stuffed animal swing {DIY hanging toy storage}


***If you’re visiting from Disney Baby, welcome! I hope you’ll take a few minutes to look around. I have quite a few baby related posts here, including a five part series that walks you through taking your own newborn photos with tons of advice and example pictures. And if your kids have as many stuffed animals as mine do, some of them might need easy to sew pajamas or a sleeping bag!***

I’ve spent some time hunting for a good organization system for my boys’ stuffed animals. I’ve seen hammocks which hang in a corner of the room (won’t work because there’s no free corner in their bedroom) and large custom built stuffed animal zoos ($200+) and bookshelves with dowels running down the front so kids can stuff all their toys inside (it keeps them off the ground, but looks almost just as messy). I finally came up with a hanging storage solution that is pretty inexpensive and can be easily put together in an hour or two. It’s simple enough that the kids can help with most of the construction.

Now, I probably wouldn’t put one of these in a toddler’s bedroom since the temptation to climb on it daily might be too much to resist. But my boys are older – they’re in that stage where they don’t actually play with stuffed animals much, but they aren’t ready to give them up. So for them, the stuffed animal swing works perfectly. Each boy has a shelf, and each shelf fits 8 Build-a-Bear sized animals easily, with room for a few more smaller ones stuffed in. The boys know they can keep as many animals as will fit on their shelf, which is going to make it easy to know when it’s time to de-clutter and donate a few.

Before we get to the how-to, I just want to make a note: like anything that hangs from the ceiling with rope or cord, this could be a strangulation hazard if an unattended young child climbs on it. Do not put one of these in the bedroom of a very small child, and use your good judgment when building one for an older child if you have small children in the home – thanks!

Supplies:

You’ll need the supplies pictured above, plus wood glue and a drill (a staple gun is optional).

For a tri-level swing, you’ll need six 4in wide by 1/4in thick by 2ft long hobby precuts, about 30 ft of rope, two hooks that can screw into ceiling studs, and 5 4ft wood laths. Look for the precut wood in the “hobby wood” section, and wood lath somewhere in the pine boards section at Home Depot. The hobby precuts are a couple of dollar each, and the wood lath is about 50 cents each (pick the lath carefully, looking for ones that are straight and have minimal knots).

Start construction by sanding your wood. The hobby precuts will need minimal sanding, but the wood lath will need more.

Next, cut your wood lath. For each level you need two 2-ft lengths and two 1-ft lengths.

Lay two of the hobby precuts down on the ground with about 2-3 inches between them, as shown below. Use wood glue to glue a 1-ft length of lath on each end of the hobby precuts, as you see below. Make sure the lath piece extends a bit off to the side of each precut.

Glue together the swing seats for each level (clamp together or lay something heavy on each lath while the glue dries) and let dry completely. Then you’ll drill a hole big enough for your rope to go through on each end of the lath pieces. In the photo above, the hole would go right where the boy’s thumb is on the right.

In the photo below you can see how the swing is put together. Cut 4 lengths of rope – 8 feet is probably plenty, but this will depend on how high your ceiling in in the room you want to hang this swing and how low you want it to hang. Put a knot at one end of the rope, then thread it through the swing seat. Place another knot right on top of the swing seat. About 4 inches above the swing seat wrap the rope around a 2-ft piece of lath, which acts as the swing bar. Either knot the rope or secure with staples.

My swing seats are space about 18 inches apart, but you can make them as close together or far apart as you’d like. Just repeat the process to add the next level. When you’re done, knot the ropes together on each side and hang from hooks that you’ve screwed directly into studs in the ceiling. Here’s a view of the top swing seat from below to give you a better idea of what it looks like finished:

Not too difficult and not too expensive – and now all the stuffed animals are off the floor and out of the way. We can even vaccuum the floor now without having to move a truckload of toys first. Now if we can only get the legos organized as well…

Linking to some of these parties:

Monday: Skip to My Lou | Brassy Apple | Craft-o-Maniac

Tuesday: Tip Junkie | Ladybug Blessings | Sugar Bee Crafts | The Blackberry Vine | Hope Studios | Funky Polkadot Giraffe | Not JUST a Housewife | Homework Today’s Assignment: Be Inspired | Shwin and Shwin

Wednesday: Handy Man, Crafty Woman | Southern Lovely | Sew Much Ado | SNAP | Someday Crafts | The NY Melrose Family | Printabelle

Thursday: Somewhat Simple | House of Hepworths | Momnivore’s Dilemma | The Shabby Creek Cottage | Yesterday on Tuesday | Fireflies and Jellybeans | The Taylor House | The 36th Avenue

Friday: Chic on a Shoestring Decorating | The Shabby Nest | Stuff and Nonsense | Naptime Crafters | It’s a Hodgepodge Life | At The Picket Fence | 504 Main | Blissful Bucket List | Whipperberry

Weekend: Tatertots and Jello | Family Ever After


Comments

  1. 1

    Robin says

    I have been waiting for this tutorial ever since I seen it on “So You Think You’re Crafty” I have been searching for a stuffed animal storage solution for a long time and nothing seemed… right. I think my daughter will love this!! Thank you!

  2. 6

    Kelly J says

    Love this! Looks so much better than a “pet net.” Will definitely be making one of these for my son’s room. Thanks for sharing.

  3. 7

    Printabelle says

    What an adorable way to keep the toys in one place. It looks like they are having a great time swinging, too!

  4. 10

    renee valdes says

    I love this project. My daughter needs one. I’ve also repinned it to the “Small Spaces, Big Impact” pinboard at Pinterest/home depot. Thank you for the inspiration.

  5. 11

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    • 12

      autumn says

      Dolly, you are welcome to use one photo and a sentence along with a link sending people back to the tutorial – that would be great! Just please don’t quote long sections of the tutorials – thanks!

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  7. 15

    Steph says

    Please don’t take this as being rude but wanted to throw the warning out there as to how dangerous this could be for small kids. its a cute idea and all but really think about it.. specially if you have little climbers/dare devils. I personally wouldn’t feel comfortable making one but maybe would work out good for an older child, just not toddlers/preschool age. They could get curious and want to “swing” or climb on it, slip and get hurt or worse get hung on it.. sorry to be down on this but you have to think about your kids safety too and this is not safe.

    • 16

      autumn says

      I’ve put a note in the post cautioning people not to make one of these for a small child, and to use caution making one for an older child if there’s a small child in the home – thanks!

  8. 17

    Sarah says

    Hi, this is a great idea, looks fab. I may wait a while though as my daughter is nearly 3 and I imagine her emptying it then trying to climb it – it’s just the phase she’s going through right now. lol. I think, if introduced early enough, then they can be taught not to try to climb it. But at this stage my daughter likes to do the complete opposite of what I ask her lol.

  9. 18

    ESlats says

    Does anyone know if the stuffed animal swing is available for purchase?

    I’m not very crafty and honestly don’t have time to make one, but this is so cute and such a great way to organize stuffed animals!

    Thanks!

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