I’m so excited about these repurposing projects! I can’t wait for you to try them all. I’ve been thinking about ways that parents can help to cut down the costs of kids things – like clothes, toys, etc. – and during that thinking, I came across these wonderful ideas for turning regular household items into things that your kids will love. There is everything in this collection of ideas from travel games and dresses for little girls to Lego tables and even a really neat kitchen set that’s made from an entertainment center.
As parents, we want our children to have wonderful things. Sometimes however, those wonderful things are pretty expensive and as much as we want to give them to our kids, it’s just not always feasible. Well, now it is. You can make many of those items yourself from upcycled things that you’re probably just going to throw out. I love upcycling and repurposing projects – like I live for them! Have you seen these 45 ways to repurpose cereal boxes? There is seriously a repurposing project for everything in your life.
So, I gathered this list of repurposing projects specifically for things that you can make for your little ones. Some of the ideas in here are sheer genius – I mean, making a Lego table out of a nightstand or creating a toddler swing from an old pair of jeans? Seriously, there are some brilliant repurposing ideas in here. Some of them use adult clothing, some use furniture and others use things that you would normally consider to be trash. Remember these 15 ways to repurpose Pringles cans? These are sort of like that. Turning trash into treasure is always a thrill.
Whether you have girls or boys, or both, there is going to be a project in here that speaks to you. From dollhouses and reading nooks to play roads and Lego tables, you’re surely going to see a project that you, and your little ones, will love. So, start thinking about all of the things you have at home that you need to repurpose and we’ll probably get to each and every one of them.
1. T-Shirt Repurposed Into Baby Dress
This adorable little dress with a braided collar can be made from an adult sized t-shirt. This isn’t even a difficult project and is perfect for turning old clothing into new clothing. If you have a few t-shirts that you’re planning to get rid of and you have a little one, think about repurposing those shirts into adorable little sundresses for her.
2. DIY Tic-Tac-Toe Travel Game
This cute little tic-tac-toe travel game is made from an old Altoids tin. If you’re like me, you throw out tons of these tins every year. Imagine repurposing them instead into these great little travel games for the kids. Now anytime you take a trip, they’ll have something – not electronic – to keep them busy in the car.
3. Baby Dress From Upcycled Shirt
Here’s another wonderful way to turn a grown up shirt into a dress for your baby girl. For this one, you’ll need a button up dress shirt. It makes an adorable and lightweight dress that is perfect for Easter or any special occasion. It’s also really easy to make and you only need a portion of the shirt so you can use the rest for other projects.
4. Bedside Table Turned Lego Desk
That old bedside table that you no longer need can be used to create a great Lego play desk for your little ones. The drawers make perfect storage units to keep those Legos off the floor – if you’ve ever stepped on one then you know how important this is – and you can glue a Lego base to the top to make it easier when they play. I adore this idea and it’s such an easy project!
5. Bookshelf Repurposed Into Padded Bench
If you have an old bookshelf that you’re planning to throw out or sell, consider repurposing it into this great padded bench for your little ones. This is perfect for kids’ rooms and the shelves give them storage underneath for books, shoes, toys, or whatever they need extra space for.
6. Blue Jean Repurposed Baby Swing
Take those old blue jeans, add some rope or chain and what do you have? You have this amazing bouncy swing that is perfect for your toddlers. You’ll need a few clamps for this one to make sure that it’s secure and an old pair of jeans which create the swing. Just cut off the legs and you can even add a belt to tighten around your little one to keep them from slipping out.
7. DIY No Spill Paint Cups
Empty Starbucks coffee cups make wonderful no spill paint cups for kids. Just empty and then clean those cups – keeping the lids intact. Then, fill each one part of the way with the colors that you need and your kids can paint away without worries of tipping over their paint cups. You’ll need to watch that they don’t actually tip them over, but the cups are tall enough to keep paint from spilling out if you only put in a bit and they’re free – after you’ve had your Starbucks coffee, that is.
