From Trash to Toys: 6 Creative Repurposing Projects

Question: How can you help reduce the load on our country’s landfills while providing your children (or grandchildren) with toys that are fun, sturdy, and stimulating to their sense of creativity? Answer: Use your painting and carpentry skills to repurpose usable items that might otherwise have been thrown in the trash, just as these 6 crafty Hometalk posters did.

Plain Pine Bookcase Turned into Pretend Grocery Shop

Carrie MakingLemonade via HometalkPainted up and backed with snazzy fabric, this pretend grocery shop has plenty of kid appeal. Carrie of Making Lemonade originally bought a plain pine bookcase to use for toy storage, but it seems to have found its true calling as a make-believe store. The perfect plaything to keep youngsters happily occupied indoors on a snowy or rainy day.

Wood Nightstand Upcycled as Delightfully Detailed Kitchen


A plastic play stove was my favorite toy as a girl, and years later, my young sons followed in my footsteps. All of us would have cooked up a storm with this sturdy toy unit, complete with the kitchen Big Three — stove, sink, and refrigerator. Bliss R of Bliss-Ranch crafted this impressive piece out of a discarded nightstand. Note the incredible detail, from the real oven knobs and sink faucet to the frilled cloth curtain hung at the “window.”

Old Breadbox Magicked into a Fairytale Gingerbread House


Straight out of a fairytale comes this gorgeous gingerbread cottage. Quite simply the most uniquely magical dollhouse we’ve ever seen! Suzan of Simply Vintageous transformed a musty, cobwebby vintage breadbox into a thing of beauty with paint, scrap wood moldings, stickers, “real” diamonds … and a remarkably vivid imagination.

Fallen Branch Revived as Teeny Tiny Treehouse


When life gives you deadwood, make a teeny tiny treehouse. Just about any child (and child-at-heart) who enjoys dollhouses will love this enchanting miniature. Alex of Northstory revived a fallen branch as a plaything, with the help of a couple of dollar store breadboards and decorative knick-knacks. The Canadian flag and bouncing moose proclaim it as a patriotic Canada Day project.

Abandoned Vanity Transformed into Organized Art Station

Ever wanted an organized corner for your offspring to do their artwork? Then you — and they — will fall head over heels for this attractive yet functional art station. Hard to believe that it began life as a vanity table. Even harder to believe that Mom4Real found it by the side of the road, took it home, and transformed it into the perfect spot for budding artists to do their thing.

And Now … The Ideal Place to Store Smaller Toys

My Repurposed Lifel/hometalk
Here’s a pretty wooden bench for a child’s room that is also very practical. Flip up the seat and you’ve got a handy space to store small toys. But the best part of this toy story is the fact that Gail of My Repurposed Life built the storage bench out of an old family crib — what a fantastic way to keep a treasured family heirloom on active duty for generations to come.

Laura Firszt writes for


Magdalena J.
Past Member 3 years ago

Thank you!

Sen Senz
Sayenne H3 years ago

Really fun ideas. Thanks!

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Jim Ven
Jim Ven3 years ago

thanks for the article.

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill3 years ago

LOVE these ideas!

Sarah Crockett
Sarah Crockett4 years ago


feather w.
Feather W4 years ago

simple and creative ideas....beautiful..

william Miller
william Miller4 years ago


Paulinha Russell
Paulinha Russell4 years ago


Magdalena J.
Past Member 4 years ago

Thank you!