Old Toy Upcycling Ideas

It seems like such a shame to throw away toys. 

As kids grow they become more mature, and they can change their interests at the drop of a hat. Older toys are often resigned to gathering dust at the bottom of the toy box or in some forgotten corner of the garage. 

In fact, there is a lot that a creative homeowner can do with old, unused or unwanted toys. The upcycling trend has seen a great number of ideas surface online, and re-purposing old toys has resulted in some truly impressive pieces, from furniture, to decorations to practical and surprising home hacks.

Here are some of our favourite ideas for upcycling toys!

Making a piece like this couldn't be simpler.

Older plastic toys lend themselves well to upcycling projects, largely because most of them are hollow, making them easy to cut apart and repurpose. The designer of this piece simply cut a large enough hole in the back of the toy to fit a pot for a succulent plant, and the result is a quaint little piece that will provide a nice source of warm colour.

Another great thing about this piece is that succulent plants are extremely easy to take care for. Being so easy to make and maintain, this would make a perfect first project for a budding up-cycler.


The designer of this piece has taken an old dolls house and cut a section of it out to create a modern piece that is part-shelf and part-wall art.

What we like about this piece is that the different sections of the doll house lend themselves so well to the idea. The walls, floor and stairs of the doll house don't just look pretty; they also form different shelf sections all on their own. Finding a perfect new purpose for an old item really is what upcycling is all about!


What do you do with a toy box when your child has outgrown their toys?

This designer turned their child's toy box into an eating station for the family dog. Two holes in the lid hold the food and water bowls securely, and the owner can even store dog food and toys within the box itself!


We have spoken before about Lego home improvement ideas. The little bricks are extremely versatile: some of the home projects that utilise Lego will make you wonder how anyone could ever possibly get too old for it!

These basic Lego bricks have been turned into a colourful set of placemats. The bricks themselves look like they have been glued to a heatproof mat beneath for the sake of safety, and the result is both pretty and practical. Best of all, anyone doing a project like this would be able to customise the mats according to their own preferences (or whichever Lego pieces their kids happen to have lying around).


This trendy modern light feature was made with just a basic wooden skateboard. A number of upcycling projects focus on turning older items into lights or fountains, the beauty of which comes from the fact that once you know the technical aspects you can use almost any old thing you have lying around.

A great thing about this piece is that it is not just an impressive fixture; it also contributes to the modern ambience of the room. Against the grey concrete walls, this skateboard is at home as it would rolling down a street.


Some toys are just as cool for adults as they are for kids! These colourful toy cars make a stylish piece of art that would look perfect in a man cave, office, or even in a teenager's bedroom.

One thing we love about this piece is its simplicity. The cars are thin enough that they can fit comfortably in this picture frame, and the collection of bright colours just warms the room. 

What is ironic about this piece is that old toy cars like this can actually be highly sought after collectors' items. The right buyer might pay a premium for a piece like this!


This upcycling idea is truly a gem because it lets kids find new enjoyment in an old toy. This baby paddling pool was filled with soil to create a cute little patch where kids can learn to enjoy gardening.

A toy upcycling project that helps kids to find new uses in old items is more than just practical. It is also educational and can encourage your children to be creative with their play.