Introduction: Ukulele Cat Scratcher
Does your cat need a new hobby?
Purrhaps they like to scratch your furniture a little more than you would prefer.
Maybe you just want to be able to tell your friends about your musical cat instead of showing them your 100th picture of your furry friend asleep.
Well have I project for you!
A ukulele for your cat!
Far more entertaining than those boring rectangular cat scratching posts, and a lot cheaper too...especially when most of the items to make it can be found in your recycling bin!
The idea for this cardboard adventure came about one day at my local Humane Society Thrift Store (support your local shelters!). I came across a rather large guitar shaped cat scratching object. I loved the idea but didn't have the space, but I do have a ukulele, and thus the ukulele cat scratcher was born!
- Corrugated Cardboard- (I think I used around two medium boxes worth) If you don't have any around your house, check with local businesses, they may have some boxes they are getting rid of.
- Xacto knife
- White Glue
- Small bowl
- Something small and circular to trace (I used a
- Ukulele (helpful, but not required)
- String (optional)
- Wooden skewers or chopsticks (optional)
Step 1: Ukuleles
If you do not have a ukulele, you will have to make a ukulele template. To do this, either print out a scaled up picture of a ukulele silhouette, or draw one yourself. They're not too hard to draw; a big oval with a slightly smaller oval above it, a long neck measuring a little shorter than the body, that opens into a shorter rectangle with a little crown point on top. My life-size ukulele measures about 21" tall and 7.5" across at the widest point.
If you do have access to a ukulele, simply trace it onto your cardboard. I flipped mine face down and carefully traced around it with a pencil.
Once you have your ukulele template you will need to trace around 20 ukuleles onto your cardboard (mine is 18 ukuleles thick). It is okay if some of your cardboard ukuleles have creases in them (if you have to trace over the corners of a flattened box). Just make sure you have at least two that are crease-free for the front and back of your finished ukulele. For best scratch-ability on final project, trace your ukulele running perpendicular to your box grain.
Step 2: Cut Those Ukulele Shapes
Once traced, cut all your ukuleles out with your Xacto blade. You may want to cut a couple then take a break to give your hand a rest.
Once all cut out, pick out your two prettiest ukuleles and set aside. Line up all the rest so they are facing the same way (If perfectly symmetrical pattern this is easy-mine was not). For my pattern it was that the "crown" point at the top was slightly slanted so I lined all those up and the rest of the ukulele shape followed. sandwich the not-so-pretty ukuleles between your two prettiest ukuleles.
For a little extra ukulele flair take your circular object (drink bottle) and trace and cut a circle out of the middle-ish of your top cardboard ukulele's body. Use this top piece to trace a circle onto the other layers (I went down 8 layers) trace as many as you want. Cut all the circles out and re-layer your ukulele layers.
Step 3: Gluing
To glue them together I used a thinned out Elmer's glue. Pour some glue and water into a bowl and mix, you want the consistency to be a little runny but not too thin.
If you want to add tuning pegs or strings read Step 4 before proceeding!
Starting with your bottom ukulele piece, paint the "top" with your glue mixture then sandwich the next ukulele on top. Repeat this process until you place the final ukulele piece. You may want to mark the hole on the first layer without one, so as not to unnecessarily apply glue.
Once glue is applied and all sides are lined up to your liking set a couple books or something similarly weighted atop the ukulele. You do not want something heavy enough to crush the corrugation, just enough weight to hold it together while it dries. Let dry under weight until it is completely dry, or a few hours.
Step 4: Ukulele Extras
If you would like to add some tuning pegs to your ukulele there are a couple ways of doing so. You will need some sort of "stick", maybe a chopstick, skewer, dowel, straw, or an actual stick from a tree. If your object is thin enough(chopstick or skewer) you can slide it through the corrugation in your cardboard once it is glued together.
If your object is thicker you may need to cut apart a layer of your ukulele to add the peg. Before gluing pick a layer as far down as you would like and cut a break in it as wide as your peg is. Add the peg in that break when you get to that layer of gluing.
You could also add a thin peg in the same fashion, just lay it on the cardboard between layers when gluing. You should not need to cut a break for it if it is just a skewer or chopstick.
When adding the strings there are also a couple ways to do this, either way you will need some string, I used some yarn left over from other projects. The first method is the easiest but not the most sturdy, just glue or tape the string on top.
The next is a little more tricky but will hold up better-until your cat eats through the strings, at least. You will need to poke some holes into the top layer of cardboard for this option. Mark out your string holes and use a pencil to punch three holes in the body and the top. Poke the strings through them (a pencil may be helpful). Tape the strings down to the back of your top piece. When it is time to glue down the top ukulele piece, you may want to remove the tape and glue them down, or leave the tape and glue over it.
Last option is a little easier than the previous and might hold up just the same, but I didn't think of it until after I'd already committed to the previous... Follow the previous steps for the bottom attachment of strings, but instead of looping the top into the cardboard, just tie the strings to the pegs.
Step 5: Present to Your Cat
After a good few hours of drying your ukulele should be done and ready to be played by your furry friend!
My cat also enjoyed some added catnip, either under the strings or on the sides.
Participated in the
Recycled Speed Challenge