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How to Make an Original and Durable Cat Scratching Post Using Recycled Tree Branch

Andy Fawcett

Get off!!!!

Get off it!!!!

You Little b@stard, you've wrecked the sofa!!!

Sound familiar, you gave that kitten a home and he repays you by scratching all your possessions.

Well thats your fault. I'm gonna show you a little cat scratching post project I completed to try and save my furniture from those active kitties.

Cat-Scratch-Post.jpg

Inspiration for the Cat Scratching Post

My partner and I have put a lot of effort into attaining the look we want for our living area and the scratchy posts available in the shops, although functional, are completely devoid of any style or individuality.

The very boxy, mass produced mdf scracthing posts are easy to assemnble and some are designed well for usability. The cats can stretch out and they have enough mass to be sturdy and often have a high perch for your kittie to dream the day away.

I wanted to combine this functionality with a recycled product, while achieving something a little more natural. What would cats use in the wild, well it would be a tree wouldn't it.

Then one day cycling home i noticed the council were cutting some long branches of the local trees.  That was enough to get my creative juices flowing. I got home, changed into my ninja outfit and under the cover of darkness went back and liberated one of the branches. (not really). I actually asked the guys cutting them down if there was anything wrong with the trees, there wasn't, it was just a safety measure and they didn't mind me taking one of the branches for a project.

Ingredients for a Cat Scratching Post

Make a Natural Looking Cat Scratching post - What you will Need

What you'll need:

  • The branch, or some sturdy dowel, just make sure its long enough for cats to stretch out, my cats like to climb so I wanted an extra long section;
  • Some Sesal Rope, don't underestimate how much you'll need, about 40m worth ended up going into this;
  • MDF for the base. I used a .5inch thick section to give some extra weight, I also used the offcut to make a seating area;
  • Some door matts for the base, try to get something that is inkeeping with your home but also a texture that the cats may like;
  • Drill and Saw;
  • Square edge;
  • Stapler;
  • Glue;
  • Screws and screw driver.

Here is the final post. I love it but more importantly the cats do, and they use it constantly. Sure I had to bribe them at first with some treats but they took to it so quickly.

The rope has come loose once but i reattached it with a staple.

IMG_4916.jpg

I'm not one of them cat crazies (yet) but if you wanna read more about my cats head over to the Cat Page. Or head over to my post if you want some tips about looking after your cats in a heat wave.

Hope you like it

Love n Stuff

Drewski

 

 

 

Spotkit App Review - SpotKit lets you Tag and Share your Favourite Unique Places to Visit

Andy Fawcett

SpotKit App Review - Spotkit is a geotagging mobile app for saving and sharing your favourite places with friends.

Read More

Green Fingers - How to Make a Herb Planter from Pallets

Andy Fawcett

Hey hey hey, today I am gonna show you a mini project that I had fun creating, this one was a little different to my usual. I got to unleash my inner mans man and use power tools as opposed to craft paper, pens, stencils or a mouse. Welcome to my Upcycled herb planter blog.

How-to-upcycle-a-pallet-into-a-herb-planter

I live in Subiaco in Perth, Western Australia. One thing I have noticed since living in Oz is that we are such a wasteful country. Recycling is so far behind Europe, it seems to be an afterthought for most Aussie residents.  Maybe it's due to the resources available to Oz, the economy is built around export of ore, that this has spilled into the common physce of its residents. One of the things I've noticed is that every couple of months there seems to be some sort of "dump your shit outside day" where the streets of this pretty suburb are filled with fridges, cupboards, ironing boards, printers, pallets, wood paint and everything but the kitchen sink (actually I have seen a kitchen sink). The council come and collect everything and take it to a dump somewhere in the hope tha in a few billion years this mass of junk will have degraded back to some sort of oil that the next species of this planet can dig up and create the cycle again. Anyway I digress. It's on these dump days that I tend to have a little peruse into what's up for grabs on the side of the street, dump diving I call it. Well one day on the way home there was a couple of pretty sturdy pallets so I decided to grab them to make a herb garden for our balcony. One difficult bike ride home later, I had this beauty ready for prepping

The naked pallet  

The naked pallet  

Firstly this thing was huge and I knew I wanted it to be moveable, so I borrowed a friends circular saw and got chopping. I also needed to infill sections so that I could fill with soil. 

