Sunday, February 7, 2016

IKEA HACK: Geometrical cat basket made from a lamp shade

- a JOXTURP lampshade from Ikea (€1,99)
- Glue ( I used all-purpose glue)
- tape ( I used a strongish kind of masking tape)
- if your cat is very fat: an extra lampshade or a piece of carton to cut an extra panel from.

optional materials:
- some thick, non fraying fabric to clad the inside with + sewing equipment
- paint/sharpies/pencils for decoration

level: easy

If there is anything in the world that our cat, Broen, loves more in the world than sleeping and bullying our other cats, it's boxes. He doesn't just like boxes, he LOVES them. Most ardently.

You'll see in a minute why this is relevant. Last week I was at Ikea when I stumbled upon this lamp shade.

It is a lampshade from the JOXTURP-series, and it has two amazing features: It is made out of carton and it is really cheap: €1,99.

I was looking for a lamp shade and I really liked the shape and material of it. Unfortunately, I do not like orange lamp shades. But then I saw that the inside of it was white. I figured that I might be able to assemble it inside out, and for 1,99 I was willing to take that risk. So I took it home.

At home I began assembling the shade in the following way. 


Collect all carton parts. On the white side, there are folding-lines. You will need to replicate those on the orange side. In order to make straight lines, I used a ruler and the back of a fork.


Assemble the lamp shade following the ikea instructions, but do it side out: folding all panels to other way so that the white side becomes the outside. You will need to put glue on all the small strips in order to strengthen the construction. I recommend a strong glue for this.  Press firmly together to make sure the glue strips are secured. You do not need to insert the plastic parts, since this is not going to be a lamp shade.

! if you want to add a fabric lining, make sure you trace one of the panels onto paper (newspaper works fine). you can use his as a pattern for the fabric.


Up to this point, my idea was to make a lamp shade. And it was looking quite cool! But Broen just would not leave me alone. He was constantly trying to sit on every piece of carton, and when I returned from a trip to the kitchen, en found him all snuggled up in the lamp shade, sound asleep.

He looked so comfy, that I did not dare to kick him out. So I figured: why did I not repurpose it as a cat basket? The size was actually perfect for him. And I think this looks much better than a lot of other cat baskets.

Despite the fact that he looks like a kitten, Broen is quite tall and weighs at least 4 kilo's, He fits in just fine. So I reckon this size should be okay for most cats.
If your cat is a bit chubby, or if he/she just like a little more space, you can simply buy an extra lamp shade, and insert as many extra panels as you would like (which is the brilliance of this design). For small cats you can just as easily remove a panel.


The last step is to put some tape around the edges of the entrance, in order to strengthen them just a little more.

Voila, your cat's new home is ready!

I later replaced this tape for white tape


You can add some soft fabric to the inside. To do so, choose a nice thick, non-fraying fabric.
Fleece, faux fur, or fabric from an old sweater will work fine. I choose two layers of an old fleece blanket. 

Take the paper pattern that you made in step 2, cut it out, and remove those little folding strips. Lay your pattern on the fabric and cut around it.  There are two options: 

1) Using glue to add the fabric lining. This is the easiest option. In this case, you cut the exact measurements of the pattern. Glue them into place with some all-purpose glue. You can choose to add the fabric only to the bottom, or clad the entire inside with fabric. 

2) sewing a lining. Of you sew the lining, you can choose to remove it later on and wash it. If you want to add lining to the entire inside, sewing is not the best option, since you'll need something to keep the fabric sticking to the ceiling. In that case, I recommend velcro.

If you want to sew you'll need to leave some extra room on the sides of each pattern ( where the folding strips used to be) for seam allowance. Cut as many panels as you like to add and sew the sides together, using the lamp shade as a guide on where the pieces go.  If you only use fabric on the bottom, you can just lay it in. Otherwise, use velcro or glue for the top part. 

If you like, you can decorate the outside with sharpies or paint. 

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