Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How to Make Inexpensive Cat Furniture

Here are some tips on how to make cheap cat furniture. Cat furniture can be
incredibly expensive. Have you seen the price of a scratching post, lately?
$30 for a post on a platform, wrapped in rope!
That’s crazy – especially when you have the tools to build your own out of scraps at home!

Scrap Lumber

Just about anybody has scrap lumber lying around. Well, maybe – but you
can get construction grade lumber for your projects, and not spend as much.
Construction grade lumber has “voids” in it – meaning that two-by-fours will
have knots, and plywood will have gaps where the glue and filler didn’t
spread. It is used at the construction level,  where appearances won’t matter
in the long run. The carpenters will fill the voids with wood putty and paint the
surfaces that show.

This wood is great for cat furniture that you plan to cover with carpet or rope,
  such as scratching or climbing posts. The basic structure of construction
grade lumber will be mostly covered, anyway, so the beauty of the wood
doesn’t matter.

Of course, if you’re building platforms for the cat to sit on, such as window ledge
platforms or climbing shelves around the wall, you may want furniture grade
materials. These are carefully processed woods that have a fine grain. You’ll sand
these to a fine finish and stain them – so the cat can scratch them as he/she jumps from
one to the other.

The construction grade lumber that you paint can be touched up when it gets scratched.
A can of wood putty is very inexpensive, and you can use left-over paint from your house for
any exposed surfaces.

Scrap Carpet

Another vital ingredient for your cat furniture is carpet. Many people have a carpet remnant
lying around their house, left over from when they had their house carpeted.
By using this piece, your cat scratching post or climbing shelves will match your carpet.
Another option is to check with carpet stores. They throw away thousands of discontinued
carpet samples every year.  Many of then will give you the samples. Others will charge
about $2 or $3 each.

Attaching pieces

When you build a scratching post, it’s best to pre-drill the holes. Drill two holes about an inch
apart in the base piece – a 12  or 18 inch flat piece of plywood. The holes should be in the
center of the board. Then, place the 12 to 18 inch long 2x4 over the holes and mark the
placement of the pre-drilled holes with a pencil. Now, this part is important – when you pre-drill
the holes in the 2x4, don’t drill them as deeply as the screws will reach.  You want the last ½ inch, at least,
of the screws to grip the wood on their own, for a tight fit. The screws should be 3 to 4 inches long.
Attach the post to the platform with the screws, and you’re ready to add carpet.

Now, some people want to carpet the platform before they attach the post. That’s ok, but it doesn’t give as tight a fit
with the carpet between the 2 pieces. It’s better to slice the carpet square and slide it around the post,
and cut a gap in the right place. Use carpenter’s glue and a staple gun to attach the carpet to the platform.
Then, measure the post so that you know the dimensions to cut the remaining carpet. Put glue on the back of the carpet and
wrap it around the post. Then, staple it in place with the staple gun. Now, you have a scratching post any cat would love!

For climbing shelves, you cut the shape of shelf you want from the construction grade plywood.
You can use either pre-made shelf brackets, or cut your own – but be sure to use two brackets, so the shelf won’t turn.
Place the shelves at intervals on the wall, close enough together that the cat can jump without endangering himself or your other furnishings.

For a cat bed, It helps if you have a skill saw. You can cut out fancy designs with that. But, if you don’t make a wooden box and
add a homemade cushion to create a cat bed for your feline friend.

Author Bio

Josh is a great lover of writing, enjoys
finding ways to save money and currently works
for Fit and Furnish, leading suppliers of bedroom furniture.

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

For some reason both my browsers won't show the pictures, but I've always wanted to try this. Thanks for the ideas.