DIY Cat Scratching Post

We here have a serious need for cat scratching posts of some kind or another in our home. Having two sweet indoor-only kitties—both of which still retain all of their claws—our furniture has suffered greatly. I don’t have a perfect solution, so I at least try to provide some kind of well positioned cat scratcher in the house to take the brunt of the scratching.

Our old (and ugly) post was getting torn to bits, so instead of buying another one, I decided to just make one. I have seen cute DIY-cardboard scratchers, but I need a sturdy, sturdy scratcher that doesn’t leave bits all over. So this one uses no-nonsense materials: a wooden board and sisal rope.

Here’s what I used:

A scrap wooden board (cut to about 19″ x 5″)
An old dish towel (for padding)
A staple gun
A hammer (to knock in stubborn staples)
A piece of burlap (or fabric of your choice) that will be stapled around your board
A roll of thick natural fiber twine or sisal rope*

*I show twine in the above image but I switched later to using the exact type of sisal rope seen below… thicker and more like the old scratching post. This is what will take most of kitties’ scratching, so it needs to be strong.

Here’s what I did:

First, have your board cut to the size you’ll need. It doesn’t need to be exact, but I made mine similar to the old cat scratcher. It ended up being about 19″x 5″.

Next, I used a worn out dish towel to provide ‘padding’ by wrapping it around the board and stapling it on the back. Try to fold neatly and keep it flat and smoothish, but it will be covered, so don’t worry too much about how it looks.

*Always be careful when using a staple gun and don’t, don’t, don’t EVER leave these tools around where curious little ones can pick them up!

After the board was covered with the towel, I wrapped the burlap around the same way, folding carefully and stapling as I went.

Wrapping the fabric around and trying to fold the ends up like a present, I stapled them flat against the back of the board. After the fabric got a bit thick in places, I did have a hard time getting my staples to go all the way in, so I used a hammer to knock them all the way in.

Now you should have a fabric-wrapped-padded board.

Next, you simply have to wrap the whole middle of your board with the rope. I left about two inches on each end with the fabric showing. Starting on the stapley-sided back, I stapled down the end of the rope really tightly and started wrapping it around, scrunching it tight as I went.

Continue wrapping until you are almost to the end of your board (wherever you want your rope to stop) and save a little bit of rope to kind of weave under and staple tight.

A comparison of the new vs. the old… Not much more glamourous, but definitely nice enough for a corner of the living room… I don’t exactly want to draw attention to this piece.

And… success!

Here was my project cost breakdown:

Board – free (scrap we already had)
Padding – free (used an old towel)
Tools – already had
Burlap – free (used a scrap I had)
Rope – $5.58

Total Project Cost: $5.58

Psst…if you like this project, please consider sharing it with others!

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