14 ways to upcycle old toys back to life

Toy Truck Lighting

Do you get a warm, eco-friendly glow when you remember to take your own shopping bags to the supermarket? Does dropping off outgrown and pre-loved toys to the op-shop give you a spring in your step? That’s all well and good, but what do you do with the things you just can’t bare to let go of? It’s time to make ‘upcycling’ your new best friend.

Bring out the toys stuffed in your cupboards or under the bed and give them a second life. With a bit of crafty creativity the results can be cute, quirky and incredibly clever. Here are our top 14 ways to upcycle old toys around the house.

1. LEGO utensil holder

Lego Utensils Holder

LEGO can be your friend in the kitchen as well as the playroom. Take inspiration from the crew at The Kitchn and put fun into function with a bold utensil holder.

2. Jigsaw puzzles as fridge magnets

Take old jigsaw puzzle pieces of all shapes and sizes and turn them into vintage fridge magnets. This simple yet clever idea comes from MUS – you can create so many different looks with this!

3. Best foot forward

Army Figurine Lids

Dive into the cookie jar…literally. With step by step instructions from Craft Tuts Plus put your best feet forward and add some quirky storage to your living spaces.

4. Pool noodles as boot shapers

Upcycled Boots

One of our all-time favourite re-purpose ideas. Storing your boots and keeping them looking fresh has never been easier with this fab idea from B Being Cool. Give your pool noodle a winter work out!

5. Toy trucks as light fittings

Toy Truck Lighting

What to do with all those tow-trucks and cranes when they are no longer played with? When the fleet retires we think the whole family will love them as fueled-up funky light fittings. You can get the how-to at Bigger Than the Three of Us.

6. Glockenspiel rainbow wind chimes

Upcycled Glockenspiel

It may not have been music to your ears in the early years, but it can be now. Tune into Colour In My Paino to turn your old glockenspiel into a beautiful wind chime.

7. Jenga jewellery rack

Jenga Jewellery Rack

Missing some Jenga pieces? Turn the remaining bits into a jewellery rack, all you need is Brit + Co, paint, glue and Jenga!

8. Dinosaur plant pots

Dino Toy Planter

Playing with them may be extinct but they can still be useful and decorative! Plastic dinosaurs get a new lease of life as pint sized, plant pots. Get yourself a plantosaurus with advice from Little Bit Funky.

9. Skateboard shelves

Skateboard Shelves

Deck the walls with decks! Sure to be a crowd pleaser for skate enthusiasts of all ages, find out how you can achieve these super speedy shelves from Sas Interiors.

10. Scrabble coasters

Scrabble Coasters

Whilst my Mum was in labour, she played Scrabble with my Dad. I’d prefer to have a drink with a Scrabble coaster and get a double score, thanks Curbly.

11. Vintage truck pin cushions

Vintage Car Pin Cushions
Some of us may struggle to stitch a single button; nevertheless these vintage truck pin cushions would make a great feature in any room. Get the look from Just Something I Made.

12. LEGO key holder

Lego Key Holder

The most painful toy to step on might just become your new best friend. With a bit of LEGO DIY design-milk helps you find your keys every single time!

13. Use figurines to top storage jars

Animal Jar Lids

Old MacDonald had a farm, ee i ee i oh! And on that farm he had some jars! House to home take old farm animals and turn them into bright and bold storage solutions.

14. Framed toys as art

Framed Vintage Cars

Turn old tin cars or any other collection of toys into a mini art installation. Cozy. Cottage. Cute show us how by adhering them to cardboard and placing them in shadow box frames. Cute!