Monday, April 13, 2015

I Made a Zoo!

I've been trying to somewhat organize and clean up the kids rooms and one of the biggest space occupying problems was all the kids stuffed animals. I probed the vast creative collective of Pinterst for ideas on ways to defy physics and stuff a lot of kids stuff into a small space. That's when I saw the stuffed animal zoo. I thought it was a great idea and looked easy enough that I could make it myself. After all it's just a giant square...I can handle a square right?

So, off to Lowe's I went and got all the stuff I'd need and had them cut the wood and panel board to all the right sizes. I did have to order the bungee cord from Amazon though.

I used 2x4 boards because I thought it would be a bit more sturdy but other plans use smaller/thinner pieces of wood. Use your judgement, but be sure to adjust the other parts of the project to fit.

(4) 6ft long 2x4s
(12) 2ft long 2x4s
(1) Panel board 72"x 31"
100ft of 1/4" bungee/shock cord from amazon
Wood screws
Metal washers
Primer/paint in your choice of color
If you want to add the little decorations I got the animals and sign from Hobby Lobby

So after I got all my pieces home I began assembling the frame for the box. I probably did it all kinds of wrong and my dad would probably be banging his head against the wall watching me but hey, it worked!

 You'll use the 6ft pieces as the four corners of your box and then the 2ft pieces go at the top, middle and bottom.
Then, screw your panel board on the back of your box using the screws and washers to keep it from pulling through the board. Mine was brown because I'm cheap and didn't want to pay more for the white board when I'm going to paint the whole thing anyways. You can get white and save yourself a step though if you'd like.

 Once your box is all set with it's back you can prime/paint it. I went ahead and used primer and then a semi gloss paint on mine.
 I was waiting on my shock cord to arrive still so I started in on the decorations. You may want to wait, or not. It didn't cause any issues putting the "bars" on.
Once the cord arrived I could start putting the "bars" on the zoo. This was probably the most frustrating and time consuming part. I've heard of people using staples to secure them but that just seemed entirely too weak to me and all I picture is one of the kids getting snapped as they attempt to take an animal out. So, I used metal wood screws and metal washers. Those things are going absolutely nowhere. The bars on mine are about every 4 inches but you can measure your board and figure out what spacing is the most appealing to you. Mine aren't perfect and I'm ok with that because working with bungee cord is really difficult to keep it nice and even. I can't even begin to count the number of times one of those snapped back in my face while I was trying to screw it to the board.

So, there you have it: my zoo! Side note, be sure to measure your doors and make sure the whole zoo will fit through it. I ended up getting very lucky and it JUST barely fit through ours. There was a lot of shoving involved in getting it into the actual room but it made it. Also, it is pretty heavy to be moving around so try to limit how much you move it to save yourself some work. Overall it was pretty simple but it just took much more that I thought, like most DIY projects of mine. The cost was about $80 for absolutely everything, and a lot of hard work.  Once you get it in place just fill it up and enjoy having those stuffed animals corralled in a cute but efficient manner!

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