Stuffed. Animals. Everywhere.
Is this your reality as well? Our kids love them, but design wise it can be a hard to find a place for them once they have completely take over the bed. So today I’m going to share with you how to make this adorable zoo! (Scroll straight to the bottom if you want the super short version)
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Last year my son and I decided one day to make a “zoo” for all of his animals. You see he is an animal lover, and each and every stuffed animal has a special place in his heart, so we really needed a better solution than a bed covered in a solid layer of furry friends. After all I didn’t want to become that mom that had an alien in her home and was none the wiser because he simply could not be found amongst the chaos!
So off we went to Home Depot to see what we could put together.
- 4 – 1×4’s 22 inches long (I cut these myself but they can usually cut them for you if you ask)
- 4 – 1×4’s 14 inches long (you can get 3 of these and cut them yourself if you prefer to order online)
- 4 1 inch wide, 36 inch long square dowel rods (make sure they are straight and not bowed)
- nylon rope (This is just like the one we used)
- package of small eye hooks (I recommend this size)
- nails (this is a great kit because it has an assortment of sizes if you plan to do more DIY projects!)
- wood glue (I highly recommend using the glue as it will keep things sturdy for a long time!)
First we made two Rectangles. Place the 14 inch boards set inside the 22 inch boards and make two identical. This will be the top and bottom of your zoo. Make sure to add a thin layer of wood glue on the edges and then we put two nails on each side. Take your time and your little helper might even want to join in!
Once you have your two boxes you will add the dowel rods on the inside. Put some wood glue and nail or screw them in. It should look like this.
Next you want to screw your eye hooks in. We used a pair of pliers to grab them and turn them in all of the way. I really just started each one and then let him do the rest until he was tired. We spaced them out evenly with 3 on the 14′ boards and 5 on the 22′ boards.
Once you get all of the eye screws in you can add your rope.We tied a double knot to start it off and then just go up and down through the eye screws until you get back to your starting point. Make sure to keep your rope very tight as you go and then add a knot at the end.
You can paint or stain all of your wood before or after you start. Whichever works better for you.
My son was 4 at the time that we made this together and it was so simple that he was really able to help with each step. I later found out that he had told his friends at mothers-day-out that he had a zoo at his house and they were all super excited to see pictures.
UPDATE**It’s been over a year and a half since we made the zoo, and although I had planned to share plans right away, I’m kind of glad I waited, because I can give an update on how it is holding up down the road!
I honestly wouldn’t change a thing and it still gets used all of the time. It’s more than just a toy storage box, it is a prop in endless stories, unique room decor and inspiration for lots of imaginative play. And that is what I call a winner!
- Make Two Rectangle boxes with your 22″ and 14″ boards
- Glue together
- Hammer two nails on each side
- Add 36″ Square Dowels to inside corners
- Glue an screw/nail
- Add eye hooks, equally spaced 3 on short sides, 5 on long sides
- tie double knot at end of rope
- thread up and down going through eye hooks
- make sure it’s tight and tie knot at end.
- paint or stain and DONE!
If you read all of this and are thinking…I’d rather just buy one, I actually found one super similar that you an buy here.
Do you have any questions? I’m happy to help if I can 🙂