Do you have a tote full of vintage Happy Meal toys? No? Oh, surely I’m not the only one that saved these things for the last 35 years! Today, I have such an easy project for you—Vintage Happy Meal Toy Ornaments. Bonus! You can do this project with new action figures as well. My daughter Jamie made some and that’s how I learned about this easy project. I’ll show you hers at the end of this post.
Vintage Happy Meal Toys
These are the toys stored in the basement. A couple of years ago, my daughter and her husband went through the entire stash and took all the ones that were special to them from their childhood. BUT, I still have a lot left!
These are my test subjects to see if I can really make happy meal toy ornaments.
Clean Thrift Store Toys
First, I had to get years of grime off of the happy meal toys. I simply soaked them in some dishwater, then dried them off. If you get your vintage action figures at the thrift store, you will definitely want to clean them up.
Use a Pushpin or an Awl
First was the mouse. I’m thinking he’s mighty mouse? Or I guess he could be Mickey. (when you type that name, you can’t HELP but sing the song—M I C K E Y)
You may notice that I cut the small suction cup from his feet. Jamie used an awl for her project, but I don’t have one—so I used a pushpin!! It was perfect for the tiny holes I need for my small screw eyes.
Secure Screw Eye into Action Figures
After making the tiny hole, I twisted the screw eye into the back of the toy. I just googled it, and apparently this is Mighty Mouse from Wendy’s kid’s meal.
Add Ribbon for Hanging
Then, I added some ribbon to hang the cute little fella on the Christmas tree.
Pay Attention to Placement of Screw Eye
Next up, was this little elephant, which I’m guessing might be Dumbo? The top right image shows the first placement of the eye hook.
On the bottom left, you can see that it is not properly balanced while hanging. I removed the eye hook, and sort of smushed the hole closed with the blade of my scissors. The image in the middle shows how the previous hole is no longer visible. On the right is the happy meal toy ornament with the proper placement of the eye hook.
This is by far the most challenging part of this project—making sure the toy ornament hangs properly. I had to move the eye hook on the Garfield toy as well. This is the correct placement. Originally, I had the screw hook lower on his back. Again, I was able to make the original hole barely visible.
Happy Meal Toys as Ornaments
You may notice, there is one I pulled from the basement that I didn’t use. The yellow dog was very hard plastic, and unable to accept a pushpin. So, let that be your guide when you’re choosing the happy meal toys you want to use to make ornaments.
These are the same screw eyes I used on my Spindle Ornaments.
Have you seen the show Bluey? Jamie and Eli (well, mostly Jamie I think) love watching Bluey. So she bought these Bingo and Bluey characters and turned them into ornaments. As soon as she did, I knew exactly what today’s craft was going to be! I’m staying close to home and not going into stores unnecessarily, so that’s why I shopped my basement for my play set figures.
A Little More about Bluey
It’s sweet wholesome t.v. – Something we could all use a little more of these days!! You can watch Bluey on Disney Plus.
Shop My Amazon Storefront to See my Favorite Tools and Products
Tips for Making Action Figures Ornaments
If you have little girls, just think of the Barbie ornaments you could make. I got my eye hooks from The Wooden Teddy Bear. You can find screw eyes on Amazon and get them in just a couple of days.
Remember, it’s all about balancing the weight so your happy meal toy or action figures hangs properly.
Will you be making some of these this month?
I enjoyed seeing your ornaments. I have "drilled" holes in plastic by heating a nail over my gas stove's flame (or laying the nail on an electric burner) to make holes in Legg's eggs and other plastic items. The smell is AWFUL so it prob should be done with active ventilation! I use my (not antique) needlenose pliers to hold the nail; I also use the pliers when I have to "hold" a tiny nail--black and blue fingers hurt! I have collected the Madame Alexander dolls from MacD's but I just shove an ornament hanger in the backs of their outfits. I have hung my small international dolls on the Christmas tree; someday I want to do an entire small tree with them!
That's a great idea about heating a nail to make small holes. I too use needle nose pliers to hold small things! 🙂 Your idea for an entire small tree sounds fabulous!
Oh, this is a GREAT idea...I have lots of these too that I have collected over the years. I even have that same Garfield the car figurine from way back when. I'd say 70s to 80s is the era of most of my collectibles. I remember Mighty Mouse too...seems he was on all the health food snacks. I know most of these characters were made out of something like hard rubber or vinyl if they can be pierced dasily. Also like how you showed the way to stand up the figurines so the cushions would go in straight...nice job there 👍
Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment! 🙂 Funny that you remember all of these.
What a cute idea! Wish I had kept some of my son's toys and done something like that.
what a wonderful idea! i think even my adult kids would enjoy this for the ornament exchange!
That is a GREAT idea!!!
Adults... just oversized kids, right?
Great idea! If you don’t have a tub of these toys, they’re easy to come up with. Goodwill sells them by the bag. Other thrifts do too.
Our tree has been all soft small stuffed characters since our 4 year old grandson was a toddler. Some of the ornaments are from when my oldest daughter, his mom, was a baby, and she and I made more when my youngest was a tree destroyer. I think the most important thing is that your tree stand isn’t flimsy, or narrower than the tree. Toddlers learning to walk or are steady but grab onto the tree to get something and flop down can bring a tree over on themselves. Use a weighted stand or what we did 30 years ago was a piece of plywood, I covered it with red fabric, and my husband stapled the tree stand to the board, when we got a new tree he used pipe hanger straps to hold it down.
I have a bag of those somewhere, waiting for them to be worth something! LOL
Love your idea!
I have a whole basement of "waiting for them to be worth something!"
Seriously! Andy teases me all the time, says "I bet you already have that in your basement"
I don't have kids or a tree, but those are so cute, it might be worth it to make them for friends... first I guess I need to find toys...
Well, I don't have kids either, but I fell in love with this idea as soon as Jamie told me about it! Seriously, the very next day I was in the basement "shopping" for happy meal toys!
You could do what Jamie did, and get new "popular" action figures. 🙂