October 21, 2013

DIY Stuffed Animal Zoo

This is a post about five months in the making.  The good news is in the end, Colton (and I) got a stuffed animal zoo for his room.

But thanks to some lollygagging, it was a process.  Back in June, I was busy redoing parts of our bedrooms, mainly Colton's.  At that point, I decided we needed a better storage solution to his crazy collection of stuffed animals.  I turned to Pinterest (obviously) and immediately fell in love with the "zoo" options.  The only problem was they were about $150 to purchase...a bit more than I (and especially Josh) wanted to spend.  Looking at them, though, they seemed like they would be pretty straightforward to build...if you know how to build, use power tools, etc.  Well, I don't really.  Josh doesn't necessarily like to (much to my chagrin), but he does know how, and I think to appease me and get me off my $150 zoo track, he volunteered to build the zoo for Colton.  Awesome, right?!?
Well, about a month passed and he finally got around to building the thing.  He had no plan really, but basically just made a square at the bottom out of 2x8 boards cut to size.  And then he attached 1x8's to each side, again cut to size.  But then he stalled out...in a major way.  Our zoo sat like that for almost four months.  I love my husband, but he's not exactly the go-getter in our relationship.  In fact, we couldn't be more opposite in that regard.  So, I had to use a bit of manipulation (shhh don't tell).  One night I casually mentioned that I was going to buy the stuffed animal zoo online that night.  Of course (as anticipated), he freaked and mentioned the one he was building and that we were absolutely not paying $150.  So, I gave him a deadline and he actually completed the thing...miracle of miracle.
To finish it off, he just used 3x8's (again cut to size).  We flipped it over, making the 3x8 side the bottom and then attached eyelets all along the top and bottom.  Josh then strung bungee cord through all the eyelets.

And then I (and the boys) got to paint it!  I sanded it down first, and then we applied a few coats of Valspar's Royal Navy.

To give it a little flair, I added "Colton's zoo" (just hot glued the letters on...we've already established I'm not very good with a hammer!).

And then we put it into Colton's room.  The plus side of the project taking so long to complete is that Colton was actually really excited to finally have the stuffed animal zoo he had been hearing so much about!  He eagerly moved his animal buddies into their new home...and has pretty much left them there ever since.  He has explained to me that now they are "home," so I guess they're not allowed to leave home.  Whatever...it's better than picking up dozens of stuffed animals every few hours!


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