Cat Wall – DIY project

I started working on the cat wall last year, approximately 9 months ago. Thanks to self isolation and social distancing, I found myself with more time than I know what to do with. Last week, I also had two days of holiday with my destination as the shed(topia), so no excuse not to finish this lingering project.

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I originally had much bigger plans than what it turned out to be, however, the two other walls I was going to use aren’t suitable to have anything of any substance put into them, so it was scaled back to a one wall feature.

So heres what I bought to make this wall possible

  • 2 Bubble Domes for the bubble seats from Amazon
  • 2 Wall mounted cat beds from Zooplus
  • 8 Wall brackets from Ikea – I used Ekby Valter but is no longer available
  • 4 Shelves from Ikea
  • Wood  and screws – I had some left over from the pond enclosure I made last year
  • Primer, paint, paint brushes and clear acrylic spray paint
  • Wallpaper and glue – I used spray glue but if I had to do it again Id use Mod Podge
  • Wall plugs – extra heavy because I have Maine Coons
  • The small scratching post as a step up to the cat wall for the cats

I actually made 4 shelves but I only needed to use 3

Now the step by step tutorial on making a super awesome cat wall, which to date my cats are still not very impressed with.

 

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Wall mounted cat beds:

  1. These automatically come with velcro stapled onto it for the cat bed to attach to it, get your pliers out and remove ALL of the staples, this is tedious and I was hoping my circle would be big enough that they would be cut out but sadly no.
  2. Using the Bubble Dome fence attachment bit (technical term and refer to above picture, top left) mark out the size of the circle, inside circumference of the circle and then saw it out. It was a tight squeeze with the saw at the bits where it mounts to the wall. I did drill a few holes first around the circle to fit the saw blade into.
  3. Sand down your rough edges and they will be rough.
  4. Make sure the bubble fits (top middle pic), I did need to make a few adjustments.
  5. Drill the holes as per the fence attachment, which is how you will attach the doom at a later stage. I made the mistake of doing this after I painted it and had further chipping from the wood, which meant more painting.
  6. I then primed the wood and then painted them the different colours. I knew the cat wall shelves were going against a very white wall and wanted them to visually pop, hence my choice in colours. I also fell in love with the wall paper and then found the paint to match it. I did 2 coats of primer and then 3 coats of the colours.

2Brackets:

  1. Prime them, I did 2 coats
  2. Paint them, I did 3 coats.

 

3Shelves

  1. Because my cats are big, they like to be enclosed, ie not fall out when they roll over.  I realised that I needed to create an enclosed shelf, to stop any injuries. I had wood left over from making a pond enclosure from scratch last year and measured it all out, cut it all down to size – 1 front rail and then 2 side pieces per shelf, sanding down all the wood edges.
  2. I then covered the side shelf rails in wall paper. I used spray glue for ease and convenience.
  3. I screwed the front rail into the shelves, so that you wont see the screw when its covered in wall paper and on the wall.
  4. I then covered the shelves with wall paper. I decided to cover the bottom of the shelf, wrapping the paper over the front and having it finish on the inside of the front shelf. People cant see into the shelves, so no need to cover them and I thought the cats might damage the paper with their claws, so just leave it as is.
  5. I glued the bottom of the self first, attached the paper and then glued the front, edge and back of rail, wrapping the paper over the rail, in 2 steps.
  6. I then screwed the side rails to the main shelf.
  7. I then spray painted them with a clear acrylic for extra shine but also to cover any stickiness left over from the glue. I really dont want the cats to stick to the shelves!

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Creating the cat wall

  1. I measured out my wall to understand what my mid way point was and then measured out the space I wanted between the shelves or vaguely where I wanted the shelves to be – I used a foot between the shelves but given the size of my cats, I could easily gone for 18 inches instead.  To be fair I also did this on paper to see if a visual would help and it did in terms of measurements and knowing the midway point and where I would put all the shelves.
  2. I had a few ideas but I wasn’t really sure how I wanted it on the wall, so rather than making LOTS of holes in the wall, I put it all the floor and measured it out to what it would look like on the wall. I tried a few ideas and sent a few messages to friends for their opinions.
  3. At this point because I was about to drill next to an electrical socket, I did turn off the electric to ensure no accidents!
  4. I then marked on the walls with the shelves where the wall plugs should go (with a level!!) and drilled the holes and inserted the wall plugs. Four hands at this stage would have been incredibly helpful and saved me time but being a single cat lady means I could only use the two that I have and proves that one person can do this project.
  5. Get your level ready and start putting up the shelves. For the domes you will need to remove the dome to get the screws in.

