Upcycle Old Toys Into Crafty Home Decor

Let’s face it, your children’s toys are piling up so fast, it would be easier to climb Mount Kilimanjaro than clean up that mess. You swear that if your bare foot steps on one more LEGO or little plastic dinosaur, your kids will be relegated to playing with rocks, grass and twigs out in the yard.

Before you start filling bags with dolls, board games, and building blocks to and throw them out like yesterday’s news, consider a crafty alternative. What if you could turn some of those once-beloved but now outgrown playthings into something that’s actually kind of cool?

Check out this list of pin-worthy projects we found that might just prompt you to upcycle some of those old but very loved toys:

Hot Wheels Decorative Mirror

Matchbox, Hot Wheels, and any other pocket-sized vehicles seem to multiply. They are super cheap, available almost everywhere, and an easy thing to grab when kiddos are begging for “Just one little toy, PLEEEEASSSEEE?” Before you know it, your house is a giant parking garage for about a gazillion sports cars, monster trucks, and even miniature food trucks.

Nobody says you have to keep all of these minuscule means of transportation, but before you chuck them all, you might want to check out this artsy, modern, DIY mirror. The folks at HGTV offer a video showing you how to spray paint the cars in your favorite metallic hue, and then hot glue them to a mirror frame for a cool, upcycled home décor accessory that will make your kids take a second look.

Action Figure Lamp

The middle kiddo in our family will not leave the house without a “guy” and asks for new “guys” at every gift-giving occasion. His collection of action figures has included Disney characters, rescue pups, preschool TV show characters, and superheroes, just to name a few.

Although their tastes in action figures typically evolve and kids outgrow the characters they once adored, it can be challenging to try to toss a former best buddy. An alternative to donating or trashing these favorite old toys is to turn them into something functional, fun and a little bit funky by gluing them to a lamp base and spray painting the conglomeration in a complementary color. Find a complete tutorial at Instructables.

LEGO Wall Clock

You can never have too many LEGOs… Until you suddenly have TOO MANY LEGOS. If your child has outgrown the popular plastic bricks or never really took to the abundant collection gifted by well-meaning grandparents, aunts, and uncles in the first place, you may wonder what in the world you should do with them. Why, you make a clock, of course!

Actually, this upcycle craft project is perfect for LEGO lovers who have no intention of handing over their old building blocks, as well. In fact, they can help you make it and update it whenever they choose. Our Nerd Home shows you how to use a Lego baseplate, a few bricks, a clock kit and a couple of other basic items to make a clock boasting a dozen minifigures.

Barnyard Candleholders

Every house has some type of plastic animal menagerie. Yours might be dinos, horses, zoo animals, or any other hodgepodge of creatures, but chances are good you have more than your share.

Country Living suggests transforming those chunky hunks of plastic animals into something a little more illuminating. In this tutorial, you can find out how a drill, some spray paint and a few odds-and-ends can turn bulky beasts into candleholders to use on your dinner table, mantle, or as the base of a whimsical menorah. Bonus tip: Use the same technique to turn tiny plastic critters to hold candles on a birthday cake.

Plastic Animal Succulent Planter

Not much of a candle person? No sweat! You can also upcycle old plastic toys into kitschy, eye-catching planters.

Crystal at Little Bit Funky wanted to give her son’s teacher a unique gift that would commemorate the fun they had learning about dinosaurs in class, so she cut holes in the tops of some large, plastic dinos along with a few drainage holes in the bottoms. After some primer, paint, and potting soil, these distinctive décor pieces are ready for an assortment of small succulents. Find all of the steps in this tutorial.

LEGO Minifigure Snow Globe

If you still have some LEGO figures lying around, you can make them the starring characters of some DIY snow globes, calm-down jars, or other liquid-and-glitter-filled containers.

After making a brick pedestal and connecting the minifigure to the bricks, simply glue them to the inside of a small jar lid. Fill the jar with water, add plenty of glitter, and put it all together. You can find step-by-step directions at Au Feminin. Although it is a French-language website, the images make it simple to follow along. If you are using Google Chrome or a translation extension on another browser, you can translate the text as well.

The next time the decluttering bug bites and you gather up those old toys, stop to consider what they could become. Don’t be afraid to get creative. You might have the material for your best DIY yet.

What are some ways you like to repurpose old toys? Share your DIY tips with us!

Tags : arts and crafts   upcycling   

Nikki M
Love all of these!