Let’s Get Catty- part 2

I established yesterday that my office wouldn't be complete without a DIY cat perch.  But what kind of crazy cat lady would I be if I didn't also provide a cat perch cushion?? DIY cat perch cushion via Year of Serendipity

I wanted to add a little bit of padding, that could also be cleanable.  I had fabric waiting in the wings for an upholstery project in another room that I had extra of that I thought would be just perfect.  Enough pattern to be interesting, but subtle enough to become more of a texture.  It has a nice little metallic gold fleck in it without being annoyingly glitzy.  I'm planning some bold shades in here so I don't want the fabrics to compete.

sterling gold fabric from Tonic Living

(fabric and image via Tonic Living)

I started by tracing the cat perch onto several layers of quilt batting, then using that as a template to cut my fabric.

DIY cat perch cushion via Year of Serendipity

In order to end up with the batting in the middle of the 2 pieces of fabric, you need to layer them into a weird sandwich before pinning it all together: fabric face up, fabric face down, and the batting on top.

DIY cat perch cushion via Year of Serendipity

Pin all 3 layers together before sewing.  (please excuse the cutting board- it's been with me since college and we've bonded, but he's seen better days...)

DIY cat perch cushion via Year of Serendipity

DIY cat perch cushion via Year of Serendipity

Be sure to leave an almost 6" gap unsewn on one side to allow you to flip it right side out.  I left my gap on the long straight side, since that would be facing the window.  After sewing, pull your corners through the gap until your cushion is starting to look more like, well, a cushion.

DIY cat perch cushion via Year of Serendipity

Once your cushion is all right side out and straightened out, it's time to sew up the gap.  I use a hand sewing blind stitch that my mom taught me when I was a wee lass, but instead of trying to explain it myself, YouTube exists.  How to sew a blind stitch.

DIY cat perch cushion via Year of Serendipity

I could have just left the cushion here, but I wanted to add one more level of interest.

DIY cat perch cushion simple via Year of Serendipity

I sewed a simple stitch with my machine a few inches in on all sides to create a border.

DIY cat perch cushion via Year of Serendipity

But the real test here was the kitten test.  After bringing Daisy in to give the cushion a try, she debated a moment then made herself right at home.

DIY cat perch cushion via Year of Serendipity

Then completely melted.

DIY cat perch cushion via Year of Serendipity

I'd consider that a win.

It's a pretty good bet that one of the cat's is hanging out here- we call it Master Kitty Theater.  Looking out the window is like tv for cats.  Those birds out there provide lots of drama.

DIY cat perch cushion via Year of Serendipity

DIY cat perch cushion via Year of Serendipity

Even the ladybug that's been flying around my office for the past week is making herself at home on the new cushion.

DIY cat perch cushion via Year of Serendipity

And that my dears is proof that cat furniture doesn't have to hurt your retinas.  For another pleasingly stylish cat accessory, check out Designlovefest's DIY cat bed.  So adorable!  We're on a mission to eradicate ugly cat furniture once and for all!

Let's Get Catty- part 1

What crazy cat lady office would be complete without a custom diy cat perch? Custom DIY cat perch via Year of Serendipity

For many many years (ok, 5), we've put up with having a not so pretty brown cat perch hanging out in our home.  I'm pretty sure the people who mass produce affordable cat furniture are dog people who just want cat people to suffer with ugly cat accessories.  It's a valid theory.  But I kinda dig those crazy little furballs and they like sitting in the window, so it was a sacrifice that I was willing to make.

store bought cat perch via Year of Serendipity

Since I took the floor renovation as good excuse to redo my entire office, that meant it was time to do something about the perch too.  (side note: boy do I NOT miss that stained carpet, mismatched baseboard and exposed coax cable #rightdecision)

The only cost with this project was a few bucks for the shelf bracket.  I used a shelf I removed from the hall closet for the perch itself and scraps for the other supports.  After measuring the width of the window and marking my piece of wood, I also used a scientific tool for creating curves: I folded a piece of paper diagonally and cut out a curve and traced it...  Hey, it worked!

Custom DIY cat perch wood via Year of Serendipity

Once I had the shape all figured out, I brought out my delightfully modern jig saw.  Check out that avocado color!  Tres Chic!

Custom DIY cat perch cutting via Year of Serendipity

Slow and steady, I cut the curves and I smoothed them out a bit with my palm sander.

Custom DIY cat perch sanding via Year of Serendipity

My curves weren't perfect, but I decided not to stress about it- my intended audience wouldn't judge.  Actually they would, but not about a crooked curve- they're more likely to judge about why I haven't fed them yet.

Since my window sills have a bullnose edge to them, I wanted to match the edge here.  A router is one tool I don't have yet, so I always borrow Handy Dad's, but you could always skip this step and use sandpaper to ease the edges.

Custom DIY cat perch routing via Year of Serendipity

I routed both the front and back, then sanded quite a bit more.  Fast forward and the perch and a few support pieces (you'll see their purpose shortly) miraculously got 2 coats of Dune White trim paint.

Custom DIY cat perch painted via Year of Serendipity

For the install, I started by screwing the perch directly into the window sill.

Custom DIY cat perch screwed via Year of Serendipity

I was rather shocked at it's sturdiness already, so I made the executive decision to use only one shelf bracket below instead of the 2 I had originally planned.  This is also where the support pieces come in: I didn't want to cut out the window sill, so I needed a few spacers (out of scrap pieces) to make the bracket work.  I used this bracket from Home Depot.

Custom DIY cat perch via Year of Serendipity

It took them a few days to warm up to their new perch, but now, much like the old one, it's the place to be.

Custom DIY cat perch via Year of Serendipity

Aside from being much easier on the eye than the nubby brown one, this diy cat perch is also worlds sturdier than the last one.  If I could fit on it, it would hold me.  Too bad I only made it kitty sized.

Custom DIY cat perch via Year of Serendipity

I could keep talking about kitty perches for days, apparently, so I'll do exactly that- come back tomorrow for a quick post about how I made the coordinating cushion! UPDATE: check out the cushion how to here.