10 Toys You Can DIY for Half the Cost of the Store Versions

diy toy car

If you've dared set foot in a toy store lately with your little tykes, you're painfully aware of all the toys they're DYING to have. The problem? Toys can cost a pretty penny, and more often than not, it's the most expensive ones that are abandoned after 10 minutes.

And the fact is, many toys are pretty basic ... and they can be made out of a few household items you have lying around your home for a whole lot less. The next time your child is dying for a costly toy, consider these easy homemade alternatives instead.

Toys you can DIY

Can you guess what #8 is made out of?


Image via amakerguy/Instructables

  • Homemade Hobby Horse


    Image via Attempting Aloha

    Can you believe that this gorgeous homemade hobby horse is made out of a sock, wooden dowel and a feather boa? Throw in some yarn, googly eyes, and other minor items and it won't be long before your horse lover is riding off into the sunset.

  • Activity Board


    Who needs those chintzy plastic activity boards when you could have a quality wood one instead? This project calls for a wooden board and some screws to securely attach a few items to spark a toddler's curiosity: danging chains, numbers, scraps of carpet, the sky's the limit!

  • Stove


    Image via And Next Comes L

    If you hate how kids' kitchen sets cost a bundle and hog tons of space, you'll love this homemade kitchen stove that costs less than $10 to make. The key is you paint the stovetops on a large rectangular plastic container, where you stash the utensils.

  • Spoon Dolls


    These cute homemade dolls are made out of wooden spoons, felt, and a few other items you probably have lying around your home. So easy to make and refreshingly simple compared to the gaudy options in stores.

    More from The Stir: 5 Homemade Toys That Make Awesome Gifts

  • Doll House


    Image via Handmade Charlotte

    Doll houses can be yet another huge splurge of money. Only why bother when you can create a homemade doll house out of cardboard boxes in your own home? Add some wallpaper and cardboard furniture and your kids can "renovate" as they see fit. With some clever cutting it can even store flat -- a bonus if you've got limited space.

  • Sock Monkey


    Image via Craft Passion

    Who needs to buy stuffed animals when you can create an adorable homemade sock monkey out of a pair of socks? The site Craft Passion  includes instructions and the sewing pattern, which you can download for free.

  • Toy Car


    Image via amakerguy/Instructables

    If you've got Altoids tins lying around (and who doesn't?), we can't imagine a better upcycle than this homemade toy car. You'll just need a Lego figurine and wheels to finish it off.

    More from The Stir: 10 Popular Parenting Hacks Moms Should Avoid

  • Homemade Roads


    Image via lil Mop Top

    Toy cars need roads, of course, and you'll never guess what these homemade roads are  made of: an old pair of jeans! No sewing required, and unlike most store-bought streets, these roll up to store small, and can be easily carried to the sitter's or Grandma's house.