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Ideas To Upcycle Broken And Unused Toys & Dolls

Updated: Apr 12

If we combine all the toys our kid owns, we can make a mountain. Even when we want to be frugal and minimalistic in getting toys for our kids, many would gift them for their birthdays or other occasions and the toys just pile up. Knowing kids, these toys won't last long.

They would get broken, torn apart, or dismantled. Some toys would just be collecting dust or lying in a dark part of the shelf, as our kids would get bored of them within a few days/weeks.

While throwing these is the easiest way to get rid of them from our homes, they would just add to the waste dump on Earth. Instead of adding more waste to Mother Earth, why not try to use them in a better way to decorate our homes or to make other useful things?

Let us give you some ideas as to how to upcycle and make the best out of waste. Read on...

1. Fridge Magnets:

The easiest item to make with broken or abandoned toys is Fridge Magnet. Most kids have animal-shaped toys or puzzle pieces. Just clean them up with a wet cloth and let them dry. Once dried, use good-quality glue and stick a magnet in that place.

Let it dry, maybe keep some heavy weight on it to make sure it does not move before drying up. Now your homemade fridge magnets are ready to use.

2. Customized Photo Frames:

A strategic play of “LETTER” spelled out on a Scrabble tile rack, surrounded by a jumble of lettered tiles, all set against a contrasting light background

For this, you just need a photo frame that has a solid or patterned border. Use small pieces from the broken or discarded toys, which are either having a certain shape or color and then stick them on the border with glue. You can create your design and make it pretty or artsy/abstract.

Even tiles from word games like Scrabble can be used and you can form words on each side of the frame. Spruce it up by sticking some dry flowers or leaves according to the theme in your mind. This can adorn your own home or can be gifted to a loved one.

3. Curtain Tieback Holder:

Various teddy bears and a lamb, each with unique colors and textures, huddled together

Has your child outgrown their favorite soft toys/plushies?

Are those toys simply taking up space on your bed or sofa? Fret not.

You can turn them into a lovely, cuddly-looking curtain tieback holder. 

If the dolls have long hands/legs, then you can just stitch a huge button on one and a thread loop on the other and use them to hold the curtain in place. If not, use a longer yarn or thread and tie them up together. You can even add some colorful beads and tassels at the end.

4. Customized Food Containers/Milk Mugs:

Do you have a set of animal figurines or action figures that haven't been used in a really long time?

Make use of them by using them as handles or lid toppers for food/spice jar containers and your child's milk mugs. 

If you want to create a different aesthetic, then instead of using them as they are, you can paint them in gold, rainbow, or any color-coded themes to make them more visually appealing or as per your kitchen's color theme.

5. Patchwork Cushion Covers:

Another use for long-forgotten soft plushies is to use pieces of them on cushion covers. You can remove the fabric stuffing inside and cut the dolls according to your liking.

You can either use the plain surface or the animal doll's head and limbs too. Or, you can use different fur patterns from different dolls and make patchwork cushion covers and decorate your sofa in an Insta-cute way.

6. Wind Chimes:

Make a melodious stream of music play every time there is a breeze rushing into your house. Make from scratch a wind chime with your child's unused or broken toys. You can use small cars, animal figures, small action figures, and whatnot. Let your creativity take over the rein. 

You can even use some discarded CDs or DVDs to make the top portion of the wind chime. Use strong twines to hang some metallic pipes along with the other items.

Tip: A small tweak to this DIY would be to make a cradle/crib mobile toy with smaller soft toys for your younger baby or to gift to another baby.

7. Book-Ends:

Have a variety of decorative toys lying around untouched, but too pretty to throw out? Make the best use of them by fashioning Book-ends from them. All you need are wooden or metal L-shaped pieces, spray paint, glue, and decorative toys(wooden/metal/porcelain). 

A colorful array of art supplies, including pencils, markers, and paints, scattered on a wooden surface, inviting creativity with their vibrant hues and varied textures

Glue the decorative trinket onto the L-shaped piece, then spray paint the whole structure when dry. You can even add more decorative items onto it like a glow-in-the-dark strip of paint, some ribbons or small paper flowers, or anything that you fancy.

Make another one in the reverse L-shape, and your book-ends are good to go. 

Hope you have a great time creating these, as creative activities can be refreshing for overwhelmed parents. So go ahead and have fun.

Have a colorful time.

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