Beanie Babies may have lost value as a collectible but they do make nice art. It helps that you can pick up a dozen of them for a quarter these days. I find them in the thrift shop and second hand toy stores. At times they are overstocked and bagged up, 25 cents for the lot of them.
So, what can you do with a lot of Beanie Babies taking up space in your closet, under your bed, or trapped in the attic?
Have some fun with Beanie Baby rogue taxidermy. Take apart the Beanie Babies and recreate them as different, unique creatures. What a unicorn body looks like with the head of… a lion, a mouse, or a teddy bear and leave it at that. Or, you can turn them into morbid, weird and grotesque creations. Give them four different limbs and half the body of something with wings and the head of something else.
Remake them as something a little practical. Pluck all the stitches out, remove the stuffing then attach all the flat bodies together as a piece of fabric. Create Beanie Baby blankets, pillow cases, purses and hats. Anything you could make from fabric can be made with Beanie Baby pelts. You may decide to stitch the pelts to a fabric backing rather than trying to work at fitting them all together like a jigsaw puzzle.
You can turn individual Beanie Babies into change purses, any sort of small container (even something to hold water if you work out the right liner). Leave the head, arms and legs attached or take them off and sew the holes shut – either way you can have a colourful small purse. Just attach something to work as a strap. (A lot of Beanie Baby arms and legs could be sewn into a long strap if you can get over the mangling factor).
There are options if you don’t want to unstuff them. Think upholstery. Martha Stewart has made a chair out of upcycled Beanie Babies.
Turn your Beanie Babies into a seasonal wreath decoration. Add some extras like cotton for white beards, little Christmas hats and other bits you can get at craft stores then sew the decorated Beanie Babies to a big metal ring, add lights, some fake pine boughs, etc. Use darker coloured Beanie Babies and add decorations like skulls, witch hats, gravestones to make a Halloween wreath for your front door or a big window. Pick all the red and pink Beanie Babies, add some hearts you can cut out from coloured paper or find cheap at the thrift store and you have a Valentine wreath.
Need to make some extra money? Host a street fair and run games with your Beanie Babies as small prizes. Simple kid games like Pull-the-String are a great way to make a few dollars and give yourself some extra space once the Beanie Babies are gone.
Of course, you can also give them away to children still young enough to enjoy stuffed animals. Take a look at SAFE, Stuffed Animals for Emergencies as another way to donate them. They also work well for people with pets.
Let me know if you find a great way to recycle Beanie Babies.
If you have read (or watched) The Hunger Games, you will enjoy The Beanie Baby Hunger Games.