Colorblocked Scratching Post DIY

So cute! Color Blocked Scratching Post DIY (click through for tutorial) If you have a cat (or two!) and have ever roamed the pet store aisles looking for a good scratching post, then you probably already know about my personal anguish. Our cat Mac has taken to occasionally scratching on a few rugs and chairs that I would rather keep “unshredded”, so I thought we should get him a post so he can direct his scratching instinct in a more positive direction. The problem with cat scratching posts is that most of them are pretty, well, boringly hideous. I mean, if I want a piece of furniture that’s going to stand out in my house, I want it to be a cool vintage chair or plant stand, not a dull-looking scratching post. Thankfully, what’s a girl to do when she can’t find what she wants already made? You guessed it, DIY to the rescue!

So cute! Color Blocked Scratching Post DIY (click through for tutorial) We’re happy to be working with Fancy Feast, who just launched their Broths with Chicken (you can see Mac is loving it!). It’s part of their #WaysToWow campaign, sharing tips to wow our furry little buddies. As part of our partnership, Fancy Feast is making an additional donation to Humane America Animal Foundation (behind, who helps homeless pets get out of shelters and into loving homes. It’s in conjunction with the brand’s history of raising awareness about shelter animals.

You may already know, but I have a pretty big heart for the humane society and pet adoption. I adopted our first kitty Charlie over three years ago, and we loved her so much that we adopted a little brother named Mac for her a year ago. Since I have a husband that is on the road touring a lot for his musician job, it can be really lonely when he’s out of town, and I have to say that the loneliness was really getting me down. As soon as I got sweet Charlie though, it was a million times more fun to be home alone and so comforting just to have another heartbeat around the house. Mac’s playful spirit (and constant willingness to cuddle) has brought even more joy, and I always tell people that I feel like they rescued me instead of the other way around. I love those furry babies so much. 

18″ round wood circle
-4×4 wooden fence post (about 20″ tall)

-drill and long wood screws
white 4×4″ post cap
-white paint

-150 ft of 1/4″ nylon rope*
-pink and yellow dye

-bucket and salt (to dye the rope)
-staple gun (or hammer and small nails)
-white and pink (or white and yellow) electrical tape

*It seems like sisal rope is actually the rope of choice for scratching posts (I think it holds up to long-term scratching better), but it looked like I could get a brighter dye color and a whiter white with the nylon rope instead. Either rope works though and the sisal can be dyed as well.

So cute! Color Blocked Scratching Post DIY (click through for tutorial) So cute! Color Blocked Scratching Post DIY (click through for tutorial) So, the first thing you’ll want to do is attach your post to your round platform. Find the middle of your platform, place the post in the middle, and use a pencil to trace around the edges of the post so you can see where to put the screws. Use a drill bit that’s slightly smaller than your wood screws and drill four holes within your marked square that go all the way through to the other side of the platform. Flip the platform over and line up your traced square to be on top of your post (so basically your whole scratching post should be sitting upside down). Since you pre-drilled your holes all the way through the wood, you should be able to see where to screw in your four wood screws from the underside to secure the platform to the pole. (Get someone to help hold it in place if you need to while you drill. It’s a bit awkward to hold yourself) Flip the scratching post right side up when you’re done and paint the bottom platform with a few coats of white paint.

So cute! Color Blocked Scratching Post DIY (click through for tutorial) To dye your rope, you’ll want to get a bottle of dye for each of your colors (I chose pink and yellow). Since I wanted three colors of rope to color block with, I dyed 50 ft pink, 50 ft yellow, and left 50 ft white. Fill a large bucket halfway with hot water and add 1/3 cup of salt to the water (the salt helps to set the dye). Mix in your first dye color and stir. You can control the color you want by adding more dye, more water, or simply leaving the rope in for longer or shorter amounts of time (I did one full bottle of color and left the rope in for 30 minutes). Just keep checking the rope to see how it’s progressing and leave it in longer or add more dye if you want a darker color. When you are happy with the color, pour out the dye and rinse the rope in cool water until the color runs clear. You’ll really want to rinse the rope until all excess dye is removed so you don’t end up with dye on your kitties’ paws. If you would rather not use a manufactured dye, you can also look into some natural dye options as well, but if you rinse the rope really well, the dye shouldn’t transfer from the rope.

