Living lego table

Published on May 14th, 2012 | by Ann Smarty

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LEGO Upcycling Ideas: What to Do with those Extra LEGO Bricks

I don’t know what it is about LEGO bricks, but it is impossible to get rid of them. I have told myself a dozen times in my adult years that I was going to donate them, sell them, even throw them out after occasionally stepping one hidden in the carpet. But I always held back, saying I should keep them for my kids or just for nostalgia’s sake.

The truth is that I just love the things too much. Even as a grown up, I look at them with the same wide eyed excitement I did when I got my first set at six-years-old. And why shouldn’t I? They are fun, creative and require rational thought and problem solving. Plus, you can make a spaceship!

But that doesn’t help you when you just have too many sitting around. Which is a problem many of us have, with hundreds or even thousands of the things in bins, boxes and sets.

If you are a recovering LEGO junkie and want some ideas of how to upcycle them into cool ideas for the home, here you are. Ten ways that you can make adult items out of those old blocks.

1. Greenhouse

Lego Greenhouse

One of the more fascinating projects I have seen, Sebastian Bergne used 100,000 LEGO bricks to create a fully functional greenhouse for the London Design Festival last year. While it would be quite an undertaking to make your own, a smaller version is perfectly possible for the growing of individual plants.

2. Furniture

Lego Furniture

You could always make an entire house full of furniture using LEGO. I really like the look of this table, and I am considering creating one for my children. It would go well in their room, and they would have a fun time helping me to make it. Of course, other items not shown here could be made. For example, toy chests, chairs, foot stools…who knows what you could come up with?

3. Lamp

Lego Lamp

This is an actual kit you buy, which is beside the point if you are trying to upcycle LEGO bricks. But it can give you some good inspiration. If you have an old lap that has no shade or you just don’t like, you can repurpose it as the base of a Lego version. Or you can use any electrical light source for the center. At the very least, this should offer some ideas.

4. Notebooks

Lego Notebooks

These are so cool, and I never would have even considered the idea before finding the link. Large, square bricks have become the waterproof covers of little, spiral bound notebooks. It wouldn’t be that hard to do with yourself, a small blowtorch easily burning the holes. Unless you have the right kind of plastic punch tool, which you may have on hand for those who are more serious crafters. What I love is that these can be reused, filled with more paper as needed.

5. LEGO Photo Frame

LEGO Photo Frame

I am always up for a way to spice up the usual photo frame designs. This is a cute and really simple idea. With some help, it could be a fun project for kids. Just a glue gun and a few bricks would be enough. You could either paste them a premade frame, or just some cardboard if you want to make your own entirely. These ones seem to have a basic plastic backing that allows the photo to be slid into the slit.

6. Raspberry Pi Case

Raspberry Pi Case

This is a case made for a specific piece of hardware, for an educational program called Raspberry Pi. But the idea for the case is really cool, and would work for any electronic depending the size you create. For example, you could make one to hold your tablet and music player, offering some protection for them. Or your phone, or even just cards or anything else you could think of. It s definitely a multi-use case.

7. iPhone Stand

iPhone Stand

I have seen a lot of LEGO iPhone cases over the years and I am usually not that impressed. But this one is much cooler than the others I have seen. There is a higher level of detail and use, and it seems simple enough to make. It officially get my personal seal of approval for taking a boring concept and making it way more exciting and functional.

8. Clock

Lego Clock

You could make this clock easily using any standard clock DIY kit. The block idea is really cute, and I loved the colored bricks in place of numbers. Of course, you could always go more details and complex if you chose, as well as bigger.

9. Kitchen Crafts

Lego Kitchen Crafts

I am always looking for further ways to organize my kitchen. Usually, I buy little items from the local second hand shops and swap meets. But this is a great idea I will definitely be utilizing myself. The fruit bowl is my favorite, and I can also see creating little containers for odds and ends currently sitting in a drawer. I even have an idea for a wall mount case.

10. Melted Lamp

Lego Melted Lamp

This is an amazing lamp. It was made my melting the bricks down into a cone-like shape and fixing it to the top of a lamp in place of the usual shade. Of course, the person who owns the blog this is featured on is less than pleased with the fact that anyone would melt down the blocks. But this crafter thinks it is pretty cool.

Conclusion

You don’t have to get rid of those massive amounts of LEGO blocks, and they don’t have to be forced into storage, either. You can have a great time turning them into useful items for around the house.

These are just some of the ideas, what are yours? Let us know in the comments.

Annie is the green blogger for Smart Destinations, the free resource of hand-picked Legoland discount tickets online.



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