From dinosaur planters to jewelry racks made from game pieces, try one of these creative ideas.

By Caroline Biggs
July 01, 2020
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Eric Piasecki

If you thought children's toys were only fun for the kids to use, then it's time to think again. Believe it or not, there are several ways to repurpose certain items, including wooden building blocks, LEGOs, and animal figurines, into eye-catching décor objects you can use around your home once your little ones have outgrown them.

Ian Mailhot knows a thing or two about repurposing old toys. As the owner and founder of Plaid Pigeon, he's made upcycling dinosaur toys into hip succulent planters his business. "Your home is your sanctuary and the items that you surround yourself with should bring comfort and joy," he explains. "I have found that repurposing nostalgic items as home décor inspires positivity and a sense of meaningfulness in life." Curious about what other kinds of useful décor items you can make from used toys? We did a little digging and discovered a handful of cute things you can make at home. From dinosaur planters to jewelry racks made from game pieces, here are five ideas that are every bit as fun to upcycle as they are to look at.

Dinosaur Succulent Planters

Why buy a traditional planter when you can make an eye-catching one at home? With the help of an extra sharp utility knife, cut out a hole into the back of a dinosaur toy, such as Boley's Educational Dinosaur Toys ($18 for 12, amazon.com) that's large enough for your succulent. Next, spray paint the piece in your choice of color, such as Martha Stewart Spray Paint and Primer ($8, michaels.com) and let dry. Once it's completely dry, add in potting soil and your plant, and voilà: The result is a one-of-a-kind houseplant display to spruce up your windowsill.

Wooden Block Hanging Hooks

Searching for a fun (and affordable) way to carve out some extra storage space at home? With nothing more than a drill and a handful of screws, you can turn a handful of wooden building blocks, like the PlanToys 40-Unit Block Set ($30, maisonette.com) into wall-mounted storage hooks for your bedroom, bathroom, or entryway. Simply drill a hole into the back of block and attach to the wall with a screw to organize everything on your wall.

LEGO Key Holder

The only thing better than a cool key holder is one that you made on your own. If you have a stash of LEGOs lying around, look for a flat piece with a modified hole, such as Part 3176, and stick a key ring through it. Using that as your base, you can build a larger key holder that can either be attached floating-style to your entryway wall with double-sided adhesive tape, or added to your current keys for a snazzy keychain.

Animal Toy Magnets

Those small animal toys from our youth are brimming with possibilities—one of which is making fridge magnets. All it takes is some magnet circles, super glue, and clay. Just cut each animal toy in half with a sturdy pair of scissors and use some Crayola Air-Dry Clay ($14, michaels.com) to fill up the open holes. Once the clay is dry, you can either paint them in a certain color, like Martha Stewart's Family Friendly Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Craft Paint ($2.49, michaels.com), or leave them as is before super gluing a circle magnet to the back of each piece and then stick them on your fridge to enjoy.

Jenga Necklace Rack

If you love the tumbling tower game Jenga ($17, amazon.com), then this is the project for you. Use wood glue to attach a handful of Jenga pieces together leaving one side flat, to forge the base of the rack. Once dry, glue two or three Jenga pieces perpendicular to the dried base, with space between each, to use as hanging hooks for necklaces. You can design the base in any geometrical arrangement you choose, or hand paint the blocks, before mounting to your wall with a drill and screws.

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