If you find yourself cleaning out the toy box for what seems like the thousandth time, wondering what you’ll do with the bits and pieces littering the bottom—stop short of making a desperate grab for that garbage bag. Instead of tossing well-used playthings, consider dusting them off and using in a totally different way. Plastic animals = awesome new wall hooks. Random puzzle pieces = super cool fridge magnets. Scroll down for more ideas on how to give old toys new homes.
photo: Jasmine Orchard Styling
1. Firetruck Lamp
Use your old trucks and cars to convert into an awesome lamp. Hop on over to Jasmine Orchard Styling to take a peek at her props and for more ideas.
photo: Tsuki Fox via Little Gray Fox
2. Magnetic Animal Hooks
The dollar animals your kid had to have just got interesting (at least, for you!). Crafter Tsuki Fox came up with several ways to use those little creatures—we especially dig the magnetic jewelry hooks! Head over to Little Gray Fox for the how-to on a super unique way to display your baubles.
photo: Jenny Kearney via The Gingerbread House
3. Playmobil Clock
What time is it? Time to use Playmobil people to make a kitschy clock. These little guys are awesome for imaginary play and, it would seem, a totally cool addition to counting the minutes go by. It’s an easy project—we promise! Find out how it’s done by heading over to The Gingerbread House.
photo: Natalie Shaw via Doodlecraft
4. Dinosaurs as Bookends
A dino-tastic way to keep books in order. Your budding paleontologist will get a kick out of seeing his favorite prehistoric pal propping up his go-to nighttime stories. We love the bright colors and easy (hot glue gun alert!) DIY for this project. Pop on over to Doodlecraft for the entire tutorial.
photo: Shelly Kannon via A Southern Belle with Northern Roots
5. Tricycle as Garden Decor
This could be our favorite idea of the bunch! Old tricycles are an easy upcycle for your garden. It’s a perfect perch for a flower pot filled with spring blooms. Opt to paint or leave rusty—either way, the kids will get a kick out seeing their old gear serving a new purpose. Head over to A Southern Belle with Northern Roots for more on this simple-but-awesome idea.
photo: Steve Goodwin via Marquis de Geek
6. LEGO Charging Station
We’ve already determined LEGOs are awesome, but let’s be honest—the little pieces that find your bare feet in the middle of the night are not cool. In fact, parents might often find themselves secretly plotting a clean sweep of the entire building supply. If you’ve got a surplus of colored bricks, or your kids have outgrown their stash, then this totally rad device charger is gonna be right up your alley. Builder, blogger and dad Steve offers up an easy-to-follow tutorial over at Marquis de Geek.
photo: Vanessa Alvarado via Thrift Core
7. Board Games for Shelves
The Candyland game has lost all its gingerbread men. The shiny car and boot are missing from the Monopoly set. No one wants to play the game of LIFE. Whatever the problem, Thrift Core has the solution. Make your own shelves out of game boards no longer getting any play. With simple tools and a few brackets, bump up your house’s cool factor in no time. Head over to Thrift Core for a full list of materials and the easy tutorial.
photo: Liz Stanley via Momtastic
8. Puzzle Piece Magnets
Puzzles are a great way to pass the day but make no mistake, they are a recipe for mess-making. How many sets do you have at home missing an animal, car, plane or train? By creating magnets, you’ll open up a whole new world of play. This is upcycling at its finest! To get the details on the games and the how-to, head over to Momstastic.
9. A Treasured Stuffed Animal Made of Outgrown Clothes
Since most infants double their body weight within the first five months, it’s likely that your little bundle never got a chance to wear half their adorable ensembles. Don’t fret! The clever seamstress over at Sewing With Knits created this sweet stuffed animal using outgrown infant clothing. Cute and cuddly, it’s an adorable way to repurpose your little one’s unworn attire. For an added touch of nostalgia, use your favorite outgrown outfit. You’ll likely have enough fabric to remove the milk-stained portions.
photo: The Homes I Have Made
photo: mcleod via flickr
11. Toy Wreath
What to do with all of those old toys and figurines? Make a fun toy wreath! You can use either a wire wreath from your local craft store or an old hula hoop. Affix the figurines and old toys with wire and hot glue.
photo: quinnanya via flickr
12. Succulent Guardians
Provide some protection for your plants by positioning a few old toy soldiers around the house. We love the idea of making this a scavenger hunt—how many can your kiddos find?
13. Lamps in Toyland
Light up their life with an enchanting toy lamp. Head on over to Indigamethyst for the scoop.
photo: davidwithacamera via flickr
14. Toothbrush Holder
Make their nightly brushing routine even more fun with a cool toothbrush holder.
Have you used an old toy for a new purpose? Tell us about it in a Comment.
— Gabby Cullen, Lauren Hill and Erin Lem