SUCCESS!!! You’ve completed your cat wall, be very very proud of yourself.

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I really enjoyed this project, I wont lie. It absolutely built my confidence around my DIY skills and ultimately whilst my cats aren’t very impressed with the wall, I most certainly am!

DIY Lantern Light

I have a slight obsession with lights and lamps but not your traditional kind. I’m quirky in every sense of the word and every aspect of my life. In the last 8 months I’ve taken to making my own lamps, where possible. It helps that Im quite creative and can envision what I want to make. In reality, it’s rarely as straightforward or easy (Pinterest fail) as I thought it would be but this adds to the ‘fun’ of making each item (and to my vocabulary of swear words).

I love fairy lights (or as the American in me says ‘Christmas lights’ because Christmas is awesome any time of year!), so combining the two makes me very happy.  What I don’t like is sad looking lamps/lanterns with about 10 fairy lights, that have no functionality or give off any actual light. Google image search ‘fairy light lanterns’ and you get matches to what I’m referring to. I’ve envision this light for about a year, which means that my expectations were wildly more exciting and fantastic than the lantern could ever turn out to be but it was also awesome to think through the aspects and to see items and how I could use them.

What you’ll need for your light house lamps

  • Wooden lantern with extended centre roof
  • Fairy lights
  • Pipe – the height of the lamp
  • 6 screws
  • Power Drill
  • Drill bit

I found my lamps at Lidls (however, they are widely available at lots of stores), they had 2 versions available and I went for the white version, as my living room is white and the windowsill the lamp is going in is white. Naturally I bought two, because why have one of anything when you can have two and they are going in a massive window. The extended roof is also really important when making this project, as the pipe will sit within it, giving it stability to ensure that it doesn’t fall over.IMG-20171003-WA0000

The first step is taking your pipe and putting your screws in. Use your power drill and drill bit to put holes into the pipe, I made 6 holes on 3 levels, alternating each side. This makes it easier when you are wrapping your fairy lights around the pipe. Measure out the top of the roof and then put the screw below this (naturally I didn’t do this bit and then wondered why my pipe wouldn’t fit in). I think I bought plumbing pipe. I’m a total girl when it comes to DIY shops, I walk around and think of ways of using things without any knowledge or idea of what it’s actually for or how it should properly be used. 20171006_173746

This was take two, after I realised that I hadn’t measured for the metal roof and had to redo the highest screws. It does show the importance of having the raised roof in the middle and how it acts to stabilise the pipe to stop it from falling over. 20171006_174035

Next step is to wrap your fairy lights around the pipe. I believe I used 125 lights on each pipe. The screws at the top help to hold the lights at the top of the pipe and make it easier to fit on the overall length of the pipe. 20171006_174412

Once the pipe is entirely wrapped, place it within your lantern and you’re almost done! Shut the door, plug it in and see the end result. 20171006_174511

This is what it looks like finished, admittedly the left picture was in the day light literally after I had finished it and doesn’t look very exciting at all. Right hand picture was in the evening in the dark and what a difference!

This is both of my lamps in the evening in the window that they were always destined for. I also put light switches on them to make them easier to turn on and off but not necessary to have. I’m pleased that they came out as an actual lantern giving off actual light, it’s the small things in life.20171017_205403

I think overall the project took me less than an hour and that was even with a few mistakes along the way with the overall cost being around €40ish, €20 for the lanterns, €15 for the LED fairy lights and around €5 for the pipe and light switches.

DIY Pimp your KitchenAid Mixer with Hello Kitty tutorial

Even though I am now WELL into my thirties, I still secretly (or not so secretly) love Hello Kitty.  Being a crazy cat lady has a little bit to do with it but I grew up with Hello Kitty and to be fair, she has had very few scandals, making her a rather wholesome character.

