What to do with old stuffed animals – Stuffed animals are toys that are loved by so many. People get many of them as gifts during the holidays or as a birthday present.
Stuffed animals come in many forms, sizes, and colors, but if you have dozens or more taking up room in your home because you have no use for them. Then, you have nothing to worry about – the good news is that you can get rid of them with both crafty and non-crafty methods.
Once stuffed animals get old, the first thought that comes into our mind is throwing them away.
Good for you if you care about the environment and don’t want to toss your stuffed animals in the trash. Although you may be at a loss for ideas of what you may do with these toys, there are some intriguing alternatives.
This was why we desired to write the article – what to do with old stuffed animals.
In this article, we will be listing and explaining some of the things you can do with old stuffed animals.
Before we go into what you can do with old stuffed animals, let us look at what it is, just for those that may not know what a stuffed animal is.
What Are Old Stuffed Animals?
A stuffed toy/animal is a toy doll having a textile exterior cloth and flexible material packed inside.
Plush toys, stuffed animals, or stuffies are some of the various names given to them. In the United Kingdom and Australia, we know them as soft toys or cuddly toys.
The stuffed toy was invented by the German toy businessman Steiff in the late 1800s, it became popular after the introduction of the “Teddy” bear in the United States in 1903, at the same time as German toy manufacturer Richard Steiff produced a similar bear.
Ty Warner created Beanie Babies in the 1990s, a line of teddy animals containing plastic pellets that became famous collectibles.
To know more about what a stuffed animal is and how it was originated, read about it here.
What to Do with Old Stuffed Animals You Don’t Want
In this section, we will be discussing some of the things you can do with old stuffed animals. You will know if it is safe to keep old stuffed animals, repurpose stuffed animals, and where to donate stuffed animals, etc.
Make a Donation to A Thrift Store or A Non-Profit Organization
Op shops or non-profits are a go-to place for what to do with your old stuffed animals, just like they are for cleaning out our closets.
But there are a few things to think about before you donate.
- Check with your preferred op shop/non-profit to see if they accept stuffed animals.
- Find out what they consider to be an “acceptable condition.” Endeavor to follow the rules and inspect your clothing for split seams, loose eyes, and other flaws.
- Of course, wash them!
Donate to The Red Cross or A Hospital
Teddy bears according to scientific studies provide “psychological comfort and emotional security.” As a result, they may be items for children who have experienced a traumatic event.
It comes in handy for children in emergency services or hospitals. Check with your local police station, fire station, or the pediatric wing of your hospital to see if they accept stuffed animal donations.
Make a Donation to a Pet Shelter
Stuffed animals are popular among adults as well as children. Our furry friends, especially those who are lonely, could benefit from them as well.
Why not contact your local animal shelter and see if they’d appreciate some stuffed animals?
If you’re concerned that parting with cuddly toys will be difficult for your children, this is the best option on the list for you. Many children would be delighted to discover that they are assisting some lonely animals in their search for companionship.
Make a Swap with a Family Member or a Friend
What is old in your family is new in someone else’s! If your children are still young enough to love stuffed animals and other toys, swapping a few of them with another teen might be a pleasant decision.
While it won’t lessen the number of toys in your house, it will help you get unused or forgotten toys out of the way and make room for new ones (without paying for them).
Organize A Garage Sale
If your house has many collections of stuffed animals, a garage sale might be in order. It’s a good approach to ensure that your belongings don’t end in a landfill. You can also involve the kids in deciding what they want to sell, how much they want to sell it for, and how to display their products for sale.
Now, the five options we just discussed are excellent ways to get rid of stuffed animals from your home, but what if you have a youngster that refuses to give up their stuffed animals?
We’ve put together three fantastic repurposing ideas to ensure that your child’s stuffed animals stay in the house but are put to new uses.
Make a Teddy Bear Backpack
The prettiest backpacks are those with plush animals. Why purchase your child an animal-shaped backpack when you can recycle one of their favorite toys?
How to do it:
- You’ll want to choose a stuffed animal that isn’t too big for your child.
- If it’s a teddy bear, you will rip it apart, remove the stuffing and stitch a zip down its chest and belly.
- You will need to sew the arms and legs on the inside to keep the filling off these in place.
- Sew an inside pouch for the backpack.
- To make it feel more like a backpack, add webbing straps.
Make Your Dog a Cuddle Buddy
If there’s one thing that children adore more than their plush animals, it’s their dog! Ask your child whether they would be willing to give one (or more) of their plush animals to build a cuddle companion for their favorite furry friend.
How to go about it:
- With a quick-unpick, open the stuffed animal’s main seam.
- Take out all the stuffing (this can be hazardous if dogs eat it).
- Re-stitch the seam if necessary.
- Remove any tags or eyes from the plush animal that could cause choking, and sew up any holes that these leave.
- Your child can now give a treasured toy to their best friend.
Make a Bookend or A Doorstop
Depending on your desire, you can make a plush animal into a functional doorstop or a bookend using these procedures.
How to go about it:
- To guarantee that your plush animal stays upright, choose one with a firm base.
- Open a seam at the bottom of the stuffed animal using a quick-unpick.
- Remove part of the filling from the stuffed animal’s bottom (not all of it).
- To replace the filling, you removed, choose a hefty filler. Ceramic baking beads are ideal. You can use rice, provided the doorstop will not get exposed to moisture.
- Re-sew the seam.
- If you intend to use them as bookends instead of a doorstop, repeat the process on a second plush animal.
Other Places Where to Donate Stuffed Animals During Covid
If you want to donate them, there are a few groups that take old stuffed animals as part of their work:
- Big Brothers/Big Sisters
- Catholic Charities
- Habitat for Humanity
- Loving Hugs
- St. Vincent de Paul
- The Humane Society
- The Ronald McDonald House
- The Salvation Army
- Toys for Tots
- Vietnam Veterans Association
If you’d support a local charity, look into local churches, preschools, and any other group that resells products and distributes the proceeds to charity, such as Goodwill. Fortunately, finding these groups does not require much effort because, sadly, the need for assistance is constantly present.
Stuffed animals do get preserved for years or even decades, but if you decide to do something different with them so that they don’t overrun your home, do whatever you want with them.
Conclusion on What to Do with Old Stuffed Animals
When you think about it, there are loads of things you can do with old stuffed animals, the majority of which revolve around either repurposing them or donating them so that other children can enjoy them.
We hope that we have given you some ideas on what to do with old stuffed animals.