Grape Crate Pet Beds

Grape Crate Cat Beds Final 12

We currently live in an Italian neighbourhood and in the fall a good many of our neighbours squished their own grapes to make wine.  The result was that there were plenty of these nice wooden crates at the curb when they were done.  I knew I HAD to have them, to make SOMETHING, but I didn’t know what, exactly, I was going to do with them.  Then my brother-in-law got a cat.  Then my brother got a cat.  Then my sister-in-law mentioned that she was going to get a cat.  And cats like boxes.  And these boxes are cat-sized.  So there you go.

Grape Crate Cat Beds 1

First I had to clean them off and scrape off the labels and sand them a bit.

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The sides of the crates were made from particle board, so I didn’t sand too much, naturally.

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I did wonder how the porosity of the particle board would affect my ability to stain it.  I guess the only way to find out is to do it!

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I used a variety of stains for this, the dregs that were in the bottoms of cans from previous projects.  One was a gel stain, which I had never used before.

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You can see how dark it goes on.

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It almost covered up the ink on the sides of the crate, but came back through once I wiped off the excess.

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Here you can see the other two stains, which were more translucent.

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Wiping off the excess with a rag after painting it on.

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It came out darker depending on the roughness of the wood.

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And I forgot about the whole STAINING part of stain, and forgot to wear gloves.  Oops.

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Once they’d dried, I painted on a quick layer of varathane.

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Again, because I didn’t sand them too much, we weren’t looking at baby’s bottom smoothness here.

Grape Crate Cat Beds Final 1

The completed boxes.

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I bought three pillows, each 13″ x 20″, which nearly fit the inside of the boxes.

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Fortunately my mother has what amounts to a fabric store in her basement, so I had plenty of patterns to choose from for cushion covers.

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I made the cushion covers in the same fashion as I make all my other cushion covers: with the simple overlap in the back that eliminates the need for buttons or zippers, which are beyond my skill level.  I double-sewed all the seams because I wanted them to last through being removed for washing.  I got the whole thing done super quickly, too, because I was using my grandmother’s sewing machine, which has two settings: terrifyingly fast, and supersonic.  And I didn’t sew my thumb to anything, either, so I count that as a win.

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The cushions, stuffed inside the covers.

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And inside the box.  There’s a little gap on the sides, but once the pillows get squished down by the cats they’ll fill the whole space.

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I decided they were too tricky to wrap (and a waste of paper), so it’s more of a token wrapping job.

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Quick Cushion Cover

Quick Cushion Cover

My mother made the Pie a cushion a few years ago out of a lovely soft brown corduroy, and he uses it to prop himself up whenever he’s reading in bed.  My mother DID NOT make me a cushion, so you can see who the favourite is right there.
Quick Cushion Cover

She did, however, give me this utterly fantastic fabric remnant as part of my birthday present.  Isn’t it ridiculously awesome?

Quick Cushion Cover

I wanted a bed cushion of my own, and I thought this fabric would do the trick.  It’s almost exactly the right size, after all.

Quick Cushion Cover

And if I just overlap the back part, like so, then I won’t need to add any fasteners. And using the selvages as my open edges means that I don’t have to hem anything either. I love selvage.

Quick Cushion Cover

After cutting the fabric to fit more closely on the sides, I pinned it in place on top of my cushion to line everything up.  I then removed the cushion and added some more pins to keep things in place.

Quick Cushion Cover

A simple seam, reinforced, will do the trick.

Quick Cushion Cover

Then you turn it right side out again.

Quick Cushion Cover

And add another seam, just for security.

Quick Cushion Cover

And then you stuff the cushion back in.  Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.  The whole thing took about fifteen minutes.

Quick Cushion Cover

The pillow of course clashes horribly with our wedding quilt but I don’t really care.  I now have my own cushion, and it’s bigger than his.  Nyah, nyah, nyah.

Quick Cushion Cover

Lining Up Yer Linens

Lining Up Yer Linens

Martha Stewart.  Love her or hate her (or, like me, oscillate frequently between the two emotions), but you have to admit that the woman (or one of her various minions) knows how to organize a closet.

We don’t have a lot of linens in our linen closet, but if I leave the Pie to his own devices for even an hour I will find the whole thing in complete disarray.  Folding stuff and stacking it in neat piles is not something in his skill set (which is fine, because he’s really good at other things, like frying eggs over-easy, which is not in MY skill set).

Lining Up Yer Linens

Martha suggests keeping your various sheet sets folded and tucked into one of their own pillowcases.  This way they stay folded if the pile falls over, and you don’t end up looking for lost pillow cases at inopportune times.  So simple.

Lining Up Yer Linens