wrap your fingers around the existing drawer knob behind it.
OPTION 2: If you have the kind of drawers that I linked above that don’t have any knobs and instead have a little gap, once again just add a strong adhesive to the back of your figurine and attach it either over the gap – if it is small enough to be covered – or slightly underneath it, and then just use the figure as a regular drawer knob.
OPTION 3: This one is the trickiest one of all, and requires a few tools, but I still think in theory it is doable. Using one of the sturdier designs once again, drill a hole into the back, add some glue to the end of a bolt that is the same size as the drill bit you used, screw the bolt into the hole, and then add a washer and nut to the side end of the bolt to keep in place! This post over on Apartment Therapy describes (and shows!) how to do much better than me, so I recommend you give that a read if you choose to do this 😂
There are SO. MANY. OPTIONS. when it comes to making your own bookmarks, and these tiny figures can be used with so many of them! You can attach them to tassels, paper clips, elastic (I would recommend using some of the flatter figures for that last option, but it’s up to you!), ribbons, or just use the same idea as the ribbon design with a hole punch and a regular ol’ bookmark, then add one of these figures as a charm at the end!
This idea doesn’t need a tutorial or anything as it’s pretty self explanatory, but how PERFECT would these figurines be for dollhouses?! I actually recently fell in love with the idea of making your own dollhouses and items to go inside when I realised that there’s a whole demographic of adults out there who enjoy making them for themselves.
I’m particularly in love with this dollhouse shop set up that someone I follow on Instagram created. I plan on creating my own sometime next year. I’m not sure how I’m going to build the actual house yet, but there’s lots of free printables for miniature items floating around on the internet that I plan to utilise. Anyway, I’m getting off track here! The point is: these are perfect for dollhouses! 😂
CHRISTMAS TREE DECORATIONS
This is one of my newer ideas, as I struggled with figuring out what to do with my Christmas-themed collectibles for a while, until it hit me like a ton of bricks: Christmas decorations, duh!
Christmas is a huge thing in The Small Adventurer household, as is the rule that Christmas is only to be actively discussed, planned, and celebrated in November and December, to ensure that it remains a special time of year. Which is why I was stumped at what to do with these figures, when my own rule gave me the answer I needed: use them at Christmas!
All you need are some scissors, a sewing needle, needle threader, scissors, your chosen figurines, and some cord for hanging/crafts decorations (I did SO MUCH GOOGLING, and that’s the only name I could find for this item). I can’t remember where I got the individual ones that I used, but you can use a spool of it like this and just cut them to size!
Turning these items into decorations is a little fiddly, but you know our motto around here: “if I can do it, you can too!” I took some progress shots to show you exactly how I thread the cord through the items, but I’ll add a little explanation in case it’s not completely clear:
Step 1: Use a sewing needle of pin to add two holes in box designs: one at the very top of the back, and one at the back of the top. You will be able to see in photo two – which is taken from the back – exactly where the holes should be.
Step 2: Carefully push your needle threader through the two holes you just made, then thread your piece of cord through the middle of the threader, so that it looks like the third photo.
Step 3: Slowly pull your threader back out of the holes, but STOP when you get to how it looks in the fourth photo. Grab ONE end of your cord, and tug at it so that it is pulled back through the two holes, and you’re left with the cord thread through both holes. Then, holding the cord in place, carefully remove the threader.
Step 4: Layer another piece of cord on your table. Use a smell peg or heavy item to weigh down both ends of the cord that are inside your box so that they’re laying down straight and next to each other. Once they’re in place, pick up the ends of the other cord piece, and tie a knot two or three times around the weighed down cord pieces, then remove the peg.
Your item should now look like the sixth photo. Use your scissors to trim the excess sides from the extra cord piece, and you’re done! You now have a tiny, adorable decoration that is perfect for a mini Christmas tree – which is something we are huge fans of here 🙈
For a flatter item, such as the gingerbread biscuit, you will only need to create one hole at the top, push the needle threader through, and thread the cord as you would a regular piece of thread, then follow step four once again to tie a knot at the end.
There you go! A heap of fun, creative ideas on how to keep your mini figurines from going to waste. I hope that these ideas inspire you to look at other items differently, and think about the different uses that they might have!
Any small objects that you have lying around could be used in the same way. It’s a great way to hang onto mementos from your childhood that you don’t want to throw away, and to add a bit more fun and personality into your decor and accessories! What would YOU do with your figurines? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time,