When you’re a kid, there are few purchases that evoke as much joy as a stuffed animal. In fact, they’re so much fun to collect, that many parents find that they can’t stop buying them for their kids. There are just so many different types of stuffed animals out there, and so little time.
After all, we can all say that we are putting a moratorium on stuffed animals for good, but then all it takes is a trip to a zoo gift shop or a garage sale to set us off track. How could we even imagine resisting that giraffe plush, or that rare care bear?
If you or your kiddos have a stuffed animal collection that is taking over your house, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will go over some of the most creative ways to store a stuffed animal collection.
1. Homemade Hammock
You may associate the word “hammock” with relaxing on the beach or in the backyard, but did you know that they can also be a great storage tool? Not only does a hammock free up both floor space and wall space by hanging on the ceiling, but it can also be made from low-cost materials as outlined in this tutorial by Shady Tree Diary.
Also, as stuffed toys tend to weigh very little, it is easy to store them overhead without falling on the head of your child. For this reason, it is even possible to store this DIY hammock above your child’s bed so that they can look up and be comforted by the sight of their stuffed animals.
More good news: if you live in an apartment where you do not have permission to modify the walls, this hammock can be connected using command hooks, which will not leave any marks on the wall.
2. Bungee Cord “Zoo”
By using just a simple wooden frame and a few bungee cords, you can create a kind of “zoo” for your children’s stuffed animals. Not only will this project help declutter your home, but it will also give you and your kids a great project to work on on a rainy day.
While this may take a bit of assembly, the end result is a storage system that will be easy for your children to use — maybe this even means that they will assist in tidying up! You can personalize this compartment by adding your child’s name in stickers or permanent marker. Here’s an example of what this could look like on Pinterest.
3. Upright Milk Crates
Milk crates are such a hot commodity in many do-it-yourself art projects that it’s worth wondering if they are actually ever used for their intended purpose!
Okay, so anyone who works or has worked at a grocery store or cafe can attest to the fact that milk crates are still very much used to carry milk, we can’t help but note that milk crates are equally good at storing items from around the house. Like stuffed animals.
In fact, by simply stacking milk crates on top of one another, you can make a kind of makeshift shelf that can remain low to the ground to provide easy access to your child’s stuffed toys.
If you do not have easy access to milk crates, you can also make use of any other kind of baskets that you have at your disposal. However, we like how easily stackable milk crates are, which is why we recommend using them for this purpose. Here is an example on Pinterest of what stuffies look like when fit into milk crates.
4. Stuffed Animal Swing
Ok, so this project isn’t so much a swing as it is a multi-level hanging storage unit, but we think that calling it a swing adds a whimsical element to it that kids will love! This may be a handy persuasive tool to use on your children if they are uneasy about the idea of organizing their stuffed animals.
Here is a tutorial from It’s Always Autumn that breaks down how to create this “swing”. It’s easier to make than it looks!
5. Hanging Buckets
It would be easy to lift shelf installation as an easy solution to your stuffed toy storage dilemma, but that would be a bit too ordinary. Instead, this idea involves making do-it-yourself shelves out of a material that might seem pretty unconventional: buckets!
Shelf buckets are easy enough to install, though it’s best to use lightweight tin buckets that can easily be attached to a wall. You also have the option of personalizing your buckets such as gluing on fake flowers or even adding stickers (we love the way they did this on Itsy Bits and PIeces).
Not only are buckets the perfect size for stuffed animals of all sizes, but they can also be installed at a height that can be easily accessed by your child.
6. Crocheted Stuffed Toy Holder
This project may not be kid-friendly, as it will have to be accomplished by an adult, but there is no doubt that it is economical, trendy, and easy to do. In fact, anyone with so much as an interest in crocheting can create a hammock for stuffed animals, especially if they are following this very basic guide from WikiHow.
Of course, even if they cannot contribute in a hands-on way, there are still ways to have your child involved in this project, such as letting them choose the color yarn you will use.
7. Stuffed Animal Chair
A stuffed animal…what? This DIY tutorial of a “stuffed animal” chair from HGTV will explain every question you may have about what appears to be a strange contraption.
While it may seem strange in theory, in practice this idea is genius. Not only does it provide a way for your child’s endless supply of stuffed animals to be hidden from view, but it also provides a comfortable seating option that your child can use to snuggle their stuffed animals on! The best part is that the stuffed animals are not simply lost to the stuffing of the chair, as they can be accessed at any time from its back, which can be easily opened.
8. Wooden Storage Bin Shelves
You know those wooden storage bins that you can find at Ikea, or at any other home goods stores? While they are intended to be used on the ground as cupboard or closet organizers, they can easily be converted into platform shelves. And, when they are, they are the perfect size for stuffed animals to sit upon.
This tutorial from Nifty Thrifty DIYEr explains it all. While they have chosen to stain their wooden shelving, the decorative possibilities are pretty much endless, and you and your child can can decorate this shelf to your liking.
9. Tucked in a Curtain Rod
A curtain rod is one of those household items that may appear to have one clear purpose on the surface, but can actually be used for so many different things when you really put your mind to it. One of these things, of course, is a stuffed animal organizer compartment.
This Pinterest photo will explain it all. All you will have to do is install the curtain rod on the wall of your child’s room, and then place their favorite stuffed animals within it. Not only does it help declutter the room, but it also serves as a type of wall art!
10. Cargo Net
A cargo net is a type of net that is commonly used on construction sites to transport materials that would otherwise be too high to carry into the air. However, if you can get your hands on one, you will see that they can serve another purpose around the house: stuffed animal storage!
By affixing a cargo net to the side of your child’s bedroom wall, you can create a net that will catch all of their stuffed animals, as shown here in this Pinterest photo. This is a great option if your child has a lot of stuffed animals, or stuffed animals that are large in size.
11. Converted Planters
Similar to the buckets that we featured earlier in this list, planters are another example of storage units we have around the house that can simply be repurposed to work as a stuffed animal storage area.
The best part of using a converted planter as stuffed animal storage is the fact that you do not even need to fill a planter with a pot. As long as you arrange stuffed animals by size appropriately, you should be able to stack from on top of one another to prevent anyone falling out. If this sounds confusing, see an example at DIY Inspired.
12. Shoe Organizer
You knew that this entry was going to be on the list — we bet you just didn’t think that it would be so far down the list! Don’t read into our positioning, though. The shoe organizer trick is a classic way to store stuffed animals for a reason: it’s easy, and it works.
When beanie babies were having their heyday in the 1990s, it seemed that every kid you came across had a shoe organizer hung over their bedroom door to display their beloved beanie baby collection.