I Love to Create: Quick Toy Refresh Decals


I’ve recently been turned on to buying toys from thrift stores. In the past, this was I practice I admittedly turned my nose up at–I mean, I’ve been buying second-hand clothes and housewares for myself since high school, but for some reason used toys for my babies made me sad. I realized though, that it was only if the toys looked overly tired that it bothered me.

My friend Jennifer clued me in to the fact that you can often order replacement parts from toy store manufacturer’s website for super cheap (I got all new accessories for the toy house above for under $7!), and my friend Noelle turned me on to the wonder that is the Magic Eraser which easily rids plastic of scuff marks. Now, the only solution I needed was for fixing the icky, torn stickers that most, thrift-y toys seem to have. So, I came up with these quick-fix, vinyl decals!
Is all of this effort worth it, you’re asking? Well, the bigger toy in this post retails for around $80–and when all was said and done, my refurbished version cost less than $20. You be the judge. 🙂

Tracing Paper
Oil Cloth or Vinyl
Craft Knife
Thrifted Toy Before (With Torn Stickers)
Close-Up of Before

How-to Toy Refresh Decals

  • Create a decal pattern by laying a piece of paper over area of toy where torn sticker is; use a pencil trace the needed shape. Cut out paper pattern.
  • Trace around pattern onto oil cloth or vinyl; cut out to create decal.
  • In a well-ventilated area, spray back of decal with Fast-Grab Tacky Spray; press piece in place on toy.
  • Since most stickers on toys go in indented areas, it’s likely that the decal will not fit perfectly in its new home. To fix this, take a craft knife and trim off excess.
  • Repeat process for as many decals as desired.

Thrifted Toy After (With Oil Cloth Decal Replacements)


Close-Up After

Another Toy After Decals

Ok, now I’m off to the thrift store again!

7 Responses to “I Love to Create: Quick Toy Refresh Decals”

  1. Keli

    I don’t have children, but this is a wonderfully crafty idea to make toys even cuter and personalized. Love it!!!

  2. Lupie

    Thanks for the great idea. I have a friend who retired from teaching to take care of her grand kids, as I am now doing.
    She has given me a ton of baby toys and they are marked up and have torn stickers and now I can make them new again for my grandbaby.
    Thanks again,

  3. wynzia

    such a great idea. and how about that magic eraser? that thing is a workhorse!