A few years ago my wife showed me a picture of one of these bad boys online and professed her love for it. As I looked up from her phone after reviewing the picture I waded toward the front door in our living room knee deep in stuffed animals and went straight to my shop to begin the build. I knew that I had some scrap 2×4’s and screws so the majority of the materials list was free. My stuffed animal pen differs from the original that I saw in a few ways, but is very similar to it and others that I would eventually see. I happened to have four stair rail spindles on hand so I used those for the uprights because I thought it would give it a unique look, but 2×4’s will do and look just as good. The only material that I purchased for this project was the bungee cord and paint, which can be bought on amazon for around ten bucks (the links below will take you directly to the exact paracord and paint that I used).
The project was very simple and straightforward (basically assemble two wooden frames then attach them to upright supports, one at the top of each upright, and one at the bottom of each upright), and my girls loved their new animal pen. Having a fun place to store their stuffed animals encouraged them to pick them up and put them where they belong. The dimensions of my animal pen are 36″long x 24″ wide and 36″ tall, but I have seen them built both larger and smaller. Apart from using different uprights I also deviated from the way most people build these by using a different method to secure the bungee cord. Most builds include eye hooks that are screwed into the inside of the 2×4’s and have the bungee cord tied to them. I found it easier and less of an eye sore to just drill countersunk holes through horizontal 2×4’s and tie a knot at each end of each piece of bungee cord. This keeps anything from protruding out of the lumber and potentially poking or scratching a kid. The best things about this project are that it is so easy to customize and so hard to mess up. The build was fun and the final product is practical and appreciated. Below are a few more pictures as well as a generic materials/rough price list to build this yourself.
5- 2x4x8 untreated lumber – $15
50ft Bungee Cord – $12
2lbs Wood Screws – $10
Paint – $12
If you have none of these materials lying around your house you can still build this animal pen for around $50. Depending on what you have around your house or shop you could build this animal pen for $0-$50. My build cost me about $25 but I could have cut the cost by over half had I used some of the paints that I already had.
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