• Dana Sorge

DIY Recycled Toys: Flip Your Recyclables into Fun

Updated: Mar 20

Your children can outgrow their toys just as quickly as they outgrow their clothes. Why even bother buying something new? Literally, never worth it. As aspiring supermoms, we are always on the prowl to find fun, creative, sustainable ways to flex our children’s imagination. There's no better way than by making toys out of the trash and upcyling our recyclables into crafts— and lord knows we have our fair share of it around the house these days. Nothing like endless time spent at home to remind us of just how much plastic and cardboard waste we produce on a daily basis, so let's turn that trash into toys. Our toddlers will thank us for the fun indoor activity, and so will the planet.


It's only trash if we trash it.

You know?


DIY Jetpack

While browsing sustainable fashion pioneer Stella McCartney's latest lineup, we came across this action-shot from the archives and wow has it lead to some major upcyling inspo! All you need here is some corrugated cardboard or paper towel rolls, string, and fabric or tissue paper for "flame" streamers. Extra points if you have caution tape laying around the house (but why??) or paint your own. Bundle all together with string or tape and BOOM, you're off!

DIY jetpack, inspired by Stella McCartney Kids AW'15 Campaign. Photo Credit: Stella McCartney



Cardboard Train and Racecars

Turn those delivery boxes into a bananas good time. Gather your recycled cardboard boxes to create a cardboard train for you children to play in! All you need is your cardboard, tape, and some paint and stickers to decorate. This easy project will make everyone feel great - and exhausted for nap time. For a shorter fix, try cars. Your toddler can paint or draw on them for some extra decor!


Carboard cars! Photo credit: Petitepartystudio.com



10-Minute Sew-Free Sock Puppets

You know that pile of socks that lost its other half, just sitting in your laundry room waiting to be reunited? (It will never happen! Oh, unrequited love...) So let's put those single socks to good use and keep them from becoming textile waste. This post offers an easy and fun tutorial for turning those single socks into simple puppets, no sewing required.


Sew-Free sock puppets from takincareofmonkeybusiness.com



Kaleidoscopes for Kids

If you can get your hands on the precious cargo that is toilet paper, you are the lucky ones. Finished toilet paper and paper towel rolls can be crafted into DIY kaleidoscopes. Creating the kaleidoscope view hole can easily be done with tape, or even the beads you have left over from some previous upcycling you did!


DIY kaleidoscopes. Photo credit: babbledabbledo.com



Bedazzled Water Bottle Crowns

Founder Haley Lieberman knows a thing or two about costume design. Incorporate your inner designer into dress up time by creating matching water bottle crowns for you and your princess!

Jeweled water bottle crown, tied to perfection with a ribbon. Photo credit: Sibylle Roessler.


Lastly, moms and dads, just have fun with this. There's no rulebook to follow, and the entire purpose of recycling trash into toys into let your imagination run free. Household stuff + tape/glue gun/string + paint/ribbon/paper/magazines = Awe-inspired amazing.


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