I admit it…I spoil my cats.
But how can you resist such cuteness!?
However, like most cat owners, I’ve come to realize that my cats generally delight not so much in the things I buy them…but in the boxes those items come in!
So what’s a cat owner to do? A little upcycling of course! These cat scratchers are pretty much all over the internet in varying forms. A quick search in your favorite browser will likely yield hundreds of results. But in case you’ve never run across this particular gem for your kitties–or you’re wondering what to do with all of those Amazon boxes and left over end-skein yarn balls you have left over–this is the DIY for you!
So how does one go about making one of these? It’s super simple!
The first thing you need is a cardboard box. A large sized one will make a pretty decent circle. If you want a larger one, save up more boxes. For mine I used two medium sized boxes. I usually save all of the cardboard boxes I get in the mail because my cats LOVE to sleep in them. I’m pretty sure that’s universal to all cats and mine are no exception!
To start, you have to decide how thick you want to make your scratcher. I decided to make mine as thick as the top flaps on one of my boxes. That turned out to be 3.5″ wide. You can make yours thinner or thicker depending on preference.
Once you decide on a width, it’s time to get started cutting up your strips! Make sure you get a good pair of scissors (or a box knife, a ruler, and a self healing mat) and cut up your box so that you get as many strips as you possibly can.
Once you’ve gotten all of your strips, it’s time to start gluing! I wound my starting point around a pencil and then just kept wrapping and gluing as I went.
Using my hot glue gun I placed down some glue at the beginning of each new join and then about every two inches until I reached the end of the cardboard piece I was working with. Then I just glued down the end and repeated the process!
When I’d finished gluing all the strips of cardboard I had a circle that measured 9″ in diameter! I was pretty happy with that and decided it was time to embellish the sides, which is actually the fun part of the project!! Using some of my cats’ FAVORITE yarn (Red Heart Boutique Silk Sari), which I had leftover from my Silk Sari Coverup pattern, I went to work on the finishing touches!
With the hot glue gun, and some nimble fingers, I glued down the yarn all over the outer edge! Fair warning, hot glue is HOT so if you’re going to attempt this please be careful and don’t burn yourself.
I think it came out awesome and I’m super pleased that I didn’t have to spend a dime on this because I had all the materials on hand!
The beauty of using this yarn is that it’s fuzzy and very forgiving. Also, it looks GORGEOUS when you’re finished and my cats really love it–I have no idea why but these are also the same cats that turn their nose up at expensive toys and sleep in the box instead…
You can stop right here and plop this thing on the floor to leave your cats to it but I decided to go a step further and turn the scratcher into a multipurpose cat puzzle and snuggle zone! All you need to do that are some cat treats and catnip.
Give the cardboard a few sprays of catnip (or sprinkle some on if you’re using dried) and then tuck some treats into the crevices of the cardboard! It’s really that simple. Your cats will be busy trying to rub themselves all over this thing and get the treats out, and you will sit back and enjoy the satisfaction that comes from a DIY job done right!
My cats are currently enjoying their newest toy and I’m enjoying the fact that the whole thing took me under an hour to put together and was a lot of fun!
If you make your own DIY Cat Scratcher I’d love to see it!! Share all of your pics over on the HodgePodge Crochet Facebook Page and don’t forget to subscribe before you leave so you don’t miss out on future freebies, crafts, and fun!