We have all played with and loved indoor games growing up. The small big problem with these games is that many a time, some pieces just decide to hide in the remotest corners of the toy cupboard or get mysteriously swallowed by your pet [younger sibling!], rendering the entire of the game, well, unusable! Think missing scrabble letters, monopoly cards, pieces from that Lego friends or star wars set, Jenga pieces, domino tiles. You are left with incomplete pieces and a board [sometimes] which you can’t really use! Then there are the small bits and scraps of well-used color pencils and crayons in all our homes– can’t donate them, can’t use them. 

Faced with such situations myself-multiple times over I must confess – I have collated these 9 tips on how to resurrect the caught in the middle loveable games and leftover stationery. Hope some of these pique your interest. My key criteria while curating the repurposing ideas-if I can do them, anyone can ;-)!

Scrabble tiles

Whether wood or plastic, don’t you just love the texture and font used on scrabble pieces? In the course of my research, I discovered that one can buy spare scrabble pieces by 100’s on Amazon. Well, you can definitely do that to salvage the game, but if you have already gone ahead and acquired a new scrabble game and still have few tiles to spare, you can try your hand at one of these three cool DIY ideas. 

# 1 Memory/Message Board: This is a perfect gift for that special someone- your sister, partner, parents, grandparent, bff. The visual can range from a message for the person to an actual display of groups of words or names that you share as a common binding element. Easy to put together and high on the personal touch, it’s bound to be a winner! 

diy message board gift idea using scrabble
Scrabble tiles repurposed to create wall decor memories. [Image credit: Pinterest]
# 2 Christmas ornaments: All you need is thick card paper for the base, a strong puncher, scissors, yarn or jute rope, glue gun and plenty of creativity! A great activity to do as a family, this one will be a lot of fun.  

diy scrabble christmas tree decor
Adorable handmade scrabble Christmas tree decor. [Image credit: ducktapeanddenim.com]
# 3  ‘Refash’ that table: Seriously simple, but amazingly gorgeous- without an ounce of doubt, this one is a conversation starter. An essential prerequisite to getting started is the table of course. Head over to Junkie’s Corner, 2 Turf Club Road, Singapore 287988 or Hock Siong & Co, 153 Kg Ampat, Singapore 368326 for some bargain hunts. [Looking to buy affordable preloved furniture in Singapore? Read Secondsguru’s guide here].  I am totally trying this one at home, currently scouting for scrabble tile donations! Anyone :-)?  

DIY upcycle old furniture table scrabble tiles
Give a new lease of life of an old table.[Image credit: Junk Market style]

Lego blocks

# 1 Christmas tree decor: We made trinkets for our Christmas tree a few years back and we still use them. It is a great family bonding exercise. Look up the Taylor House for some cute ideas on what to make or this link if snowflakes are your thing or just get creative on your own. With the bright colors and varied lego shapes, you and your family will create a few adorable masterpieces for keeps.  

#2 Versatile clock: This versatile clock can change faces depending on your mood for the day- literally. Keep the clock face simple and classic i.e. a plain color. Carefully dress up the face with figurines or keep it as is. You can change as you like. After all, it is lego! If you have a working clock kit from an old clock then use it, else it is easy to buy off eBay. Price ranges from SG$ 6-10. 

diy lego wall clock
Repurpose and reuse old lego pieces[Image credit: Ournerdhome]

Domino tiles

Vintage Clock: It is as simple as can be. This DIY uses a round cutting board -use an old one from home or pick one from a garage sale. You can even use a preloved cork trivet as the base. Whether you use a cork board or a wooden board, you can color up the base to brighten up the clock as here

dominos vintage clock diy
Missing pieces in that Domino game, create a wall clock out of the leftover pieces! [Image credit: sadieseasongoods]

‘Board’ from that favorite Boardgame

L shelf: A cool way to give a new lease of life to your preloved game boards and make them timeless as part of your home decor. Quirky and fun, this DIY can be done in 3 ways as has been tried by Vanessa Alvarado- pick the one that works best for you. Click here to find out how. 

board games board diy repurpose upcycle
Transform old board games into wall shelves [Image Source: Vanessa Alvarado]

Crayon leftovers

Fun shaped crayons: Don’t we all have few crayons tucked in our home somewhere rendered out of commission due to them becoming unviable to use- i.e. too small! You can now to put them to use. As long as they are not the washable crayons[ Crayola works best, to be honest], all you need is a silicone mold, crayon leftovers, and an oven! Just remove the wrapper from the crayon, lay out the crayon on the mold and bake in the oven preheated at 220 degrees till the crayons melt[About 20 mins]. Remove from oven and let it cool for about 20-30 mins. Voila! 

crayola crayons upcycle silicone tray
Create colorful crayon shapes using broken crayons [Image source: Sheknows.com]

Color pencil bits and pieces

Quirky Photoframe: Old, broken color pencil crayons, anyone? Pick up a frame in the shape of your choice and get started. [Psst: A frame with sharp edges will work better than a curved one so pick a rectangle over a circle if possible]. Keep a saw craft saw handy if you have one or just borrow from a friend. This is to cut the pencil to ‘frame’ the frame. Once the pieces are ready, use a strong glue gun and start sticking!

broken color pencil diy photo frame easy
Use the unusable color pencils- broken and too small to use- to frame your favorite photo frame! [ Source: Hilarymakes]

What Next?

By using one or more of these #diy hacks one can create something useful and prevent these items from reaching the landfill[or the incinerator as in Singapore]- thus continue living an environment-friendly lifestyle! I have my eyes set on which ones I am doing to be doing next up. If you have more ideas on such repurposing options which are easy to DIY, do write to us in the comments section below or email us on admin@secondsguru.com.

-Lara

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