Parental Dilemma: The Stuffed Animals Take Over!!

Ok, so maybe the title is a bit dramatic, #firstworldproblems right? but I have to ask this question…how many parents have my dilemma…. TOO MANY stuffed animals. And lets face it, I don’t see it ending anytime soon… they are easy gifts for people to buy and sometimes to cute to resist.

Finally I was at my wits end to do something that would free up toys bins and floor space without giving away a memory or gift thoughtfully handed to the girls…. But seriously THIS is just one area of the toy room:

DIY Stuffy Zoo, From Heels to High Chairs


So I did the online search for creative ways to store teddy bears. I wanted something that the kids could easily access them but that didn’t take up a ton of room… and that’s when I decided to build a stuffy zoo.

Now this project was a pretty good size however takes up little foot print if placed in a corner area. The finished floor dimensions are just over 2 ft x 2 ft and 5 ft. tall

Here is a list of the Materials I used:

  • I recommend a drill (however mine was dead so I did the whole thing by hand, because I didn’t want to wait)
  • 100 feet / 30 M of rope or bungy cording (if you making it tall  like I did)
  • For wood I choose a nice pine ( was under 30 dollars for wood)
  • I bought 2 1x2x8 and cut them down to:
  • (8) 2 foot pieces of  1x2x8
  • I bought 1 1x3x8  and had them cut down to:
  • (4) 2 foot pieces
  • I bought 2 2x3x10 and had them cut down to
  • (4) 5 foot pieces
  • Pro Crafter wood screws , these have a square head so be sure to have the right drill bit available (Im glad I went with these since my drill died and technically these do not need pre drilled holes however your wrist will thank you if you have a drill in working condition) I  used 12 1 1/2 inch for the 3 center squares and then 24 of the 1 3/4 inch size when attaching the squares I made to the 5 foot pieces just for more support
  • 60 Screw Eyes, the thickness will depend on the type of bungee or cording you use


I had my father-in-law cut all the pieces for me  (you can ask the person at the store to do this if you are not able to)

Depending on the wood quality you can sand it if needed and prime or paint it once the pages are cut. For mine I have left mine as the wood finish, only because I am not yet sure how I want to decorate it or the final color. This will make more work for me down the road when I do paint it ( if I actually ever paint it) So definitely recommend it done before assembly

Finished cut pieces you should have are:

  • 8 – 2ft long 1×2
  • 4 – 2ft long 1×3
  • 4 – 5ft long 1×3

Next I added the screw eyes to all 12- 2ft pieces (I picked the ugliest side and added the center one first then measured 4 inches between the other 4 added)

Its important to start from the center of each piece to have them line up nicely once assembled as you will later see in the images.DIY Stuff Zoo, From Heels to Highchairs, Angela Campagnoni

Then I started piecing them together the 2 foot pieces were made into boxes:


I just used one screw on each edge and it worked well.

I put the 1×3 box on the bottom because it was heavy and I wanted it to sturdy and I used 2 screws on the corner of each of these.

Then I attached the 5 foot pieces on the inside of the 2 ft boxes. I choose to start with the bottom square first to ensure the floor area lined up to not have it finish with any type of wobble, then proceeded with the middle then top. The top square and bottom square should be fairly easy to keep straight if your pieces were accurately cut I do suggest using a level when doing the middle piece so that it doesn’t drive you crazy looking at a crooked center.


Then it’s time for the cording/bungee, not going to lie, I swore a few times at this point. I thought this would be the easy part, but there was a lot of balance between not unwinding too much and having it tangled to not letting go if you wanted a little tension to the bungee (which I recommend to keep the bears inside)

However as soon as I finished this it was complete!

This turned out to be super simple to build and you could get really creative with the finishing, like paint colors, little wood details you could add, or wooden letters with your kids names on it, If I wasn’t so impatient I would have done this, however I just wanted the war against the stuffies over, and becasue this is so light weight its easy to rotate in case you want the kids to see the different animals around the back …

I hope this was easy for you to follow! I would love to see what you come up with so please send me pictures to my facebook page so I can share with my followers





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