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Today the Damsel welcomes guest poster Sarah Brooks.

How to Make Good Use of Broken Toys

The definition and perception of what makes a good toy has changed over the years. While we might agree that toys are meant to be played with, there are still countless ways to interpret what makes a toy, a toy. Is a video game a toy? It serves the same function as a Matchbox car does, but with an assist from technology. How about a doll? Girls and boys play with them, but they also sometimes sit on shelves, not meant to be played with, at all. Is a game a toy? The answer to all is “Yes.”

If playing with something is what makes it a toy, there are bound to be toy casualties along the way. Games with missing pieces, action figures with severed limbs, and vehicles missing wheels each find their way on to the landscape of broken toys; prompting parents to seek creative ways to renew them.

“Waste not, want not” resonates with people of past generations, uninspired by the throw-away culture that dominates the modern toy market. Frugality, fun and green consciousness that stimulates creative re-use moves crafty folks to breathe new life into broken-down items.What are some imaginative ways to make use of broken toys?


Image by Distant Hill Gardens via Flickr

Fix It

Toys aren’t always made to last, so fixing broken items isn’t always worth the time and effort. On the other hand, some toys are made with repairs in mind; especially vintage models which lend themselves to servicing. If you are attached to a broken toy, there is no harm in exploring repair options before giving up on keeping it functioning. In the case of desirable or collectible toys, you may actually add to a toy’s value by bringing it up to snuff.

Craft Projects

Toys, including board games and others with small parts, lend themselves to craft projects of various types. With a hot glue gun and some colorful spray paint, the sky is the limit for repurposing broken toys.

Mosaic projects are popular craft efforts aimed at broken toy pieces. Flat and relief mosaics capture appealing visual sensations, but they also reference the pop culture of the pieces used to make them. Retiring an old Monopoly game to the craft bin, for example, yields numerous fun ways to share the campy game’s imagery, for artistic affect.

Holiday cards or Christmas Tree ornaments utilize broken toys, inspiring home-made seasonal crafts. Not only are the items you make worthy of giving as gifts, but the time spent making them with family members furnishes fond holiday memories. Even wreaths are easily crafted using themes provided by whatever toy parts are at-hand.

Jewelry Making

Colorful brooches and other pieces of jewelry are whimsically inspired by broken toys. Attaching pins or earring hangers to small toy pieces creates wearable conversation pieces, which conjure memories of playing with the toys you now wear as accessories.


Image by brizzle born and bred via Flickr

Household Items

Repurposing toy parts within your home serves functional needs; keeping broken toys out of the landfill at the same time. Common everyday household items, like mirrors, for example, are easily adorned with decorative toy accents. Creating a mirror frame of little toy soldiers makes a great wall piece for a little boy’s bedroom, while a Barbie themed mirror as at home with young ladies. Or use Barbie’s broken legs to make a tongue-in-cheek coat hook for the back of daughter’s door.

There are virtually no limitations repurposing broken toys into fun and functional items. Not only is it relaxing and rewarding, but it brings together family members who share the experience.

Author Bio:

This is a guest post by Sarah Brooks from Freepeoplesearch.org. She is a Houston based freelance writer and blogger. Questions and comments can be sent to brooks.sarah23 @ gmail.com.

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