 

The mini pallet, naked and limbless.  Although this was a decent quality pallet it was still rough as a bogans mother in law. So I got to work sanding every surface. The amount of sawdust was outrageous and although it was not a windy day, I'm sure the residents below my balcony probably recieved their fair share of it. After I'd finished sanding I looked like an extra from Mad Max.  Time to make it pretty, paint was the main expense for this project, however I discovered that a lot of returned mixed paint is cheap, and seen as how I only needed a small tin and wasn't too picky of the colour, I saved a good deal of cash. I painted every part of the pallet, took about three coats.   For the base I added four castor wheels for mobility.

The mini pallet, naked and limbless. 

Although this was a decent quality pallet it was still rough as a bogans mother in law. So I got to work sanding every surface. The amount of sawdust was outrageous and although it was not a windy day, I'm sure the residents below my balcony probably recieved their fair share of it. After I'd finished sanding I looked like an extra from Mad Max. 

Time to make it pretty, paint was the main expense for this project, however I discovered that a lot of returned mixed paint is cheap, and seen as how I only needed a small tin and wasn't too picky of the colour, I saved a good deal of cash. I painted every part of the pallet, took about three coats. 

 For the base I added four castor wheels for mobility.

A splash of paint

A splash of paint

Now I had the base of the planter I wanted to have a self watering function or a reservoir to keep my herbs and plants fed and watered. I think this will be especially useful on a 30 degree Perth day. There are plenty of items that you can buy off the shelf but I wanted to use reclaimed items. We live across the road from a nice coffee place, so I went and asked them for any empty milk bottles. I cut the bottom off the bottles and punctured a series of pinholes through them. These would then be buried with the soil and filled with water and feed. The idea is that the pressure of the water reservoir will slowly feed the surrounding soil with water. 

I used a root retarding layer (had to buy this) and a staple gun to line each level of the planter. The intention is to help soil retention and to prevent any roots wrecking the wood of the pallet.

Out of the original pallet I was able to make two sister planters. To select the herbs I did a bit of research into their preferred conditions. For a shady to full sun pallet I selected Rosemary, thyme, oregano and chives. For a full sun pallet; dill, parsley, coriander and Basel.  

 

 

The finished pallet with reservoir installed.  Lessons learned like any good project (and even more so on a bad project) you should always document some lessons learned. How could I improve this? What would I do differently? What worked and what didn't? - I'd add a lip on each level to prevent water run off - I'd also use some mesh or old tights to cover the water reservoir to prevent leaves and flys dropping into them.  - I'd widen the base to improve the sturdiness of the pallet - I'm thinking of adding some chalk board or stencilling to the front to improve the aesthetics Overall, I have been pretty pleased with the pallet and the herbs are getting used more often, it's definitely saved a bit of money rather than buying disposable packs of herbs from the supermarket   If you have got this far then thanks a bunch and as a reward you can use the discount code greenfingers if you wanna take a look at our shop and you'll receive 10%off. I'd recommend a tote to be used to carry you gardening kit as they are pretty sturdy material amd can be chucked in the wash. If you are into gardening and design take a look at the seedcell at www.seedcell.co.uk. This is a beautiful designed product made from recycled material. It takes the fuss out of planting seeds and everything is biodegradable. That's design at its best.  

The finished pallet with reservoir installed. 

Lessons learned

like any good project (and even more so on a bad project) you should always document some lessons learned. How could I improve this? What would I do differently? What worked and what didn't?

- I'd add a lip on each level to prevent water run off

- I'd also use some mesh or old tights to cover the water reservoir to prevent leaves and flys dropping into them. 

- I'd widen the base to improve the sturdiness of the pallet

- I'm thinking of adding some chalk board or stencilling to the front to improve the aesthetics

Overall, I have been pretty pleased with the pallet and the herbs are getting used more often, it's definitely saved a bit of money rather than buying disposable packs of herbs from the supermarket  

If you have got this far then thanks a bunch and as a reward you can use the discount code greenfingers if you wanna take a look at our shop and you'll receive 10%off. I'd recommend a tote to be used to carry you gardening kit as they are pretty sturdy material amd can be chucked in the wash.

If you are into gardening and design take a look at the seedcell at www.seedcell.co.uk. This is a beautiful designed product made from recycled material. It takes the fuss out of planting seeds and everything is biodegradable. That's design at its best.

 

The seedcell product. Amazing design and functionality. Lovely product. 

The seedcell product. Amazing design and functionality. Lovely product. 

Love n stuff, 

Andy @ designuntapped