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Before you throw away that toy soldier that’s been ignored for years (or replaced this past Christmas), consider repurposing it and other old toys. Here are 20 ideas to get you started.
1. Turn skateboards into shelves.
Take those skateboards sitting around the garage and hang them on the walls. Buy some “L” brackets that are sturdy enough to hold the weight, and follow these directions.
2. Decorate a mirror.
Once you have everything in place, spray paint the frame. Make sure to cover the mirror with something like newspaper to prevent spray paint from getting on it.
3. Attach small toys to the tops of jars.
Glue any small figurine to the top of a jar lid and spray paint it your favorite color.
4. Make a toy wreath.
Finally, a solution to all those tiny plastic toys in the back seat of your car or the bottom of the toy box. Take an 18-inch wire wreath (you can get these for under $2 at any craft store), hot glue some fabric to it, then hot glue the toys, fitting them into place as you do. It looks great in a toy room, or spray painted silver or gold for Christmas.
5. Design birthday candle holders using toy animals.
Pick some toys and paint them, then drill a hole making sure the size works with the birthday candle holder, like this set of 96 for under $8. If you plan to place the candles on food, we recommend using non-toxic Crayola Washable Kids Paint.
6. Fill rubber ducks with succulent plants.
7. Or, plant herbs in an old wagon.
8. Use toys as drawer handles.
Grab your plastic toys, gorilla glue, hanger bolts, washers, nuts, and drill (if the plastic is soft enough a nail will work). These step-by-step instructions will lead you to fun and unique-looking handles.
TIP: A faster option is to buy or recycle a small commercial drawer pull and glue the toy onto that.
9. Line a picture frame with hot wheels.
10. Transform a toy piano into a nightstand.
11. Use LEGOs to make a pencil holder.
12. Or, a utensil holder.
13. Even a key chain holder works.
To secure the holder to the wall, simply use adhesive putty or pads on the back of the base plate.
14. Turn an old dollhouse into storage shelving.
15. Transform a truck into a pincushion.
To make a pincushion truck, follow these instructions. Place a piece of velcro on the bottom of the truck bed and its matching piece to the pincushion before fitting them together. Top it off with some colorful pins.
16. Make puzzle art.
Cut letters out of cardboard—try the first letter of your child’s name—and help your child glue puzzle pieces to the letter. Attach the letter to a canvas. When done, hang the puzzle art on your child’s bedroom door.
17. Build a coat rack with dinosaur heads.
If you’re working with any plastic figures, use an X-acto knife to cut them in half then glue them to a board. Add some sawtooth hangers on the back and put it up on the wall.
18. Or, turn a toy dinosaur into a toothbrush holder.
This is as easy as drilling a hole all the way through a toy dinosaur. Make it the size of the toothbrush, and brush away any plastic remnants that come from the drilling.
19. Use an old basketball as a beverage holder.
With a utility knife, you’ll cut slits along the top of the basketball as these instructions show; doing this allows the ball to sit perfectly. This project serves multiple purposes — not just as a beverage holder — but as a remote control stand, or even a planter. Try it on old volleyballs and soccer balls, too.
20. Make a doorstop out of a figurine.
This is as simple as using a strong glue and attaching one of your child’s toys to a doorstop, then spray painting the whole piece.