Sunday, May 15, 2016

DIY Stuffed Animal Hammock

We all love them, we all own them.  Then before we know it we have too damn many of them.

Stuffed animals.

They are like a soft, adorable plague that slowly takes over your home.

My kids love their stuffed animals.  They both still play with them.  Aubrey, especially, loves to play with hers.  She never cared for dolls, but she loves her plushies.  I hear her in her bed creating all kinds of scenarios with them.  I always find them dressed in different outfits, necklaces, hair accessories, tied to jump ropes.  You just never know what these poor little creatures have had to endure.  I am fine with stuffed animals, as long as they are contained.  Bayne has his nicely stored in a large rubbermaid container that he uses frequently as a chair.  I often find him squished in the center of his stuffed animal bin watching a youtube video on his phone.  His animals stay contained and docile.  Possibly suffocated. I'm just happy they aren't frolicking about freely in the room.

Aubrey, on the other hand, has clearly left her animals wild and untamed.  They are always jumping off the bunk bed in the middle of the night onto the floor.  Those that have been banned to the shelf above her bed for being less popular are constantly escaping, or perhaps attempting suicide and jumping behind the bed, or sneaking their way back into hers.  In her bed, they have formed an alliance to keep me from the sheets.  Maybe they are afraid I will suffocate them and they will remain static, like Bayne's herd?  It's hard to say.  All I know is each night I have to sift through a mountain of stuffed animals to find each blanket and it is nearly impossible to tuck her in properly.  Each day I have avoid trampling them on the floor.  And all too often I have to send a rescue crew behind the bed to find the lost souls.

I have been on an organizing, spring cleaning, purging kick lately.  These little rascals are so on my radar.  Since I can't weed them out much without Her Majesty noticing, I decided there had to be a better way to both contain them and allow them a little freedom.  In addition, make it easy for her to reach them and find them if she wants a specific one, without having to dump all the rest onto the ground.  I also wanted something that would be easy to put them away in, so that she might be motivated to help tame her minions a little more.

This picture doesn't do justice what the actual reality of the stuffed animal situation looks like in her bed.  I'm in a clearing, but I assure you, they have me surrounded.

I had an idea of making a hammock on the outside of her bed, so that she could easily reach over the ledge and get an animal that she wanted to play with while in bed or while out of bed.  I have seen the stuffed animal hammocks that they sell online.  I was considering buying one, but I remembered I had some left over netting fabric from my sand toy beach bags.  It was just long enough to spread the length of the bed and wide enough to hold some animals without dipping down to low into the way of the bottom bunk.
I pulled out my bin of random craft crap to see what I could tie this thing up with.  I found a bunch of old tulle that was already cut into perfectly sized strips.  I folded the netting in half and threaded the tulle through the upper corner of the open edge of the netting and tied it to the bunk bed side.  I did the same thing on the opposite side and in the center.

Then I started piling them in one by one.  The Queen of the Animals even wanted to help, so that is a good sign.  I snuck of few of the less popular ones back onto the shelf behind the bed (and tent).  I'm hoping they hibernate up there for a while or at least that she is more drawn the the eye candy in the hammock.  

I'm really happy with how this came together.  I didn't have to put much effort into it all and I spent no money.  I didn't even have to fire up the sewing machine.  The animals are still mostly free.  They have lots of air holes, so no one will suffocate.  She can easily reach over and grab one if she needs one.  I'm sure we will have some jumpers, but I think this will help limit the number per night.

There are still a few that were too big for the shelf or the hammock, so they are the lucky ones that get to maintain their position on the bed.  They can guard the Great One while she sleeps.  

Now I don't have to wrestle fifty wild animals each night for the sheets, I can actually see the new comforter that I made for her, and easily tuck her in and say...


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