Dollar store toy wreath


This looks like a fun project to do with your kids! Kevin Kelly says:

My son Tywen and I made a toy wreath. First we cut a torus from a piece of scrap plywood. Then we hot glued on to it several bags of plastic toys from the dollar store. It was fun building up patterns. Time flowed quickly. It made us giggle at times. The thing is completely useless. But it evoked something vague when we hung it outside my studio door. It's pleasing in a strange way. Looks like art to me.
Art Is What You Get Away With


  1. i love it, but um, how the heck do you cut a torus from scrap plywood? that sounds incredibly challenging.

  2. I would like it better if there were a way to dissolve the glue and recover the toys. It could like an easter wreath or pinata. That way it I saw something like this at the kansas city library. A sculpture that was a big hoop made of books. Nice art, but destructive of the books used; sort of like a library sponsoring a book burning. Btw, are these toys made in asia with child labor?

  3. @ Mark “The thing is completely useless “….but the time you spend with Tywen….Priceless. Just one more deposit in his B.P.M. account.[Bank of Positive Memories}

  4. I think it looks like a fun project to make with my daughter. Im going to start collecting toys to make our own.

  5. wouldn’t it be better to source your toys from yard sales etc. than buying new at the dollar store?

  6. A friend used to do something similar, festooning old picture frames with toys from Happy Meals.

    No more to add, just wanted to use the word “festoon.”

  7. I, for one, can’t wait to spend a bunch of money on a bunch of shit and then glue it together for no good reason.

  8. Agreeing with Anon above: the basic idea was executed brilliantly by Larry Fuente in his piece Game Fish, which hangs at the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery in DC.

  9. The resultant wreath wouldn’t be as pretty if one used my foundlings. For a few years, I was a full-time peripatetic street photographer, spending days shooting urban landscapes. I worked in an environment of asphalt and concrete, so naturally, my eye was drawn to the many small, bright, cheap plastic toys that litter roads and sidewalks.

    I started collecting the ones I liked. Most of them had been run over; all of them had been cheap, but they moved me. I don’t doubt that most had been chucked out a window after a Happy Meal gone bad (whether internally or externally depends on your attitude regarding fast food.).

    I still have a huge bag of them. I decorated an old BMX bike with some of them one year, covering it in what one of my employees called OCD Baroque (thanks, Andrew. that was an awesome compliment.)

    But my favorite foundling still occupies pride of place on the mantle: a much-beleaguered wrestling figure, who would be about 12 inches tall if he hadn’t been run over enough to have been split into 5 pieces. Half of his jaw is torn off (which makes his face quite winning), he’s missing one of his legs and half a butt-cheek (and what a cheek!), but he can be propped up and I think he looks fierce.

    When I found him, I was beginning a medical journey that was potentially deadly, crippling and very painful. I was 31 and had been lucky enough to have been athletic most of my life. So me and my wrestler guy seemed a perfect match.

    tbh, most of those throw-away toys turn out to be branded properties. New one for me, though not a surprise. I think he may be Stompin’ Steve Austin. Or Boss Steve Austin. Or maybe not.

    Anyway, I know that passionate pedestrians can hardly have overlooked the proliferation of discarded toys. And for those who don’t care to spend money on new cheap toys, there are may foundlings out there who make great art.

    The art they make is a little less shiny and a lot less phony. One benefit is that, after a few weeks or months on sidewalks and roads, they’ve invariably lost that vile chemical off-gas they carry from the factory. These fucking “toys” are made in sweat-shops and are simply shiny pieces of manipulation that bring moms/dads/guardians/chickens to the trough of the fast food restaurant to fill up on shit that’s filthier than what might be found on the toys. (Parents, you can wash them.)

    So to let these “toys” shine in their own honest light, I think it only fair to display them in the broken condition in which they’re found. It only highlights their role in the marketing/industrial food industry. I mean, sure paint them, bathe them in glitter, but don’t hide their wounds. Good reminder of what that industry is all about.

  10. Great fun and idea for kids to remember toys they like to play with when they were young…match box cars, small things!

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