So cute! Color Blocked Scratching Post DIY (click through for tutorial) Once your rope is rinsed, hang it up or place it on a cookie sheet in a big pan to air dry.

So cute! Color Blocked Scratching Post DIY (click through for tutorial) After the rope has dried, take your white rope and staple gun the end to the bottom of the post. (You could also use small nails instead of a staple gun.) Wrap the rope around the post as tightly as you can, pushing down on the rows every so often to make sure they are packed tightly together. 

So cute! Color Blocked Scratching Post DIY (click through for tutorial) When it comes time to change colors, cut your white rope, take your white electrical tape and connect the end of the white rope to the beginning of your pink rope. The trick with electrical tape is that you want to pull on it and stretch it while you wrap it—that’s what makes it really secure. Continue to wrap your pink rope around the pole and repeat the process of joining ropes again with the pink or yellow electrical tape when you switch to yellow rope, and again with the white tape when you switch back to the white rope to finish the pole. Remember to wrap tightly and push down on the rows every so often. 

So cute! Color Blocked Scratching Post DIY (click through for tutorial) To finish your rope wrapping, cut your rope and secure the end with electrical tape. Use your staple gun to secure the rope end onto the pole. Glue your post cap onto the top of your post (I just used a simple epoxy glue to secure mine), and you’re ready to show kitty the new scratching post!

So cute! Color Blocked Scratching Post DIY (click through for tutorial) So cute! Color Blocked Scratching Post DIY (click through for tutorial) So cute! Color Blocked Scratching Post DIY (click through for tutorial) I rubbed some catnip onto the sides of the post and brought Mac in to check it out. I did a few scratching motions myself on the post and it didn’t take him very long to give it a try himself! If your cats aren’t already using a scratching post, you may need a few tips to get them used to using the new scratching routine (check out this post for ideas). And man, I still really love those junk food cat toys I made recently and they still play with them everyday…

I have to say, I was a little worried that a cute scratching post might not be possible, but I’m so pleased with how this came out! Since the colors and feel of the post match the rest of our home aesthetic, it really blends in with the rest of the room and doesn’t awkwardly stand out (and of course you can change the dye colors to match whatever your home colors are). It’s cute, functional, and the kitties love it. So I would say it’s a win for everyone! xo. Laura

 Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.


  • Is the bottom weighted? When the cat goes to scratch post does he pull it over?

  • Oh my gosh ! Ce grattoir coloré pour chat est super beau ! Quelle idée originale !

  • I know that this post is pretty old, but thought I’d comment in case you see it. How did you find a 20″ tall 4×4 post. Do you know if I could get a tall post cut at Home Depot or something? I can’t figure out how to purchase just the small 20″ piece. Thanks.


  • Love this! Do you think paracord would hold up to the test in this diy? Thanks!

  • I have to do something like this for my cat. Scratcher that I bought wasn’t good enough for my cat.

  • I’m running this by Pixie (who insists on using the sofa for her scratching um, experiments) for her opinion. LOL

  • This is really cute, but I don’t have a cat. I’m honestly more interested in that awesome black and white bench with gold legs. Did I miss that post? Details please!

  • This is so clever! I should totally make this for my cat this weekend – her current scratching post is scratched to an inch of its life! Thank you!

  • cat posts allll day everyyy day puhlease!! as if I didnt love you enough already

  • I would love to see other cat projects like this. Recently my two cats returned from the vet minus their collars so I would love to see some DIY cat collar ideas or anything cat 😉

  • So pretty, Have you thought about making stairs for your kitty? My cat is 14 years old and has trouble getting up and down from my bed, I had to get him pet steps but they are just soooo ugly, would love to have a nicer option.

