Eight Uses for those Old TY Beanie Babies

What to do with Bins of Beanies

Beanie Babies were one of the biggest fads ever to hit the US market and will long be remembered for the long lines to purchase and the phone calls in the early morning with the locations of what stores had what Beanie Baby. More than one collector had dreams of sending their children to college with the proceeds, especially as they dreamt of the increasing values and saw prices skyrocket.

In the mid-to-late nineties, there were hundreds of new toys produced and Ty was a marketing genius with having "new generations" of already produced pieces, each generation was worth a little less than "first" generation tag, making people a little more frantic in their searching. It was also a real lesson in learning and trying to figure out what Beanie Baby would be worth more. An industry surfaced with collector magazines devoted to the toys, plastic tag holders (don't want to crease those cardboard tags) and websites devoted to online newsletters and marketplaces.

Well, except for a few dozen exceptions most of the Beanie Babies produced after the first surge of popularity can be purchased for little money today. Often found at collectible and flea markets for $1.00 to $3.00 new. So what can one do with all those now very cheap Beanies? Here are a few ideas.

Note: before starting on any of these projects shown below, check completed listings on eBay (note completed and SOLD prices, not just starting price) to see if you do have one of those rare beauties. If you do, you probably already know it, but it doesn't hurt to check and make sure.

1. Give Them Away!

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  •  If you're not into crafting or really don't want to mess with them, just give them away. Please be sure to only give the new, unused Beanies to these programs. 
  • State Highway Patrol - Most state highway patrols have a Teddy Bear program, the Bear Beanie Babies would be welcome.
  • Foster Care programs - the kids taken into the program often show up with nothing. Although there are more essentials needed than toys, a new soft toy that they can call their own is usually welcome.
  • Charities and Christmas toy drives. Keep in mind that most of the children benefitting don't care if it's TY Beanie Baby, to them it's a cute soft toy. One that they would love to have. 
  • Neonatal Units. One friend mentioned that when her son was in the hospital, each crib had a Beanie Baby in it (that was donated) and it made the hospital seem just a little warmer and fuzzier.

The bonus is that your donation just might be tax deductible.

2. Party Time

If you would like to keep your giving a little closer to home, here are a few ways I've also gotten rid of excess Beanies.

  • Trick or Treaters - we have many hundreds descending on us every Halloween and we give out the good stuff. But I've also kept a small basket of the smaller McDonalds Teenie Beanies by my side. When a family comes with smaller ones (but over 3) I will give them a Beanie Baby. 
  • Holiday Parties - A basket of regular size Beanie Babies under the tree have been an extra favor for the kids that show up at our house during the holidays. Today most of them don't realize how hot the toys were or even care, they just like getting a little cuddly toy to take home.

3. FrankenBeanies Anyone?

I can just image the fun one might have to take a few apart and redoing into your own cryptozoological creature. Wings on a puppy, giraffe legs on an elephant, definitely outside the box! And these could be perfect Halloween decorations the next time the holiday rolls around.

Warning: Those darn little pellets can drive you crazy, so empty directly into a bag. Preferably outside and if there is much static cling, use a dryer sheet on your hands.

4. A Tree or Wreath Anyone?

This would be great on a toy-themed or just all Beanie Baby themed Christmas tree. 

The year created a Beanie Baby Bear tree I used large safety pins in the back of the neck of each bear and put an ornament hook through the pin for some of the bears. Others were able to lay on or be tucked into the branches, but since they didn't always behave -- the big pins were called into use.

A wreath could be constructed in the same manner, using large pins and then wiring it to the basic wreath shape.

5. Playing Around with Stop Motion

My grandson is enthralled with the process of doing stop motion videos. His is all Minecraft inspired, but I just need to give him a few ideas and I know he will be all over this project. 

Or create a Youtube video, such as The Beanie Babies Hunger Games.

6. Noah's Ark?

How many Beanie Babies do you have and did you go overboard and buy duplicates?  Kids love the story of Noah's Ark and if you have two of each -- why not create an ark out of a cardboard box and have a new way to play with them.

Dioramas can also be constructed using Beanie Babies for use in ​a classroom and school projects.

7. The Treasure Chest at Grandma's House

When my grandson was younger I kept a small wooden treasure chest box at our house. In it I would have little treasures that I found either when cleaning out a junk drawer,  picking up a fast food meal and getting a toy or something small I would come across at the store. Beanie Babies are perfect for the treasure chest.

How they are able to pick the treasure out is up to you.  Good behavior? When they come over to visit? For a special event? I just know that we had lots of fun with it and he loved picking out a special goody. It's a little sad that he has outgrown it, but perhaps if I up the ante on the treasures (like dollar bills?) it might be a different story. 

8. Stuffed Beanie Baby Chair

 Direct from the Martha Stewart website is a video and tutorial on how to create a child's chair covered with Beanie Babies. At first glance, it looks like a chair with lots of toys thrown in it, but it's not. It's around fabric chair, with dozens of Beanie Babies glued to it. 

  1. This project is really not doing very much for me. 
  2. I wonder if it's comfortable enough to sit in?