8. Coke Crate Art Supply Storage
You can find wooden drink crates – those cool vintage ones – at most thrift stores and flea markets. They have sections that are perfect for keeping craft supplies organized for the kids. Add crayons to one section, markers to another…you get the point. Plus, you get to display those craft supplies in a great rustic looking wooden crate – what’s better than that?
9. Repurposed Shirt Into Baby Bib
Those old shirts that you’re planning on throwing out can be used to make so many wonderful things for your little ones, including bibs. You can use adult sized t-shirts or button down shirts from older siblings to make a number of adorable baby bibs. Let’s face it, anytime you can repurpose something to save money is a great time and these little bibs also make wonderful gifts.
10. Upcycled Cabinet Doors Turned Art Desk
If you’re replacing your kitchen cabinets (if not you can buy cabinet doors at second hand shops really cheap) you can use those doors to make an amazing art desk for your kiddos. These little desks are so great and they have legs so the kids can sit in the floor and they’ll be happily coloring and painting for hours on end. Paint them their favorite colors to make them even more special.
11. Repurposed Baby Crib Into DIY Easel
If your little ones love to paint and color, this easel upcycled from an old baby crib is perfect. If you know you aren’t going to need a baby crib or find one at an old thrift store, you can create this easel, which is a really easy project. Paint it with chalkboard paint and you have a great standup chalkboard that the little ones can practice their ABC’s on – and it’s much cheaper than buying a chalkboard.
12. Repurposed Dresser Drawers Into Kids’ Shelves
These funky drawers turned shelves are great and perfect for a teen or preteen’s room. Just paint the insides of your drawers different colors and then hang them vertically along the wall. They offer extra storage for books and all sorts of things and they’re the perfect repurposing project if you’re doing away with an old dresser. You could also use these in the nursery for storing diapers, wipes, and other baby necessities.
13. DIY Play Kitchen From Entertainment Center
This is one of my most favorite DIY projects ever. It’s an old entertainment center that you turn into a play kitchen for your little ones. If you’ve ever bought a play kitchen, you know those things aren’t cheap. But, if you have an old entertainment center that you are no longer using, you can paint it, add a few embellishments, and turn it into an adorable play kitchen for next to nothing.
14. Entertainment Center Repurposed Into Dress Up Closet
Here’s another great way to repurpose that unneeded entertainment center. Turn it into a dress up closet for your little girl. You can paint it her favorite color and then use it to hang and store all of her dress up clothes and accessories. You could even put a full length mirror on one side so that she can admire herself when she’s dressed up and hang pegs on one end for purses and scarves.
15. Baby Crib Repurposed Into Crib Wagon
If you have little ones, not little enough to need a baby crib, then you can turn that old crib into this great crib wagon. Using the sides of the crib, you’ll create a little mobile crib that can be rolled to the park and back with plenty of room for a mattress, pillows, and even your little ones. Imagine not having to carry the kids all the way to the park. Plus, it doubles as a mobile crib so when they’re tired, they can nap away while you roll them home.
16. Repurposed Jeans Into Christmas Stockings
I love anything that has a country look and feel to it – so these jean stockings are my favorites! If you have old jeans that you just don’t plan to wear anymore, because maybe they have holes in them, then you can make them into these adorable little Christmas stockings for the kids this holiday season. This is a pretty easy project even if you have several stockings to make – and you have plenty of time to get them done before Christmas decorations go up!
17. Upcycled Old Jeans Into Play Roads
You’ve surely seen all the DIYs floating around about how to make play roads. This is another one but since it’s done with old blue jeans, the roads actually look asphalt colored. This is a really neat little project and one that won’t take you long at all – depending on how many roads you want to build, that is.
18. Upcycle Formula Cans Into A Piggy Bank
If you have empty formula cans you can turn them into these cute little piggy banks for the kids to save up their pennies – or other coins. The kids will love helping you to decorate these, too. Make it a family event and create a new piggy bank for everyone.