Tuesday, September 27, 2011

UpCycling Toys....

I wanted to tell you guys a little bit about upcycling old toys, mostly because I need to be able to remember this process myself! I am the queen of toy hoarding, and a lot of that is because I find them at Goodwill and bring them back to life. 
 The Perks:

  • Use toys are MUCH cheaper.
  • keeping plastic out of the dump/better for the earth
  • and.... it is kind of fun.

I always have a running list of toys that I am looking for or know are cool, and so when I find them I snatch them up. Pretty much any toy company out there offers the option of buying replacement parts or stickers if you are trying to bring a toy back to life. 
For instance, Remember this Fisher Price Laugh & Learn House?
Retail is $90 and I paid $5. I did have to scrub crayon off it! But,  My boy loves this thing! It has a set of parts that come with it, and were missing from Goodwill, so I went online to Fisher Price Web parts and ordered them for $5. So total was $10. A great savings and my boy LOVES that thing.

Recently we went to The Monkey Tree House with Walker and played and the ENTIRE time we were there, Peebs played with a grocery cart and some fake food, so I made a mental note to put that on on Christmas list.
But Yesterday I found one in Goodwill for $6! (Retail $30-35) .. So we scooped that bad boy up! It was pretty dirty those so I did an intense cleaning on it and let it dry overnight.
Before and After pic:

and because I am nerd about making the toys look their best, I went online to google images and found the Little Tikes logo, resized it, printed it and modge- podged it on.

Not Bad ehh?

So if you are interested in doing a little toy restoration of your own, I leave you with these tips:

1.) Don't be discouraged about buying a toy that is missing parts or has the stickers ripped off or faded. Almost all major toy companies sell extra or replacement parts online:

Buying Replacement Parts : 

2.) Don't let the dirt scare ya. It comes off! Below are some easy cleaning tips for toys to sanitize them and clean off any dust and grime from being kept outside:

Clorox Wipes are great for just wiping down any hard toys
Lysol Fabric Spray can also be good for anything soft surfaced. I use a cycle on my washing machine called " sanitizing" which uses really hot water and that works wonders for any stuffed animal type thing or fabric books.

3.) Get Creative. They make all kinds of plastics paints these days. My favorite brand is Rustoleum, but others have had good results with Krylon. 
You might remember the Peebs Mobile? You find old Kiddie cars on Craigslist easily and bring them back to life!

This lady did a great job with the coupe and has an EXCELLENT tutorial on her blog. Click that link if you wanna Pin it or read up.

and here is another awesome make over of the Cozy Coupe.  Head over to her blog to see more pics , as it was a Michigan inspired makeover! Also she has triplets so @2to5 and @lifeofmegan might wanna check out her blog!

4.) Upholstry. I am still working on this one. I found a Pottery Barn Kids chair for $7 recently at a consignment sale and I need to figure out how to clean it since it is too big to fit into my washing machine. Anybody have any tips for that?

I did a rough talley this week of all the toys and stuff in my playroom to see how much I have spent and it was just over $200! Which is hard to believe because there is SO much stuff in here! HA but that is a pretty thrifty playroom.


Cheryl E. said...

Great tips thanks girl.

Loving that shopping cart :)

Cory Holder said...

I love love love the Peebs mobile...especially because of the license plate. Nice touch! :)

grizaham said...

Its cool if you want to upcycle me.. Won't hurt my feelings! ;-0

Laura @ My Thoughts-Uninterrupted said...

These are great ideas!!! I need to do stuff like this. I've been lazy and haven't made it to any consignment shops, but Ethan would have a ton of more toys if I did.

AndreaLeigh said...

great tips! you are the queen of thrifty shopping!

what about a steamer for the chair?

The Masters said...

great post Laura! This is my obsession and favorite thing to find and buy cheap! Even being the shopper that I am, I do not pay full price for toys! There is no reason too. My favorite recent find was a radio flyer classic wooden speedy trike I found never used for $6! Retails for like $40. Love peebs upcycled car! We have the little tykes version and love it. It still needs a paint job!

Molly said...

Great tips, I also love thrifting for toys, so much more economical! Thanks for featuring my Little Tikes car makeover :)

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