For Christmas, I was gifted with a KitchenAid Artisan 4.8L Stand Mixer <insert girly ear drum shattering screaming here>! This is very exciting because Ive been eyeing up KitchenAids for YEARS (and almost bought one for myself at Thanksgiving) but now I have a conundrum, I dont like using new things because it means they are no longer new. (Yes, I know Im proper whop whop crazy with this thinking!) Someone suggested that I get decals to personalise it because you can personalise/pimp anything these days.  Ebay and Etsy seem to be a proper destination for such decals and vinyl stickers. I knew I wanted Hello Kitty and couldn’t find anything that that fit what I wanted, I found a lot of things that I liked but nothing to specific to Hello Kitty.  I realised after my years of shopping experience and various decals Ive made for other things, I could do this! The total cost was £22.25 and potentially I could have even gotten it cheaper but I went with the first people that I saw would post to the NLs ( as getting post is HORRIFIC here).

Heres what you need to PIMP your KitchenAid Artisan Mixer

  • Hello Kitty Sticker Bomb Sheet 50X50cm (really all you need is 8.5in X 7 in), I bought mine from Buxton Sticker Shop at £7.95 (plus £7.21 shipping to the NLs)
  • 2 Hello Kitty Car Mirror Stickers in red, I bought these from Ebay at £1.90 (plus shipping at £1.10)
  • 2 Hello Kitty Car Door Handle Stickers, I bought these from Ebay at £2.99 (plus shipping at £1.10)

Now to pimp your KitchenAid out!

I started with my car mirror stickers, I measured 1 inch from the bottom of the base and placed the sticker in line with the edge of the top of the KitchenAid. I did have to make a few small cuts on the edge for it to sit flatly against the mixer.

I next added on the door handle stickers, I decided to put this on the back base and on the front mid section (yes this will be covered with the bowl).

First lesson learnt….. Take a tape measure (ideally for clothes, as it will bend around the KitchenAid) and measure the top of your KitchenAid. I measured out 8.5 inches(22cm)  in width and then 11 inches (28 cm) in length, I decided I wanted to ideally cover the entire top of KitchenAid. Let me assure you that this did not work out, at all. There was LOTs of swearing, cutting, overlapping and lying to myself that it could work over the compound curve…. Save yourself the trouble and stop short of the curve!

It looked lovely almost covered to the front from a distance, a very long distance. Up close the compound curve means you can see the lines, air bubbles, and rips, argh! So I decided to cut it back and it still looked, well, AWFUL. So I ripped it all off, took a break and then remeasured.

The accurate measurements for this model are Width – 8.5 in(22cm) by 7 in(18cm) in length.

I realised that I had a slight gap either side of the sticker once I covered cover the top (Ive never been able to cut straight, even with a ruler), I cut a further small piece and then sliced it down the middle and put it over the gap.

This is the overall finished KitchenAid with my Hello Kitty design. I wont lie, this was a project of patience, which I often seem to be short on. I went through quite a lot of the hello kitty bomb sticker do to miscalculations and  mismeasurements. In total it took approximately 90 mins but I think you could do it in 30 if you were quick and used the right measurements. Honestly, Im really quite pleased with it. Still unsure as to when I’ll actually use it but at least its out of the box and decorated to my delight.

The ultimate girly fairy light wall

I’m a slight Pinterest addict, it’s truly amazing the hours that I waste looking at stuff that I have no lots of interest in! A few months ago before the move I was looking for interior inspiration, as I was hoping that I was going to be allowed to make a few feature walls with paint, turns out that was a mega no-no but I did come across this instead.DIY-sparkle-mirror-garland1

I saw this and thought to myself, ‘I MUST HAVE THIS’. Then I naturally came to the conclusion that this would be EASY (note, whenever I ever think anything is easy it is almost certainly the furthest thing from easy) and I wont lie, it turns out kind of expensive too but the majority of the cost went on the lights so if you could get them out of season cheap at a yard sale for a dollar or on clearance at the Wal-Marts for $5, then do it! So I bought a curtain pole and then went to eBay and found everything else I needed under (mostly considered as wedding supplies).

2017-09-04 18.04.09Heres what you’ll need to make your own fairy lights wall light or Christmas lights wall light or super girly never going to scare off every man wall light.

