Living on a farm and in the countryside, we go through a lot of welly boots (wellingtons, rainboots, galoshes or gumboots depending on where you’re from).
Wellies are worn regularly on the farm apart from summer and any consistently warmer drier weather. Because they’re used for working all day every day, they do get worn out fast. And if you’ve got children, you know how fast their feet grow, and how many pairs of wellington boots they go through.
Unfortunately wellies aren’t the easiest item to recycle. It’s always worth keeping an eye on recycling websites to see if anywhere will take them. It can be easier to try and find alternative uses for your unwanted welly boots.
Here’s a list of ideas to make use of unwanted wellies. Both perfect pairs and those which might have a leaky hole in them. .
What to do with unwanted wellington boots
Re-use them by donating children’s wellies to nursery schools, pre-schools or primary schools for spares. Obviously they’ll need to be in usable condition with no holes in, but we used to pass all of N’s old ones on and his old nursery were always grateful to take them in.
Keep an old crate of them in your garage or shed for visiting friends and family who may need a pair.
If you know anyone setting up a B&B, or holiday let, pass wearable pairs of wellies on to them to provide for guests to borrow.
Cut them down to make ankle boots or garden clogs (if there’s no holes in the bottom). They’re great for slipping on to put the washing out in the garden, or nippy to put the bins out, rather than tying up laces etc of other shoes.
Save them for bonfire night to go on the Guy. Obviously that only gets rid of one pair a year (and it’s probably not the best idea to burn them). But you if you’re not burning your guy, you could just keep them and reuse them to dress him each year.
Scarecrow festival use – if you live in a village with a Scarecrow Festival you may need to use old wellies to make your scarecrow (or donate them to someone else to use them).
Use for welly wanging activities – if you’re involved with school fundraising fetes or your local village community events, why not include welly wanging as a stall or activity. Donate different size boots for some fun times flinging them as far as they’ll go. (fun fact, the world record is over 63 metres – both the men’s and women’s records are held by Finns).
Use as planters in the garden – you see ideas for these all over the internet and they can look really sweet. They’re great for children to start off growing flowers or even strawberry plants. Just add gravel in the bottom, then compost or soil, seeds, water and tend as needed. Just make sure they’re not going to get blown or knocked over.
Welly birdhouse. Add a flat wooden top or 2 wooden pieces as a roof, cut a hole in the front, add a little perch at the front, and attach to a fence or tree. Then hope you have birds come and set up nest.
Storage for tools or keeping seeds in – stand them in a shed or greenhouse as a storage.
What else have you done with unwanted welly boots to keep them from being thrown away?