8 Household Items to Repurpose for Your Kids

Everyone’s always looking for ways to save money and one great way to do that is to repurpose old or unneeded household items into new items for your kids. Here are some great ideas to get you started.

  1. A spice rack makes a great bookshelf for kids’ books.

Just turn a spice rack onto its side and screw the long end into the wall. The bottom of the rack becomes the front of the bookshelf and keeps kids’ books nice and tidy and out of the way.

  1. Turn plastic lidded coffee cups into paint holders

This is a great way to extend the life of the disposable cups you get from coffee shops such as Starbucks. Be sure to clean the cup well and then squeeze your child’s paint into it. Place the lid on it and then place the paintbrush into the straw hole. When craft time is over, you can just throw it all away and start fresh the next time.

  1. Turn an old shutter into a wall display

If you’re looking to replace the old shutters on your windows with something new, resist the urge to throw them away. A better idea is to turn them into a display for your kids’ walls. Just sand them down, throw some spray paint on them, and affix it to the wall once they’re dry. Then they’re ready for your kids to decorate them any way they want. They’re perfect to place picture, art projects or anything else your kids want to display.

  1. Turn old dresser drawers into under-the-bed storage

Take the drawers out of an unused dresser. You can also pretty easily find dresser drawers at flea markets or someplace similar. If the drawer has any jagged places on it, sand it down and spray paint it an interesting color. You can line the bottom with some old maps or newspaper if you like, but it’s not necessary. Affix some castered wheels to the bottom then fill with anything you can store under the bed. It’s great for loose toys, out-of-season clothes, or books. An added benefit is that it prevents monsters from taking up residence under the bed as well!

  1. Turn a shoe holder into a car caddy

Place a shoe holder over the front seat of a car so the pockets are facing the back seat. This is a great way to store all the necessities you need for a car ride including diapers, baby wipes, sippy cups, and DVDs. Anything you place in this makeshift car caddy will be right at your fingertips whenever you need it.

  1. Refashion an old pair of jeans into play roads.

You can make these as simple or complex as you would like. All you need to do is cut some old jeans into some road-like shapes, such as straightaways and “S” curves. You can even make some crossroad intersections. Use yellow fabric paint to create lane dividers. At the most basic level, that’s it. You can hem the edges if you’re inclined, but it’s not necessary. These handmade roads travel easily and are easily stored. Further, they’re easily and inexpensively replaced when they need to be.

  1. Turn old drawers into fun shelving

Who doesn’t need more storage? This is especially true for kids. Take some old drawers; they don’t even need to be from the same dresser set, into cool shelves. The fun part about this project is that you can really do whatever you want. Take a little time to sand down the drawers to assure they’re smooth. Then paint and place them however you like. You can turn some on their sides or make place them unevenly. The decision is all yours. It’s a great way to provide some extra storage that you and your kids will both love, and on a budget.

  1. Make a travel game out of an Altoids can

It’s fairly easy to make a tic-tac-toe game out of an empty Altoids can and some different-colored magnets. It’s easy to find exact directions online with an Internet search, but it’s really just a question of adhering a printed tic-tac-toe grid into the bottom of the can.

Gabe Arnold
Author: Gabe Arnold