Cat Walk

IMAG0865.jpgPersona:

Four legged, middle-aged, dark haired, male.

Problem:

Being too short to have a good perspective of a room, he is always in search of a perch, and because the canine housemate steals his food if his bowl is near the floor, he has to jump up and down from the top of a shelf that is too high for comfort.

Design Idea:

Upholster the the top of a shelf at a comfortable height for the little man to hang out and walk around on that will also serve as some storage space for the two-legged inhabitants, allow him to get to his feeding spot more easily, and give him a climbing option in the house.

Supplies Used:

Used almost entirely leftover bits and pieces from previous projects and things I already had sitting arround:

  • 2 Ikea Trones storage bins
  • Pine boards: 1″x 8″ and 2″x 2″
  • An old cardboard mailing tube
  • Upholstery fabric
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Decorative upholstery tacks (this is the one thing I had to buy)
  • Miscellaneous assortment of screws and brackets

Lessons Learned

Spray adhesive doesn’t really stick to memory foam.

Memory foam isn’t great for upholstery foam because it is more difficult to make it even and smooth when covering it with fabric under tension.

Regardless, kitteh approves!

 

Click Here to see Instructable!

 

Thermochromic Textile

First step is to make something integrating a yarn dyed with thermachromic pigment.  I decided an ear warmer would be a good platform as the heat wire element might enhance the ear warming function as it heats up to change the yarn color.

I like the way the yarn blends in.  Makes for a more dramatic reveal! Now to test it.

 

Thanks to Laura and Unstable Design Lab for providing the dyed yarn and Wayne for the assist with testing the needed wattage.  I’m still unsure of how to actually functionally power this project, but I think it is an interesting idea.

Sew Something…

Step one:

Find two fabrics that you like and cut out all the pieces.

Here are some instructions on that:

Basically
-measure your waist and divide that number by 6.28
-fold the fabric in quarters and use the number to draw the radius from the double folded corner.
-decide how long you want your skirt and measure it out from the first radius making sure to leave a seam allowance.
IMAG0492
After cutting the circles and waistbands, I sewed the bottom hem of the two large circles together with the right sides facing, and then turned it inside out and sewed the hem.  this allows the hem to be neat and beautiful on both sides.

 

Here is the finished hem

imag0490.jpg

 


Because this  skirt uses two woven fabrics that don’t have much stretch, I put a zipper in, so next step is cut the skirt where i wanted the zipper to go.

IMAG0491

Next comes the waist band.  using the same method with the main skirt, sew bands together with right sides facing along one of the long edges then flip and resew.  this is the top edge of the waist band
There are several methods for attaching a waistband.  I pinned the grey side first, right sides together and sewed them then, turned the skirt over and turned the edge under and pinned the print side

 

Waistband attached!

 

Now for the zipper!

this is a somewhat difficult part
I used a reversible double sided zipper.  The one I liked was actually for a sleeping bag, so I had to cut it way down!
Fold fabric under and pin the zipper in place
Be careful of the pins and turn the skirt inside out and repeat

Spice Shelf

After moving in with my partner, we had a sub-optimal situation in the cupboard where we were keeping all of our spices.  Jars vary in height and size, and the small ones would get lost as they inevitably migrated to the back.  So, I decided to build a small shelf to help mitigate the problem.

 

Step One:  cardboard prototype

It’s often beneficial to do a first mock up of an idea in cardboard to test size and functionality.  I ended up making this shelf 6″ x 6″ x 12″ to fit in the cupboard we have.

 

Step Two: digital design file

I use Adobe Illustrator for most of my graphic design work, so recreated the layout to prep for laser cutting the pieces for the final shelf.

IMAG0398

 

Step Three: laser cutting!

Thanks to the BTU Lab, and the wonderful laser masters, the design cut out nicely!

 

Step Four: assembly

Cheep plywood has a large degree of variability in thickness and texture, which means that the extremely exact laser doesn’t always cut all the way through, but nothing that a little sandpaper and an x-acto knife can’t handle!

After a quick sanding of all the edges, the pieces fit together so snugly that I didn’t need any wood glue.  This is one advantage of using wood, it has a bit of give to it.

 

Step Five: Install

Fit perfectly and allows the small spices to remain visible.  An added bonus of this design is that the open layout allows for storage underneath the shelf for less commonly used things.

 

Project Review

Overall, very happy with this project and getting good use out of it.

Supplies used:

  • scrap cardboard box
  • measuring and drawing tools
  • xacto knife
  • Adobe Illustrator (here is my PDF file if you want it)
  • Universal Laser Systems laser cutter
  • 1/4″ plywood
  • sand paper

Potential Improvements

I’m pretty happy with it as is, but maybe a coat of varnish or stain or paint could improve the final appearance.  I would like to make a three-shelf version in the future.

Link to Indestructible