It’s the craze that has taken Australian schoolyards, workplaces (Homely HQ included!) and even eBay by storm; Coles Little Shop.

For those of you who have missed out on the fun and swap meet madness of the past few months here’s a quick rundown of everything you need to know:

In the wake of the single-use plastic bag ban, supermarket chain Coles launched a marketing promotion that rewards shoppers with mini replicas of popular grocery items for every $30 spent.

From Vegemite to bananas to Vicks VapoRub, there are 30 adorable mini products to collect. Genius right?

Coles have reported a food sale growth of 1.8 per cent in the three months to July 30, their best result in two years and rumour has it Coles is set to repeat the campaign in 2019. It’s official, we have mini mania!

Whether you have a complete set and display case or just a handful of cute miniature items from your weekly shop, here are 10 ways to get creative and give your Little Shop Minis a new purpose.

Fridge magnets

Pick up some self-adhesive magnetic stripping (available at Bunnings and Spotlight) and some scissors to cut the magnets to size to turn your mini collectables into cool fridge magnets.

You could even use your Little Shop magnets as a 3D shopping list on your fridge. Add a shopping list column to one side of the door with washi tape to place the items you need in it as a handy reminder.

Cute brooches

All it takes is a hot glue gun and a pack of brooch pins from the craft store and presto you can add a Coles Mini or a cluster of minis to any outfit.

Quirky jewellery

From earrings to bracelet and necklace charms, there are so many ways you can turn your favourite Little Shop Minis into fashion. You can pick up jewellery making tools, earring hooks and chains at craft shops. Would you be game to wear some sweet Nutella earrings or a minty fresh Colgate charm necklace?

Image: @radiumgirl

Hair accessories

Make your kid’s hair accessories the envy of the playground with the addition of Little Shop figurines. Using a hot glue gun stick your minis to a headband, ibis clip or several one-touch hair clips.

For smaller hair clips and pins, we recommend using the longer and lighter weight minis, such as Tim Tams, eggs, Pantene and Lipton Tea, for ease of wear. Always ensure the glue is completely set before using your new and improved hair clips.

Keyrings

Take your or your child’s new found brand love to the next level by adding Little Shop keyrings to backpacks or keychains. To make Little Shop keyrings you need a power drill, micro drill bit, steel curtain hooks and a keyring. Watch a video tutorial.

The orange juice and round plastic minis, like Tuna, Milo and Leggos work best for keyring construction.

Image: @ruth_faithlyn

Rainy day game

Like a game of reverse Jenga, use your Little Shop Minis to make a tower where the person who puts the mini on that causes the tower to topple over loses. Alternatively, have a contest with friends for who can make the highest or most inventive tower.

Image: @vonniewhittakerarbonne

Wall art display

For those of you with lots of minis display your collection in pride of place in your living room as a wall art or hanging. You could make a colourful collage of all your minis by glueing them to a canvas in rainbow order. Or string your minis together to make a festive garland to string up over a doorway or kid’s room curtain rod.

Donate them

Put your Coles Minis to good use by donating them to a local service or charity that can turn them into educational tools. For example, Distinctive Options a disability services organisation in Sunbury have put the call out on social media for donations of any unwanted minis to turn them into communication aids for people with a disability. Post any Little Shop doubles or unwanted minis to 24 Macedon Street Sunbury VIC, 3429. What a fantastic initiative!

distc opt.jpg

Baby mobile

The colourful products and lightweight size of the minis make them the perfect subject of an engaging baby mobile for your baby’s nursery. To complete your mobile pick up some string, an embroidery hoop and glue. Here are some more DIY baby mobile ideas.

Original hat

Stuck for ideas this Spring Racing Carnival? Forget flower crowns and exxy designer headwear. Why not turn your minis into a showstopping fascinator or hat? You’ll be sure to turn heads in your colourful and creative one of a kind headdress.

Image: @rtist_

Xmas tree ornaments

By December the kids will probably be over their minis. So, you could construct Christmas tree ornaments with a difference. Stick your minis on some tinsel, wind your mini garland around the tree or make individual hanging ornaments in a similar way to the keyring tutorial above.

Image: @ccjustluckygirl

We hope these 10 ideas come in handy when the kids and big kids get tired of playing shop with their Coles Minis. Do you have any other ways to upcycle your collectables? Let us know in the comments below.

Author

Larissa Gardner
Larissa Gardner is the Marketing Manager at arguably Australia’s best looking real estate website homely.com.au. With a superb devotion to product innovation, user-centred design and innovative marketing platforms for real estate agents, homely.com.au helps millions of Australians find their next home.

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