It’s easy to accumulate a bunch of old shoes over the years. So what do you do with them? Throwing out an old shoe or boot is actually a waste of a useful resource. Your attic, closet, or storage unit may very well be a treasure trove of worn-out shoes waiting to be repurposed for a number of functions. Here are five of the best ways to reuse and repurpose your old footwear.
Shoes and boots can be made into effective alternatives to flower pots and planters. Virtually any type of shoe can be filled with soil and fertilizer. Just poke some holes in the sole so that water can drain and your new planter is ready to go. You can even make hanging planters by using shoelaces to fasten the shoes to fence posts.
Make a Chew Toy
Some dogs love nothing more than to chew up shoes, much to the dismay of their owners. Let your dog sink its teeth into an unused shoe instead. Remove the laces to prevent choking and you have a chew toy that will keep your dog occupied for hours.
Pad the Legs of Tables and Chairs
The legs from chairs and tables can do some serious damage to wood floors. Protect floors with the rubber from old shoe soles. Simply cut out small sections of the shoe soles and superglue them to the chair and table legs. The rubber will act as padding and keep your floors safe from scratching.
Build Bird Houses or Bird Feeders
Worn-out shoes may have little value to humans, but they are prime real estate for birds. Just cut a hole in the toe of the shoe to make a window. A family of birds should flock to their brand new birdhouse in no time. Birdseed can also be added to make your old shoe a bird feeder.
Make a Lamp
When they no longer serve their original purpose, shoes and boots can be made into decorative light sources. Most craft and hobby stores sell lamp kits for turning shoes and boots into bedside and floor lamps. Boots work especially well for this type of project, and cowboy boots are the most popular option. Some lamps are designed to look like boots and shoes in the first place, and using the real thing is a less expensive way to achieve an even better look.