  • This is my new favorite DIY project, seriously! Our cats (there are 3 of them) destroy the scratching posts extremely fast and we rarely have time to look for a pretty one. I think the tricky part here is to place the post securely to the platform, but four LONG screws should do.

  • There isn’t a tutorial for that one exactly, but I talk about making it here:

    And Emma made a similar one here:

    And this post links to the fabric:

    Laura 🙂

  • Ha ha! Hope it works out for you! There’s no point in keeping things they don’t use though, so I’m on your side!

    Laura 🙂

  • It’s pretty sturdy! The wood part should last as long as I want to keep it and I can just replace the rope as needed (which I think would take a while before I needed to do that either)

    Laura 🙂

  • This is an amazing idea and really beautiful! I feel like it would be cool to put a ledge at the top of it so the cats can sit up there!

  • Exactly! You can keep the structure as long as you want and replace the rope as needed 🙂


  • I love this so much! My cat (who is also named Mac <3) will definitely be getting one of these.

  • I am soooo enamoured of this idea. I think I’m stopping at Lowes on my way home tonight to get the bits and pieces. Right now my cats are determined to renovate my newly slipcovered couch and two new wing chairs and I have not yet been able to deter them.

  • Oh, thank goodness! My husband built a monstrously huge, covered in industrial carpet, eyesore of a cat tree a few years ago. Bless his heart, he was so proud because he didn’t spend the money on one from the store. But ugh. It’s enormous and takes up a ton of space and the cats aren’t even into it. I’ve been trying to find a way, for years, to break it to him gently that this thing has to go. Maybe giving him a smaller project he can replace it with will soften the blow? Here’s hoping.

  • I’ve been looking for cat posts and trees that don’t stick out like a sore thumb with the home decor…this is awesome – right up my alley! Thank you, thank you 🙂

  • Brilliant idea, much more delicate to keep in your apartment than the original, a bit boring ones:-)

  • OMG! THANK YOU! I didn’t think it was possible to have a beautiful scratching post!

  • I’m half tempted to try this on his existing ugly post. It would look so much nicer!!

  • I love this so much – the colors are super cute. Happy happy cats!

    Warm Regards,

  • Can we get a spin-off cat lady blog? “Messy Cats” or “A Beautiful Pet” or something? These are some of my very favorite posts!

  • I love this too! Would be great if you could do more pet stuff since most equipment available in stores isn’t considerably.

  • Nice DIY but it’s difficult to keep it safe with the cat, will it last?

  • this is such a lovely idea and I love the look 🙂
    amazing and some day when I have a cat I think I will try one myselfe =)

  • This is exponentionally nicer than the cat scratching post I DIYed for our girls a couple of months ago. Dyed rope – #Facepalm. It looks so beautiful! And I agree, totally chic enough to have on display.

    I blogged about cat scratching y’day too, except how to repair leather chairs that get shredded. If anyone’s interested in seeing how I did it (in just TWO STEPS), just check it out here –

    I promise. It’s not spam. Hand on heart.

    xx A

  • This is such a cute idea, I think I’d try and do some ombre rope though as a little twist. As much as I’d love to try this I have a feeling my little monkey Merlin would still find the sofa far more satisfying to scratch on – naughty boy!

    Meg xx

  • wow this is wonderful idea , i will make it because my cat always scratch anyhting life sofa,door,even my legs lol XD , i think if make rainbow color would attract cat than before , thanks for sharing

  • This is so adorable! My cat would be so happy with this haha



    • Really nice project. How thick is the base and the (4) screws are all it requires to stay upright? Won’t fall over?

  • I could definitely see my cat loving something like this. Now I have to think of colors!

