Click on the link below for a full set of instructions on how to create this incredible and very individual pole that I'm sure would give you cat many hours of scratching pleasure.
Have you ever seen those colossal scratching posts made to look like skyscrapers? There are a couple great ones on Etsy by designer Mike Estes. His "Sky Scratcher" projects pay tribute to Chicago and New York skylines. What kitty doesn't fantasize about climbing the Empire State Building? Such a cool concept. But the pricetag, not so much. At almost $150 a pop, they're a little outside our budget.
That's why we love this project from Karen at Maison Kuotidien. Be forewarned: it's time-intensive. But the result is so worth it. The necessary materials are under $10 and she even provides you with a template.
What you need:
- corrugated cardboard (shipping boxes work nicely and it’s free!)
- 36″ wood dowel with a 3/4″ x 3/4″ square width ($1.67 from Home Depot)
- 12″ x 12″ x 1/2″ birch plywood board (a single board costs $5.49 from Michaels)
- 1-1/2″ wood screw
- X-Acto knife + refills
- cutting mat
- power drill
- Optional: Foam board for template, Rotary paper edger
Step 1: Drill hole into centre of board
Mark the centre of your board. Place between two sturdy chairs and drill a hole into the center. My cordless drill wasn’t powerful enough to get the screw through so I used a 7/64″ bit. If you have a corded drill, you can probably skip this and use the wood screw – it shouldn’t require any pre-drilling.
Step 2: Drill hole into center of dowel
Use the screw and your drill to make an indent in the center of the dowel. This will make the next step a little easier.
Step 3: Screw dowel into base
Drill the screw all the way through the board. Using a screwdriver to hold the screw in place, take the dowel in your other hand and twist it onto the screw. Keep twisting until it’s securely on. Doing this by hand gives you greater control and ensures that it gets attached straight.
Note: Since the screw head isn’t flat, I find that the piece wobbles on hard surfaces (it sits fine on carpet). If you have hardwood or tiled floors, you can try sanding down the center of the board just enough so the screw doesn’t touch the floor.
Step 4: Cut out templates
Print out a template of the building levels here (7 total). Trace it onto foam board (or cardboard) and cut the pieces out.
Step 5: Trace onto cardboard
Use your new template to trace the shapes onto cardboard.
Step 6: Cut along outline
Cut along the outline with an X-Acto knife. The blade will get dull so be sure to replace it when necessary. You can try using a rotary paper edger for the longer cuts. I personally found it a bit difficult to keep the cut straight so I ended up using the X-Acto knife for most of this project.
Step 7: Assemble layers
Stack the cardboard pieces onto the dowel until each level (marked accordingly on the template) reaches the heights listed below. Don’t glue the layers together. That way you can easily replace any section that gets damaged from overuse.
- Level 1: 2.25″ stack height
- Level 2: 3.25″ stack height
- Level 3: 2.25″ stack height
- Level 4: 1.75″ stack height
- Level 5: 1.5″ stack height
- Level 6: 17″ stack height
- Level 7: 4.5″ stack height