How to Make an Elegant Poop Cover; Or, How to Really Dress Up The Shoji Screen That You Are Using to Hide Your Catbox

by anna on November 22, 2008

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For a few years now, we’ve been using a shoji screen to hide the catbox. This is a useful tip if you have a toddler in the house, because sometimes toddlers get curious about the little clumps of “dirt” in the “sandbox,” I would imagine–though Mini has yet to try this (knock on wood). Or, you could try it for the reasons that we did, viz. because you have a Golden Retriever who seems to think that cat shit is some kind of rare delicacy of the type that pigs sniff around for in the Italian contryside, and you’re tired of jamming toothpaste in her poop mouth, and cleaning off crusted cat litter grains off her nose.

(You’re welcome.)

Well, anyway, cats like to scratch things. And our shoji screen had seen better days. So I decided to try to dress it up a bit. And since I assume that everyone is intimately concerned with my home DIY projects, I thought I’d share it with you guys.

If you’d like to play at home, you will need to assemble your materials.

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You will need:

  • a Shoji Screen (not pictured);
  • a King-sized sheet;
  • a tape measure (not pictured);
  • A king-sized mattress pad of the foam rubber variety, aka an “egg crate” cover;
  • a screwdriver;
  • about 16 yards of ribbon in the color of your choice (I got these 4-yard rolls for $0.99 each at Michael’s);
  • a hot glue gun; and
  • a staple gun (not pictured).

First thing you want to do is to use the screwdriver to remove the hardware from the shoji screen.
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After you’ve got all the hardware off one of the panels, lay it flat on the floor and measure the sides so you can figure out how big your foam piece is going to need to be.
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Nothing about this project needs to be exact, but you want to make sure that you don’t run out of materials. It is good to slightly underestimate the size of the foam piece, because it is very stretchy and can be pulled tight against the frame. Next, measure and cut your foam piece. Ideally, you would have one of the cats close at hand to oversee your work.
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After cutting the foam, lay it flat on the panel of the shoji screen, bumpy side down, and start stapling at the corners. Keep your staples close to the edge of the frame, so the little puckers won’t show up. Continue stapling all the way around the screen.
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Next, you will want to repeat the measuring and cutting process with the sheet. The sheet is also stretchy, so underestimating is fine, but you will want to make sure it is big enough to be stapled behind the screen, like so:
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Continue stapling the sheet all the way around the screen, pulling it tight between staples, and making sure the corners are smooth enough to stand up straight. Once you have finished with one panel, repeat all of the steps to cover the other two panels with foam and the sheet, so that you have three blank white screen panels.

Next, cut some ribbon in 2 1/2 inch pieces. You will need 12 of these pieces for each screen. Make sure you have enough long pieces left to span the length of the screens, though. While you’re cutting, plug in your glue gun, and cover one side of one strip with hot glue.
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We are going to make small squares on each corner with the strips of ribbon. Glue one piece of ribbon about one inch from the side of the panel, and one piece of ribbon about one inch from the top/bottom of the panel.
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Add another strip of ribbon, creating a “U” shape on the corner. Repeat process on adjacent corner.
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Now attach these, creating squares, by using a longer piece of ribbon.
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Repeat the last three steps on the other end of the panel, and then connect the two ends with two very long strips of ribbon.
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After you’ve connected the ribbons on all three panels, reattach the hardware (just screw through the sheets), and voilà: a less fugly poop cover.

{ 7 comments }

Mary Anna November 22, 2008 at 10:38 am

We’re so lucky that Max is the perfect cat. When she needs to do her biz, she stands by the utility room door and lets out a little meow. I let her in, she does her deed and lets out another little meow to be let out again. The litter box is tucked under a shelf in the corner behind the door. It’s so nice for it to be out of sight, out of mind. Your screen cover is a great idea! You could easily tailor it to suit any decor.

Mary Anna´s last blog post..Crafty Momma: Thanksgiving Cards

goodfather November 22, 2008 at 11:03 am

I love the pic with your cat supervising, lol! Great picumentary. I don’t have a screen like this, but it’s a great idea. We DO have three cats…

goodfather´s last blog post..Twilight Mom

shonda November 22, 2008 at 11:12 am

You are kind of a superstar.
Also, good thinking on the liter box. He might think it is a tootsie roll.

shonda´s last blog post..Dear Axl, Dreads Ain’t For Gingers

crazylovescompany November 22, 2008 at 4:14 pm

It is less fugly. But there is still a four legged creature pooping in a box. I don’t think I could put up with it. But then, I’m about to embark on first time diaper changing, so that’s probably worse. And I love your blog. I listed you as a recipient for a blogger award that I recently received and am passing on. Check it out here: http://crazylovescompany.wordpress.com/2008/11/22/my-first/

crazylovescompany´s last blog post..My first!

anna November 22, 2008 at 5:46 pm

Thanks, CLC! I posted on your blog, but I am so excited to be included among the bloggers you chose!

anna November 22, 2008 at 5:48 pm

Oh yeah, and diaper changing at first is much easier than dealing with the catbox. But once you move into the toddler realm, it’s a whole different situation.

MommyNamedApril November 24, 2008 at 6:31 am

“elegant poop cover” LMAO, i do prefer my poop in fur.

MommyNamedApril´s last blog post..It Only Seems Fitting…

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