DIY Wood + Sisal Cat Scratcher

By Kate Riley June 11, 2020

I was just sitting in the living room last week, enjoying my morning coffee and the quiet waiting for my teens to wake up and come downstairs when all of a sudden I heard that all too frequent sound of the CAT SCRATCHING THE FURNITURE which totally triggered me. My peace disrupted by the family cat, I decided I couldn’t take it anymore.

I was tired of yelling “Stop Coco Stop!” and decided that day I was going to build a cat scratcher before sundown. So I drove to Lowe’s and buy whatever supplies were necessary to save the furniture! Save the chairs!

File this natural wood and sisal rope cat scratcher under the “not so pretty but necessary” DIY projects in my portfolio of work. :)


Aaaaaannddd mission accomplished. :)


I like the natural wood and sisal rope combination and also the basic geometric shape. It’s not the cutest thing on display but I’d rather save the furniture so it’s a practical compromise. :)

Thankfully the family cat got the message so she’s been stretching herself and scratching it ever since. She actually prefers it now instead of the furniture which was the goal.

Supplies to recreate: 6 ft of birch wood 12” wide; ¾ x 1” strip of wood 12” long; 200 feet of sisal rope; heavy duty stapler, power drill; 1 ¼” screws; sanding wedge; compound miter saw; felt floor protectors (optional).

I’m going to take you back to basic geometry with these angles, they’re simple. 90°, 68° and 22°. Mitering the bottom piece is a little easier since you can set the saw at 22° to get a 68° cut. Mitering the top piece is trickier but I’m lazy and just didn’t do it.



First, cut the bottom base. This piece of wood is 11¼” wide so that’s the length it was cut to form a perfect square.



With the smaller strip of ¾ x 1” wood, cut four little feet, sand any rough edges, and attach them with 1¼” wood screws to the base.

You might want to attach four of those adhesive felt floor protectors (not shown), the kind that protect from scratches.

Next attach the back to the base, then attach the angled piece to the top of the back piece and the bottom of the base with wood screws.

This is how it looks when it’s all screwed together. The bottom angle is perfectly mitered to the base, but the top is not because like I said before, I was lazy.


Notice how I used a different piece of wood on the back. That’s because initially I didn’t buy enough at Lowes and didn’t want to drive all the way back, so I raided my scrap pile of plywood and thankfully had a 10” wide piece. If you’re recreating this project and want all the wood to be the same width, simply get a 72” board and you’ll have enough.

The final step is to secure the sisal rope tightly with a heavy duty stapler.


Wrap the rope around the front angled piece tightly, securing the rope approximately every five rotations or so.

That’s it! Prop up the new scratcher and introduce it to your cat. I’ve read that sprinkling a little cat nip on a new scratcher helps to attract a cat but ours didn’t need it and she loves it for a full stretch too.

Better she attacks this than my blue chairs. :)

Brass Trim Uses in Design

By Kate Riley June 8, 2020

The tile in my master shower has been chipping and falling off for almost a year so I have a plan in place to remove much of the tile and replace it with a better installation. I have a few insets for shampoo/conditioner so I was looking at different tile patterns and this installation stopped me in my scroll because the brass trim around the edges was to me the perfect detail.

So I looked around and found even more examples of thin brass lines used to accentuate spaces in various installations. Some examples:

around a shower niche

bilinga beach abode

as trim on kitchen cabinets

marie flanagan interiors

as a grout substitute in between tile

studio mcgee

on dresser drawers

restoration hardware

on bathroom vanities

 jenkins interiors

on kitchen range hoods

source unknown

as part of a mosaic backsplash

tile bar

artistic tile

as a dramatic accent on a tile floor

 lowitz & company

as inlay with a wood floor

istoria wood floors

Brass trim and edging can be found at most home improvement stores, tile stores, or online.

t shaped edging / bendable brass stripscorner edging

  brass rectangle / brass bezel wire  / brass oval strip

The edging is for flooring and tile installations, but some of the other strips and trims can be used for DIY projects to trim furniture, picture frames, etc. I’m tempted to add brass strips to my next dresser makeover. :)

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