Required supplies:

  • Curtain pole – I choose silver but any color to match your scheme will do (£15)
  • Christmas lights/fairy lights – BUY more than you think you’ll need.  Ultimately I went for outdoor lights (no specific reason and I figured if the project went to crap I could wrap a tree instead in lights), I choose a line of 120 lights over 6 meters and a line of 100 Icicle lights  over 2 meters, both with white cord, as I didn’t want it to be overly obvious when you look at the wall, ie being distracted by black cord.  (€21.95 + €26.95 + 7.98 postage = €56.88!!!)
  • Fishing line (clear) – this is to attach everything to your curtain pole, make sure its a thicker line to hold the weight (£5)
  • 3000 Silver Self-Adhesive Mirror Tiles which were 150 x 100mm per sheet or 5 X 5mm each tile(£5.49)
  • 150 Silver Self-Adhesive Mirror Mosaic Tiles which were 150 x 100mm per sheet or 10 X 10mm each tile(£2.68)
  • 99FT CLEAR Diamond Strand Acrylic Garland (£7.99)
  • 60m WHITE Hanging String Acrylic Pearl Beads (£9.40)
  • Overall total cost for this project: around £97 give or take with the exchange rate, which means it is quite pricey but in reality I probably would have spent a similar amount on paint or wall paper and accessories etc to creat it.
  • The overall time for the project is about a day, I did it over several days, as it turned out I didn’t have all the required supplies etc but I think it did really take me around 10 hours to do it all.

Now the ‘how to’ on creating this light feature:

1. Attach your curtain pole to the wall. I wanted mine to be directly above my bed, which was between my two bedside cabinets. (tip: make sure its level)1

2. I ran first (single) line of lights along the pole.  I thought I could do it more like \ / \ / along the pole with the lights but rather quickly realised that I didn’t have enough lights to make this work and look right, so realised that I needed icicle lights or something similar to give it the drapey light effect. 2

3. The next step was taking the 99FT CLEAR Diamond Strand Acrylic Garland cutting it in half and then half again – 4 pieces (this makes it much easier to loop around the pole, as strand wouldn’t go around the pole as it was) and then looping it around the pole.  Wont lie, looks rather unimpressive now. I did also take a tiny piece of double-sided tape and attach the two ends in the middle of the pole together. This was with 2 of the pieces on the pole.3

4. Now to make it all SPARKLY, take the 60m WHITE Hanging String Acrylic Pearl Beads , cut it into 3 foot/1 meter lengths (which gave me 60 lengths) and start attaching the self adhesive mosaic tiles to the line, take 2 and push the sticky backs together, I used a combination of large tiles (2-4 tiles per strand length) and about 12 small tiles per strand, randomly putting them on as I went, I didn’t want to have the mirrors at the same point on every strand. They weren’t as sticky as I was hoping for and did have them not sticking together as well as I wanted but I carried on, you’ll need to do the same. This did take me a good few hours (maybe 4?). DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP, it gives it the reflection and shine that you need! Oh and I didnt use all the small tiles at all, I have probably more than half left, so I could have gone a bit more wild than I did.4.jpg

As you can see,  I was making my lengths and laid them on the floor and then moved them around, when I did a LOAD of the mosaic tiles fell off… be prepared for this, unless you want to hot glue them on or use something stronger than the adhesive tape that is on them.5.jpg

5. Now to attach your lengths that you’ve created. Take the fishing line and attach it to the top of your strand, below one of your little pearls, so that it has something to anchor it on the line. Now tie it onto the pole, make sure that you tie the fishing line under the lights and acrylic strand, so that it is purely tied onto pole and nothing else.  My overall rod length was 66 inches long, so I started in at 3 inches on one side and put them every inch, finishing 3 inches in on the other side.  This was how it looks at the half way point.6

This is after I attached all 60 strands, FINALLY! I thought I was done… thought being the key word. When the sun hits the mirrors, the reflection is fantastic (which you can see on some of the tiles)! I won’t lie, I’ve upgraded in bed and now have a super king which is mega (six and a half feet wide), so I’m sure you could make this on a much smaller scale!7

I turned on the lights and thought ‘<insert several expletives> I need more lights’ and realised that I wasn’t done at all. 8

Finally my icicle lights arrived and I attached them on with more fishing wire, making sure they were attached to the pole and not everything else on the pole. The icicle lines were tied up to make sure they didn’t tangle, so I had to hold the top of the icicle and then pull on the bottle to make them more straight, be careful if you have to also do this.9

This is when I turned on all the lights, I was much more pleased with what I saw. It gives more of a fairy light feel, as you can see the cats helped me and vaguely gave a sign of approval. As you can see on the bottom right, I have a LOT of cords as a result of the lights, bedside lights, etc, so several extension leads are required for this.11

This is how it glows at night in the dark, which I’m really pleased with, whilst it’s not totally comparable with the original Pinterest post that I found, I have to say that Im really pleased with the way it came out and consider it a Pinterest WIN!12