Even if you live sustainably and believe in less consumption, chances are that you'll have a lot of baby items lying around uselessly by the time your baby outgrows them. The truth is that most babies outgrow their stuff quite rapidly in the first few months and years of their life!
From baby essentials to aesthetic gifts given by near and dear ones, your house must be full of baby items that are too small for your toddler and no longer able to serve their intended use.
Now that your baby has outgrown their clothes, shoes, and toys, you might be wondering what to do with them all.
So, how do you repurpose baby items? Don't fear, we'll tell you what to do with your old baby gear!
Here are ten great ideas to get you started with your baby item transformations.
10 Ways to Transform Your Baby's Outgrown Things
Instead of throwing away outgrown baby items (such as old baby clothes, burp cloths, and diaper boxes) and contributing to the massive amounts of waste already present in landfills, repurpose and upcycle these items to give them a new breath of life!
Remember, you can also donate these items — if they are clean, functional, and in good condition — to friends, family, local charities, and thrift stores. However, if you would like to try your hand at upcycling and be creative, then read on!
1. Turn Outgrown Baby Clothes and Burp Cloths into Cleaning Rags
Turn old baby clothes and burp cloths into rags — it's as simple as that. You can use the cleaning rags to dust, mop, clean up spills, and more.
To repurpose your baby's clothes into cleaning rags, simply cut the clothing into strips or small squares. If you want, you can also sew the edges to prevent them from fraying. Once you're done, wash the rags and put them to use.
If you're too sentimental to convert your baby clothes into cleaning rags, the next repurposing tip will definitely be up your alley!
2. Turn Old Clothes, Baby Blankets, and Bibs Into A Throw or Quilt
If you have a lot of clothes, baby blankets, and bibs that your kid doesn't use or wear anymore, repurpose them into a comfy throw or quilt!
This repurposing method is the perfect way to keep the baby items close by, so you can remember the special moments associated with each one.
You can even gift this throw or quilt as a keepsake to loved ones. We're sure your child's grandparents would love to have a handmade quilt comprising of their grandchild's baby stuff!
In fact, your toddler can also use this throw or quilt and you can tell them stories about the items it is made up of.
To make a quilt from old clothes, baby blankets, and bibs, start by washing and drying all of the items. Next, cut the fabric into squares or strips. Once you have a decent amount of fabric, begin sewing the pieces together. You can either hand-sew or use a sewing machine.
You can also sew cloth baby cloth shoes in the shape of a flower or a bunny after the throw/quit is completed as an extra lovely addition to the whole thing.
If you're not into sewing, another option is to tie the squares or strips together with knots. This repurposing method is called “tied quilts” and results in a beautiful, one-of-a-kind quilt.
3. Transform Baby Socks into Sock Puppets
This is a repurposing project that both you and your kid will enjoy. You can transform baby socks into adorable sock puppets!
To create a sock puppet, simply put some stuffing into an old baby sock (you can repurpose other old and worn-out clothes here) and tie it off. Then, decorate the sock puppet however you want. You can use fabric markers, buttons, felt, yarn, googly eyes, and more. This is also a good way to repurpose those single socks that have lost their mate.
You can also take two baby socks and attach them to bigger socks to make the ears of bunnies!
Clearly, making sock puppets is a fun and educational activity to do with your child. You can create interesting characters (from animals to cartoon characters to historical figures) with the puppets and teach your kid about the world. We guarantee that your little one will love playing with and learning from their new sock puppets.
If you are interested in finding out about how to make DIY toys for kids, check out this article.
4. Use Empty Diaper Boxes as Toy Storage Boxes
Now that your toddler is potty trained and no longer in need of diapers, you must be wondering what to do with all the old diaper boxes. Well, here's your solution!
Empty diaper boxes can be repurposed into toy storage boxes for your toddler. All you have to do is remove the plastic lining from the inside of the boxes and decorate the outside according to your liking.
Your toddler will love having their very own toy boxes, and you'll love that they are upcycled and cost-effective! From Legos to stuffed toys, these boxes will have space for everything your child plays with.
