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7 Ways to Upcycle Old Toys

plastic toys

Spring is coming and with this season of growth comes your little ones outgrowing some of their toys. Rather than just throwing their outdated items in the trash, we’ve created a list of 7 ideas to upcycle old toys – just for you!

Reasons to Upcycle Old Toys

reduce reuse recycle

Upcycling is also known as creative reuse. It is the process of changing or transforming and reusing old items, waste materials or unwanted products. Thereafter, these items are changed into new materials or products which could then be perceived to be of greater quality, artistic value or environmental value. There are many advantages to upcycling your kids’ old toys: 

  1. Declutter your home and playrooms!
  2. Become a Super Eco Warrior for not throwing old plastic in the waste.
  3. Become a Super Parent for spending quality time with your little ones, while making fun & funky things with their old items!

Upcycle Old Toys ideas

The following upcycle old toy ideas, while relatively self-explanatory and easy to do, should be done with caution and with an adult present and actively engaging with the tasks. A range of tools and items are needed for these crafts: a hacksaw, heavy-duty glue, nails and a hammer, spray paint, a small drill and a piece of wood. 

Toy Animal Planter

upcycle old toys animal planter image
Image by Little Bit Funky (Pinterest.com)

For this project as seen on Little Bit Funky, you can use any of your kid’s old toy animals or perhaps even a figurine that has a wide enough top to cut into a planter.  Keep in mind that the inside of the toy should be hollow.  Using your saw, cut off the top just big enough to be able to fit a small succulent or cactus inside.

Next, spray paint the toy in a funky colour.  Go for a bright colour if you want to keep it in your child’s bedroom, or spray it rose gold or silver to make a gorgeous décor piece in your living room or kitchen.  Our Nat Geo Dinosaurs work very well for this project!

Wine Bottle Stopper

upcycle old toys wine bottle cork
Image by Brit+Co (Pinterest.com)

Brit+Co create this cute craft using a small toy and glue. Glue a toy (we suggest our Wild Animals) onto a cork and voilà, you have a funky new wine stopper!. You can also spray paint the toy for decorative effect. There are so many different toys you can use here, and what fun to bring them out when entertaining your (adult) friends. 

Sweet Holder

sweet holder
Image by Lovilee.com (Pinterest.com)

This craft by Lovilee.com is one of our favourites and is a huge hit at birthday parties! Just cut a straight plastic toy and glue either side of your toy or figurine to the sides of a plate. Spray paint the sweet holder colours of your choice. A large plastic Nat Geo Dinosaurs or our Katie Magical Dancing Princess Dolls would suit this craft perfectly!

Toy Keyring

upcycle old toys keyring
Image by Man Made DIY (Pinterest.com)

For this Upcycle Old Toys idea on Man Made DIY, you need to drill a tiny hole and screw in a small eye screw. For this, almost any small toy can be used from a Hot Wheels Car to a Block of Lego, or a mini Batman Figurine or a Glimmie Mini Light Up Doll. The options are endless!

Toy Door Knobs

upcycle old toys doorknob
Image by With a Wink and Smile (Pinterest.com)

Replace your old doorknobs like With a Wink and Smile by glueing or screwing old small toys in their place. Let your imagination run wild with either wooden or plastic toys.  Then, spray paint them all to match or leave them natural. You can use toys such as your child’s old cars, trains, planes, dinosaurs or even dolls. How sweet is that?

Wagon Planter

wagon planter
Image by Pretty Handy Girl (Pinterest.com)

There is nothing much to do here, except line the base of the old toy wagon with some plastic; drill a few holes to allow for drainage and then plant some beautiful seedlings. Check out what Pretty Little Girl did, here. What a gorgeous, quirky flower planter.

Toy Coat Rack

upcycle old toys coat rack
Image by DIY & Crafts (Pinterest.com)

Figurines, dinosaurs, toy animals or toy cars – there is so much you can use for these stunning coat racks. Next, find an old piece of wood, paint it and get sawing, hammering and glueing. What a lot of fun with such gorgeous results – have a look at DIY n Crafts’ toy hanger.

We hope that this list will inspire you to dig out those old unused items and make some great crafts with your loved ones. For other great ideas, go check out our board on Pinterest. Enjoy!

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