diy cat things

I like cats. I like saving money. I also like making things. And while I really appreciate companies that are trying to make Dwell-worthy litter boxes and rustic salvaged wood scratching posts, sometimes the better solution is to make something cheap by hand. First, the scratching post:

I took Okay fine, Jake took a simple wooden fence post for about $7 and attached it to a square piece of plywood, about $3. I then painted it. Now, I paint often, so I have an entire cabinet in my kitchen that is dedicated exclusively to paint. Possibly two of them. But if you’re a normal person who doesn’t wake up at least one Saturday every month and think “I’m going to repaint this room today,” then here are some tips for acquiring cheap paint. First, the obvious. Don’t go to a big box hardware store. Like, ever. Now I understand, independent hardware stores don’t exist everywhere anymore. But they’re worth seeking out. It’s in your best interest to befriend someone at your local hardware store and paint store because not only might they cut you a deal someday if they can, but I guarantee you they’ll answer your questions, find the parts you need, all while giving a shit. Or maybe that’s just because I’m a semi-cute girl; I don’t know. I do know that the likelihood of getting personal, shit-givey attention at most mega-chain hardware stores is pretty slim, especially at the paint section.

Anyway. Let’s say you find yourself a good independent paint store (in LA, I recommend Naylor in Venice or Mann on La Brea). Now, you can always buy those little samples in select colors for about $2.50 (I’m thinking Benjamin Moore) and that should be enough for projects like this. But if you want a color that isn’t so readily represented, you can get a sample pint mixed in just about any color for a few dollars more. And if you’re really cheap, the best resource for paint is the reject pile. Every paint store has an oops! section where the wrong color was mixed, or the buyer didn’t pick it up, or whatever. You can get gallons for $10 and quarts for $3 or $4 or less. I like to hang on to my samples and keep them handy for crafts:

So you get your tiny can of paint and your wood, and you assemble same, and then for the scratching part. I bought a spool of hemp or sisal twine (I don’t remember which) for a few bucks and then proceeded to tie it around the post, winding it around and tied it at the top. I did this several months ago, and it’s still going strong, although the twine is cheap and can be replaced often if you think it’s getting messy. And to avoid having an awkward stump at the top, I used u-shaped nails to attach a vintage wire basket on top with a drippy plant. So, does it actually get used?

Yes. Yes it does.

Next up: a DIY litter box that’s actually cute.

in April 12, 2012

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1 Comment

  • jake April 13, 2012 at 2:27 am

    wait, *who* attached the post to the plywood again?

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