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Stuffed Memories

What's a mom to do with all the stuffed animals collected over the years?

Two little girls collect a lot of plush toys over the course of 10 or 11 years so my house is overstuffed with fluff. I think my family has helped to keep Build A Bear and Webkinz in business for the last decade. Our fluffy friends have taken up so much space in our home, it’s time to unclutter the stuff but do I toss, store, or re-purpose the cuddly critters?

Maureen Piotrowski, a Cinnaminson mom of three, found herself in a similar situation but she came up with a unique way to corral and display her kid’s stuffed toys with the help of a glue gun. She made a Memory Chair by hot gluing the animals to a wooden rocking chair. Her whole family joined in the fun of assembling it, even her husband.

It is adorable. My girls sat in the chair and said it was pretty comfy too.

Piotrowski saw the idea for a Memory Chair on Rachael Ray when one of the Real Housewives of New York, Kelly Bensimons, showcased her own Memory Chair. Piotrowski said people are paying over $500 to get their own chairs while she spent nothing but gained some quality time with family.

I was immediately intrigued when I saw the Piotrowski’s crafty and comfy chair because I have been wondering what to do with my children’s old stuffed toys for a long time. I found it comforting to know that other moms are grappling with the same issue. It’s always nice to know you’re not the only one buried under some type of household dilemma.

I recently photographed my daughters with their stuffed animals knowing we'd be shipping them out. We donated several large bags to Vietnam Veterans, but there are still too many gathering dust around my house.

I must admit we’d probably need to craft a whole Memory Sofa to be able to use all of our old stuffed animals. So, I searched online for some different options. Other ideas I found were to enclose stuffed animals in clear plastic bins, or hang them on ropes from the ceiling, or dangle them in those stuffed pet nets and we can't forget that donating is always a good option.

Donation Town is a website that provides all kinds of information on donating all kinds of items. They have links to other organizations like SAFE, Teddy Bear Brigade and Project Smile which accept gently used stuffed animals. They give the toys to children who need a little comfort here in the U.S. and in other countries due to disasters or family issues. They also send them overseas to spread some cheer to our troops.

Donating to hospitals sounds like a great idea in theory but often they do not accept used stuffed animals because of germs, but it never hurts to ask. I also read something about donating to animal shelters but again you have to be careful of the types of toys given to animals for safety reasons.

We will definitely donate some more stuffed toys, but I think we may try making our own Memory Chair for the ones we can’t bear to part with, like the Build-A-Bears they made with my mom, or special gifts they received as infants, or those they were especially attached to.

Making the chair will be a fun project, and it will be a great conversation piece as it is in the Piotrowski home. Although, I'd have to learn how to use a glue gun, I've never been very good with those!

So what is your plan for all that fluff and stuff your house is filled with? Will you toss, store or re-purpose it into a chair or something else?

FbS August 20, 2012 at 10:41 AM
very cool idea!!!
Steve Piotrowski August 20, 2012 at 05:26 PM
We made it to print. So Cool!!!!
Barbara Korman August 26, 2012 at 12:28 PM
I volunteer at a camp for homeless children in the summer in Harriman St. Park in NY. If anyone in Cinnaminson has stuffed animals in good condition I will be happy to take them These children come with little clothing and many have never had a stuffed animal. We send each one home with one- that's 250 children a summer. My email is barbk6677@aol.com. I'll be happy to pick them up. Barb Korman
Geoff Beckett September 02, 2012 at 01:44 PM
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gbjrtoys/diy-plush-mallows-designer-figures

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