Category: diy

DIY Mat Remake

I like having a specific spot where the cats go to eat. In my old apartment, I used a somewhat torn-up straw mat that had spent many days at the beach.

This mat worked great in my old apartment, but the new house has tile, which makes the mat completely ineffective as a mat. I decided I’d use one of those rug gripper things to make it more sturdy. I didn’t just want to place the mat on top of the rug gripper, though, so I glued them together. Then I got a little bit more creative.

I placed a cardboard box underneath the mat to make sure glue didn’t get on the floor.

Then I placed my rug gripper on top of the mat. Luckily the rug gripper was about the same length as the mat. I’d already planned to cut the width of the mat down, so that size was perfect, too.

Other Required Tools:

Mod Podge & a foam brush

A level to help keep the side of the mat straight.

You don’t really need this, but as I was gluing, the mat was slipping up and down on the cardboard, so I used the level on one side of the mat and just brushed glue on toward the level so that the mat wouldn’t move up and down.

Oh, and a glass of wine. Again, not required, but helpful.

I glued the entire rug gripper to the mat, and let it dry for about 30 minutes.

Then I trimmed my mat around the rug gripper.

Give yourself some space on the sides because you will have extra little reed strips trying to slip off. If you think about it, give a few extra coats of glue on those reed strips that will be the edges of your completed mat – This will prevent them from coming out after cutting. 

My cuts weren’t exactly perfect, so I rolled up the mat and sanded the edges a bit.

This was my intended end-of-project, but I had a sudden epiphany that I could stain the reed mat with stain that I will be using for some other pieces of furniture in the near future.

So I rolled out my mat on the cardboard outside and gave it several coats of stain. it’s not perfect, but I’m okay with that.

Then I stuck the mat in the garage overnight. The next morning, I sprayed on a few coats of clear coat protector, and let it dry a few more hours.

While that was drying, I stuck the extra long reed pieces in a white vase! It looks surprisingly nice! I’m not yet sure what I’m doing with the small section of reed mat that’s leftover.

And here’s the final project under the buffet! A perfect place for kitties to dine.

Yuki inspecting her new food space. Next project: find where on earth I’ve packed the kitty bowls. Ha!

Making Art

A few months ago, I bought a frame from Ikea. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to put in the frame, so I ended up using the cardboard that the frame was packaged in and a cool Photoshop brush that I downloaded and printed on cardstock.

What you’ll need:

  • A cool frame
  • Cardboard – usually it comes in the frame!
  • An interesting picture to print and cut out
  • Cardstock
  • Scissors and maybe an exacto knife
  • Mod Podge
  • Acrylic paint
  • Painter’s tape – or any kind of masking tape will do
  • Foam paintbrush
  • A hair dryer (to help the acrylic paint dry faster!)

Step 1: Trace the opening of the frame on the cardboard (that had packaged the frame) and paint the cardboard a neutral color. I used just white acrylic paint.

Step 2: Choose an image you like, print it over several pieces of paper, and cut it out. I downloaded this cityscape brush for Photoshop from deviant art, and spread it across 4 pieces of card stock. Then I placed the cut-out image on my cardboard to visualize where it would lay so I could add more to the background.


Step 3: I dried my white acrylic paint with the hair dryer and cut out my oval. At this point, I decided that grey was a better neutral, so I re-painted with grey. Then I taped off some diagonal lines and added a contrast color.

Step 4: Once my paint was dry (super-fast, thanks to my handy hair dryer!), I glued down my printed and cut images with Mod Podge. If you look really closely, you can see the lines across the image where it’s 2 different pieces of paper.

Step 5: Place your new art in your frame and enjoy!

Share your ideas! Does this give you any inspiration?

Fabric storage out of beer boxes!

See, I have this cabinet…

That usually looks like this.

Most of that is yarn. So yesterday I went to Ikea looking for fabric boxes, and failed.Then I came home and found these glorious beer boxes, and had an epiphany.

I cut off the tops and sanded down the glossy texture a bit.


I happened to have fabric hiding in a box that fit just right.

I used the fabric and some magical Modge Podge…



Then I split the fabric at the corners.

At this point, I happened to look over and found my cats were involved in projects of their own.

Tau had cocooned himself in the middle of my giant comforter.


While Yuki was grooming in her suitcase bed.


Back to the boxes! I got tired of glue, so I taped down the edges inside the box.

Then I filled the boxes with yarn!

Wa-la! Not perfect, but a start! What do you think?