  • This is SOOO darn cute! I’ll have to make one when I finally live in a place that allows pets! Great idea!!

  • I’ll have to make one of these soon. My existing scratching post is needing to be replaced soon. Perhaps with this DIY one all I’ll have to do is replace the rope from time to time. 🙂

    Love that it is pretty and functional.

  • I LOVED this post! great tutorial, good cause and cute furry babies 🙂 And I get it, I feel that way about my dogs. it’s SO good having them around. mostly when my partner is out of town for business, and also my family lives in another country. although I don’t live with cats right know, I thinks this is a goo idea 😛

  • That is so cute, love your choice of colours! 🙂

  • what a great idea! This would be the perfect bday present for my friend who has 2 (spoiled!) cats.

  • That’s awesome! I don’t know why, but cat furniture is either hideous or $$$$. We diy’d our cat a modern cat bed/scratch post combo a few years ago with a store-bought base ( and I can’t wait to replace it with this this base.

  • More pet related tuorials please! This one is great. Could you make a hutch for an indoor rabbit? That would be awesome. I’ve been thinking about doing one myself but I don’t know much about tools/hardware.

  • I have today that it’s made me so happy for ABM to have a fellow Cat Lady on staff! I love all of the feline related DIYs you’ve posted.

    This is such a good idea! I’ve considered making my own cat posts before, but I never would have thought about dyeing the rope. I love that it can match your decor that way and even be pretty!

    x Kathryn (and the 4 cats!!)

  • This is so cute! I’m not a huge cat person but if I had a cat I would definitely make them one of these.

  • I’m so glad to see this on here. I have made many a cat scratch tower.. lots of work but worth it for sure.

    I’m in LOVELOVELOVE with the black and white fabric-covered bench thing to the right. gold legs. tell me there’s a tutorial for this? If not I may just have to wing it….

  • Great idea. I made one that looks similar for my cat. It saves so much money than buying a new one at the store.

  • Hi Eden! The total cost was around $50-60.00. The wooden post will last indefinitely, so if you ever need to do any upkeep, the rope would be the only thing that you would need to replace, and it doesn’t cost very much. 🙂 -Jacki

  • I L-O-V-E this idea! I wish I was a bit more crafty, I feel like my attempt at this would end up like a Pinterest copy Fail and the cat wouldn’t want to go near it!

  • Omg this is awesome! We were just looking for something like this! I can’t wait to try it. How much did this end up costing to make?

  • Wow, I love this idea! Cat trees can definitely be a little bit of an eyesore in the home, so I dig finding ways to personalize them. Absolutely adorable 🙂


  • I don’t even HAVE a cat and I want to make this!

  • I have one of those big, ugly cat ‘trees’ that (unfortunately) the kitties love, but you’ve inspired me to customize! I can cover the existing scratching post with some color, and maybe even get some carpet remnants to cover the existing beigeness. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Oh my goodness! I don’t know what is more adorable this scratching post or the kitty! Such a cute idea!

  • I love this idea!! Might try tearing off the ugly carpet off my existing one or just covering it up with some cute sisal rope!

  • This is such an easy and awesome tutorial – love it!


  • I love this! I like that you could make this project once and when your cat shreds the rope you can just replace the rope!! That would be so much cheaper than buying a new scratching post every time it gets shredded! Great DIY! Thanks for sharing! I have to do this!

  • That IS pretty! I’d love to have a scratching post that looked nice in the house, but unfortunately, my cat is super picky and won’t use any of the “classy” scratching posts…just the posts covered in carpet, which are my absolute least favorite. But I’m glad she uses it period, and doesn’t ruin all the furniture.

  • This is really neat and seems pretty easy for my Cady girl who likes to scratch my vintage desk chair! 🙁

  • Brilliant idea! I don’t have a cat, but I’ve never really liked the look of big bulky scratching posts, but this totally works! You can easily make it according to the colours of your house. Thanks for sharing!

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