When you have kids, you will inevitably obtain more stuff—more toys, more clothes, more books, more gadgets, more furniture, and more of almost everything. Usually, when we obtain so much stuff, we have no logical place to keep it all, so it ends up in the attic, the basement, the backyard, or wherever it finds its own place. Many times, kids’ products don’t last very long because they aren’t well made and they are disposable. Of course, as kids grow older they outgrow some of their old furniture and toys, but you don’t have to always throw them out. Here are 8 adorable ways to reuse old furniture to create products that are useful to your kids and of higher value in your household.

1. Turn an old binder, photo album, or book into an art case.

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Perhaps you have a flair for art or your kid is a budding artist. This project is both fun, inexpensive, and will make a portable art studio out of a simple old book or binder. Parents can get their children to help them design the two covers and possibly the inside. Afterward, parents and children can decide together on what to include in the art case. You will need several supplies before you get started, including felt, purse handles, scrap chipboard, and a sewing machine. Many thanks to the folks at Consumer Crafts for providing instructions for this idea.

2. Turn those old tires into a sandbox for your kids.

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It’s the beach away from the beach—kind of. If you have kids who like to play in the sand and who keep their toys in a place outside and away from other things, then this project might be the one for you. With summer approaching and school days done, let your kids help you transform an old tire into a colorful sandbox. Some of the supplies needed include, of course, the tire, as well as plywood, paint, and a handy saw. Thank you to Jamielyn at I Heart Naptime for this creative and summer-full project. Click on over to get the instructions.

3. Turn a spice rack into a paint organizer.

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You know those spice racks you see in flea markets, yard sales, and thrift markets? Well, you can take the old one in your attic and turn it into an organizer for all your different paints. You can also use it for nuts and bolts, little things like thumbtacks, and glitter. With only a few tools and leftover supplies, you can get your children to assist you in making a colorfully creative organizer for all your paints and brushes. Meredith at The Palette Muse offers instructions and step-by-step photos to complete this project.

4. Make this goofy teeter-totter (or tire-totter).

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When you combine an old tire, a log of cedar, and some paint, you get a pretty cool playtime item. This is a great project the whole family can get involved in. From grabbing a tire, choosing the paint, and having lots of laughs making the optional smiley face, you can make it a paint party with your family or let the neighbor kids join in. MyFixItUpLife.com offers instructions on how to turn this into an awesome family project.

5. Turn an old shelf into a DIY costume closet.

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Your kids have outgrown their little bookshelves and you need some way to turn it into something usable. What do you do? Well, make it a closet for costume clothing, or if they’re just beginning to dress themselves, put some of their real clothes in there so they can easily reach them. You can use leftover paint, wrapping paper, and spray glue to bring this project to life. Let your kids be creative with the walls and the outside final look. Jennifer Flores at Rambling Renovators has some tips and a host of pictures.

6. Turn a men’s dress shirt into a beautiful children’s dress.

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With a bit of sewing skills, eye for design, and patience, you can take a men’s old dress shirt and transform it into a beautiful dress. Dresses that are selling for high markup prices in name-brand stores can be made exactly the same way and with the same material by your own hands with a little effort. Shwin and Shwin offer the perfect tutorial for making little girl dresses into a masterful, wearable work of art.

7. Turn crates into bookshelves.

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So your kids have lots of books but always have them spread around their bedroom, and you want to know how to keep them put away? Look no further than this project. Turning old wooden crates into bold colorful bookshelves can be the ultimate summer project. Head to JoAnns or Home Depot and pick up some wooden crates, grab a bucket of paint, and let your kids help you match the crate colors to the colors in their room. Amber at Crazy Little Projects offers the tutorial.

8. Turn a plain table into a train table.

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If you have an old coffee table or card table that you want to put to good use, this is the perfect project. Turn it into a train depot like the example above, a neighborhood, a fashion station, a school, or whatever your kids are interested in. DaNita at Delightful Order has some quick tips for doing this and wonderful pictures to go along. If you do this as a surprise for one of your kids, the look on his or her face will be pure joy.

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory / StokPic via stokpic.com

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