Gigi’s Birthday Present
Gigi is turning 8 years old! She’s stuck at home alone today, while Kristin and Krister are at work and Kasen is in school, so we celebrated yesterday.
Gigi got lots of presents for her birthday, but her new toy storage tube was her big gift. We actually made it on her birthday (observed). It was easy peasy and only cost $7.09. Woot. So what is it? An interactive tube that doubles as toy storage:
We used to store Gigi’s toys in baskets, but let’s just say she has a lot of toys and that wasn’t working any more:
Did we mention that she has a lot of toys? So we were talking about how we needed to pare down and/or find a new storage option. The conversation went a little like this:
Kristin: Gigi only plays with the toys on the top of the basket.
Krister: But she likes the toys on the bottom too, she just never sees them.
Kristin: Someone should make toy storage where you put toys in the top of the container, but the dog pulls the toys out from the bottom.
Krister: We can do that! We can just use a tube, like they sell at Home Depot for cement footings…
And that was how Gigi’s new storage tube came into being. Here’s how it looks from a distance:
It was very easy to make. First, we bought a “Quik-Tube” from Home Depot, with a 10″ diameter:
The tube was the perfect diameter to fit Gigi’s toys.
The first step (after buying the tube) was to cut a little mouse hole in the bottom of the tube, where Gigi could pull her toys out.
Next, we had to weight the bottom so that, when Gigi pulls her toys out, she doesn’t knock the whole tube down on top of herself. We cut some 2x3s that we had left over from our headboard project. We cut them slanted at the top because they would be inside the tube, and we didn’t want the toys to get stuck on them when they were getting pulled out of the tube.
We screwed those into the base of the tube:
We intentionally screwed the 2x3s right next to the mousehole. We did that to support the edges of the tube when Gigi was pulling on the tube. The tube is just made out of cardboard, so if she pulled too hard, it could rip. The wood reinforced the sides of the mousehole to prevent it from wearing quickly.
Then we cut some plywood, also leftover from our headboard project, and screwed it into the footers. The plywood is in a circle, but it is not centered on the tube. The tube is set slightly to the back, because when Gigi pulls on her toys, it would tend to tilt toward her, so we wanted extra wood near the opening to counterbalance.
We attached the base to the 2x3s with glue and screws, to make sure it was very well attached.
Then we painted it to match the walls (to help it blend in as much as possible). We’ve talked about covering it with fabric, but we haven’t done that yet. We might put fabric over it at some point, but we’re digging the paint as a we-have-that-in-the-house solution. Gigi loves it!
Of course, we know that most puppies do not have as many toys as Gigi. The great thing about this tube is that it’s just made out of cardboard – you can cut it to any height you’d like. If your dog has half as many toys as Gigi, then your tube could be half the height. That said, we did not expect Gigi’s toys to fill the tube to the brim, so we recommend putting the toys in the tube before you trim it down to see how much space you need.
Materials and final cost breakdown:
Quik-Tube: $7.09 (includes tax) from Home Depot
3 pieces of 2×3: free (we had it in the house)
Screws, drill, glue: free (we had them already)
Plywood: free (we had it in the house)
Paint: free (we keep a little paint in the house for touching up the walls, etc.)
Happy birthday Gigi!!!
P.S. For the full details on how we celebrated Gigi’s birthday, check out our Family Blog.