Are stuffed animals taking over your home? Can you not seem to get them to stay in the playroom where they belong? I had that very same problem! Miss Bean has more stuffed animals than any other toy. From the day she was born people were buying her stuffed animals, and every holiday has brought in at least two or three more. Don’t even get me started on each trip to the Disney store (I have a weakness for all things Disney).
I don’t seem to have a problem cleaning out her actual toys once or twice a year, but her stuffed animals have managed to sneak by me throughout each clean sweep. It may be because stuffed animals are so versatile and can be played with at any age, and fit in almost every game. It could also be that I’ve watched Toy Story 3 too many times… (Seriously, I KNOW they’re not alive, but don’t lie, that one scene at the dump had you tearing up too!)
Whatever the case may be, they are in desperate need of storage, and something that is out of the way because stuffed animals could fill up more than a tote or a toy box so easily and then where do the rest of the toys go? I did some research on different storage ideas. There isn’t much innovation when it comes to this, so it was basically hammocks, nets, hampers, and bookshelves. One cool thing I DID find was this “Stuffed Animal Zoo”. Essentially it’s a “cage” with flexible bars for you to toss your stuffed animals in. At $157 though, my first thought was, I can probably make that. And I really thought about it, but then I remembered that her room is lacking floor space as it is so that project would have to wait for us to buy a house.
Seeing that I wanted to keep as much floor space as I could, I decided a stuffed animal hammock was the way to go. To buy them online, the prices range from $8 to over $30. Now I’m one cheap momma, so $30 for a piece of fabric and some thumbtacks bugged me. Even the $8 hammocks were a bit cheesy looking and it just grates my nerves to pay for something I could easily make.
So I went to the fabric store and bought tulle. There is almost ALWAYS some kind of fabric on clearance, and tulle especially. I wanted to use tulle rather than some patterned fabric because tulle has a little give, which is what I want since I plan to stuff it full of animals. Plus, it was just fine getting the cheapest tulle they had, because the reason it’s so cheap is that it’s itchy, and wouldn’t feel pleasant on skin. But since I don’t plan to use it on a prom dress, itchy is fine by me!
If you plan to do this yourself, all you need is the tulle, some nails and some ribbon. Make sure the nails you use have a bit of I actually ended up making two hammocks that had an additional swag in between them. If you’re only making one hammock, you should be good with just one yard, but I always get an extra yard of fabric no matter what I’m making. If you choose to do like I did, and have two hammocks with the swag, you’ll need to measure the wall you’re placing it on, and then add 2 yards to that measurement. Unless of course you have a TON of stuffed animals, you may want to get some extra, just in case.
You’ll need to catty-corner the hammock itself so it has room to spread and the stuffed animals won’t just fall out. I suggest using nails with a large enough head on them so the tulle will hold. Fold the end of the tulle similar to pleats and weave the nail through each pleat. Then nail it into the wall, leaving about a 1/4 inch of the nail out of the wall. Then drape the tulle as far down as you would like for the hammock and fold the next “end” into pleats again and nail it the same way. You can go ahead and put a few stuffed animals in there to make sure you like the way it drapes and that you don’t need more fabric or space. If you’re only making the one hammock, you can skip the next step because you’re pretty much done!
If you’ve decided to add the swag and the second hammock, then you still have yards of tulle connected to the end of your hammock. If you want it to be relatively centered, you should measure from the corner of the wall to the second end of the first hammock, then with that measurement in mind, go to the opposite corner where you want the second hammock and mark where you want to put next hammock. Bring your tulle to that mark and drape it the way you would like. This one is purely decorative so you don’t need as much. Pleat the tulle again where you would like it and nail it the same way you did the last hammock. Catty-corner the second hammock as well and add the last nail. If you have extra tulle at this point you can just cut it off and save it for another project.
At this point, I had decided that I didn’t like the look of the nails and got some matching ribbon. I just tied the ribbon into bows over the nail heads and Voila! Finished! Throw in all the stuffed animals you want, and you’re done!
What do you think? Do you have any awesome Stuffed Animal Storage ideas?