To decorate the toy boxes, your toddler can paint them, color them, or glue on some of their old toys or pictures. Let them get creative and have fun!
Additionally, you can even turn the boxes into toy cars or airplanes, which your kid can sit in occassionally to pretend-play!
5. Turn Baby Formula Cans into Pen Stands, Storage Containers, and Candles
You can repurpose those old and empty baby formula cans and turn them into handy pen stands, storage containers, and candles!
To repurpose the formula cans into pen stands or storage containers, remove the labels and wash them out thoroughly. Once they are dry, you can use them to store a number of things, such as office supplies, art supplies, hair and makeup brushes, wires, kitchen cutlery etc.
To turn the formula cans into candles, remove the labels and wash them out thoroughly. Next, fill the cans with wax (you can use old candles for this) and add a wick. If you want to be more crafty, put some liquid candle dye in there! Once the wax is set, you'll have beautiful homemade candles.
6. Turn Baby Food Jars into Storage Containers
Similar to how we transformed baby formula cans into storage containers, you can turn baby food jars into storage jars!
Clean the baby food jars thoroughly and remove the labels. Now, you can store whatever you want in them. Hair ties, Q-Tips, buttons, earrings, rings, Legos, nails....the list is endless.
You can also store food items in them, such as salt, sugar, nuts, seeds, sprinkles, spices, lentils, and salad dressings. You know the jars are going to keep the contents fresh and protected!
If you want another use for baby food jars, check out the next upcycling tip!
7. Transform Baby Food Jars into Plant Holders
Have a green thumb? You'll love this idea, then. Baby food jars can be repurposed into plant holders!
To do this, clean the baby food jars thoroughly and remove the labels. Once they are dry, fill them with soil and add your favorite plant or succulent. You can even decorate the outside of the jars with paint or washi tape.
This is a great repurposing project to do with your toddler, as they will love having their own plants to take care of. Plus, it's a great way to teach them about upcycling and being eco-friendly!
8. Use an Old Baby Swing as a Planter
If you have an old baby swing that your child has outgrown, repurpose it into a planter. To do this, simply remove the seat from the swing and replace it with a plant pot. You can then hang your new planter from a tree or your front porch.
This is a great way to add some greenery to your outdoor space and upcycle an old baby swing at the same time.
9. Use an Old Crib Mattress as a Playmat
That's right, you can make a playmat for kids from an old crib mattress. An old crib mattress can be repurposed into a comfortable and safe playmat for your child to enjoy.
All you need to do is cover the mattress with a few layers of soft material, such as blankets or towels (you can repurpose your baby's old blankets, towels, and clothes here as well). You can then use double-sided tape to attach the playmat to the floor. This repurposing idea is perfect for small homes or apartments where space is limited.
In fact, this playmat can also be used for puppies, kittens, or other small pets!
10. Turn Baby Bottles into Paint Bottles
“How do I upcycle baby bottles?” is a question every eco-friendly has grappled with. And we’ve got a solution for you! Turn baby bottles into paint bottles!
In particular, this is a great repurposing project for those who are creative and enjoy painting. Plus, turning baby bottles into paint bottles is a clever way to ensure that your kids don't make too much of a mess when their inner artist decides to come out!
So, to turn baby bottles into paint bottles, start by removing the labels and washing them out thoroughly. Once they are dry, fill them with child-friendly paint (acrylic paint works well) and screw on the lid. If you want, you can water down the paints so that they come out more easily from the bottles.
Your toddler can then use the paint bottles and have fun exploring the world of colors. The best part is that these paint bottles can be used over and over again. However, remember that adult supervision is always necessary when kids are playing.
Repurposing Is The Way To Go
So there you have it, ten creative ways to repurpose and upcycle your baby's old and outgrown things.
Before you throw away or donate your child's old things, see if there's a way you can repurpose them into something new and useful. You may be surprised at how many uses there are for old baby gears. You can always check out diverse and creative mom blogs, Pinterest boards, and YouTube tutorials to get more repurposing and upcycling inspiration!
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