December 6, 2009

A Cat Tree, & A Christmas Tree.

I have a good project for you, but it’s one I did a while back and didn’t take photos during the process, so I will do some explaining, and hopefully it will be easy to understand.
While I’m here, I will say “Merry Christmas to you!” and include a picture of my Tree.
Once the lights were on, (ugh) I actually had fun decorating it.
I should really show you the adorable ones that use the Cat Tree I'm going to explain to you.
This is Phish (He's in love with me)

And this is Chip (He's in love with Phish)
I joke that we should get a solid white cat and name her Vinny. If I do get a third cat… ask me “What were you thinking?”

And this is the Cat Tree I made for them.
I used 2x4’s, ¼” MDF, and ½” MDF.
I built two tray shapes from MDF. On the side that would be against the wall, I didn’t bother to add the edge. On the bottom one I cut out a half circle by which the cat’s would climb in. Then I used 2x2 in the corners to connect the top and bottom trays. I painted everything the same color as the wall so it would blend in, as opposed to calling extra attention.
The main body of the tree (the trunk) is built with 2x4’s. The shelves/steps are sandwiched between the 2x4’s. I screwed each shelf into the 2x4 it rested on before putting another 2x4 above it, and screwing that 2x4 to the 2x4 on the other half of the “trunk”. Ignore carpet right now.

This might make more sense… I started by using two boards different heights at the bottom, screwing them to each other. Then I screwed the first shelf/step into the top of the shorter board, and then put a 2x4 on top of it, screwing it to the other half of the trunk.
There are three 2x4’s the same length working their way up to the top, and then there is a short one to finish off the one side. (I realize this is hard to see in my photos, but it’s actually a very simple concept.)
Then I built a collar around the top of the trunk to give a larger base for the top of the tree to be screwed into it.
Another thing to mention… I made this fit the exact height from floor to ceiling so that it could not tip or tilt… so measurements are vital, accounting for every thickness of wood used.
I also attached the trunk to a flat board at the bottom for sturdiness.

Then I painted the whole thing, and covered the bottom section in carpet scraps so they could use it as a scratching post. (they don’t, but it was a great idea.)

Lastly, I cut a remnant of carpet into pieces that I could cover the steps with. I cut out the notches for the trunk, and wrapped the carpet around them, stapling it onto the bottom with a staple gun.
This is a rough example of how I cut the carpet. I did staple it in a few places on top, while I cut the edges how I wanted them on the bottom; fitting together neatly. (A mean pair of scissors is needed to cut carpet if you aren’t using a box cutter. Like those kind you cut through aluminum can’s with… Kitchen scissors that will go through chicken bones….. you know what I mean.)

I also cut some carpet to fit inside the top, so they have something nice to lay on. Before stapling this down, I screwed the top onto the trunk.

And that’s it. They love getting up above everyone, especially if kids come over.

Hope I remembered everything. It’s a super easy idea, you just have to be exact with your measurements.
TFL
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