Many moons ago, a friend offered me an old chair back. I had no idea what to do with it, but since that’s never stopped me from passing up useless junk, I brought it home. And then I propped it against the side of our house and left it there for a year.
There are so many clever command centers one can make with an old chair back, but I didn’t need another place to stow mail and keys. What I needed most was a device to organize the kitty litter area in our house. A bit of sawing, sanding and painting later, this kitty litter changing station was born! (Confession: I really wanted to call my creation the Shittin’ Pretty Kitty Command Center, but practicality won out. Darn.) Nevertheless, we’re all sitting pretty now that I don’t have to dig around for supplies anytime I need to spruce up the litter box.
Know the feeling? Then here’s how you can make your own kitty litter changing station!
DIY Repurposed Chair Back Kitty Litter Changing Station
The whole inspiration behind this project was my bloggy pal, Jeanie, from Create & Babble. She decided to host a DIY project challenge using all of the awesome swag items we attendees of Haven blogging conference received back in August. I instantly thought how of my old chair back could benefit from some of the products I brought home and, with the help of readers, brainstormed a way to turn the piece of junk into something useful. Thanks, Jeanie!
You will need:
- Old chair back
- Power saw
- 4 large cup hooks
- 1/2″ diameter dowel rod (I cut mine 18″ long)
- Sandpaper (60 and 120 grit)
- Chalkboard paint
- Thin sheet of metal
- 2 soda can tabs (or hole d-ring hangers)
- Two 1/2″ longsmall screws
- Two 2″ long screws and reinforcers
(This post contains affiliate links to Amazon. This means if you purchase highlighted products bellow via the link, I earn a small commission.)
Haven swag items I also used to complete this project:
- Dremel 200 electric dremel*
- FolkArt Milk Paint in Churned Butter*
- Tin snips from MD Hobby and Craft*
- Rustoleum Comfort Spray Paint Grip*
- DAP Rapid Fuse Fast Curing All Purpose Adhesive*
- DecoArt paintbrush*
- Eye and breathing protection
- Mini measuring tape from DIYZ
PREP CHAIR BACK
Step 1: Use superglue or wood glue to repair any wiggly pieces. I am in LOVE with this Rapid Fuse from DAP. It makes all other super glues look like sticky water.
Step 2: Cut legs down to preferred length with power saw. (I left 3 inches of leg so there would be enough room to place a large coffee hook.)
Step 3: Measure and drill holes for cup hooks (I used 2 hooks for each leg and 2 hooks to hold a dowel rod.)
Note: Since I wanted gray hooks, I spray painted them before screwing them in.
About this dowel rod: I’ve hung on to this 3/4″ dowel for years just knowing it would come in handy some day. Having a rod to hang litter box liners (a.k.a. yard trash bags) was a key feature I wanted in my kitty litter changing station which meant it was time to pull out that dowel. Hurray! All I had to do was cut the rod to size and fit the ends into the large cup hooks:
Crap. The dowel was too thick. Nevertheless, there was NO WAY I was about to go out and buy a new dowel. Uh-uh. Not when I already had a perfectly good (albeit bowed and slightly moldy) one!
Dremel to the rescue! After popping on the sanding attachment, I whittled down each end of the dowel until it slid perfectly into each hook.
Note: Always use protective eyewear and face mask when using a dremel. Those fine particles shooting up into the air don’t mess around. Trust me.
PAINT CHAIR BACK
Hi there! My name is Sucker-For-Cute-Packaging!
I was completely smitten by these sweet little bottles of FolkArt milk paint. It’s probably why I grabbed four of them even though I probably didn’t need four. It was a close tie, but in the end, I chose Churned Butter for the finish on my kitty litter changing station.
Step 4: Sand the surface of the wood until smooth. (Thankfully, the finish on my chair back was so worn down that I was able to sand it off easily.)
Note: Milk paint should only be used on bare wood.
Step 5: If using milk paint, apply a coat and allow to fully dry. Then lightly sand with a fine-grit sandpaper and repeat with desired coats. (I gave my chair back 3 coats of milk paint, then used a 60-grit sandpaper to distress the edges. Milk paint distresses beautifully, btw.)
MAKE CHALKBOARD SIGN
Since I get busy and forget when I’ve changed out the litter last, I wanted a little metal chalkboard sign to record “last change” dates. After roaming the house for scrap metal, I remembered my stack of old award plaques (which I used for this project). Using a hammer and paint scraper, I popped off a metal plate.
Step 6: Trace desired pattern on your thin sheet of metal and cut it out using tin snips.
Step 7: Lightly sand the surface of the metal, then paint with a few thin coats of chalkboard paint. Attach to the back of the chair using small nails or tacks.
Step 8: Wrap a long piece of twine a couple times around a piece of chalk and tie a knot. Drape the twine behind the sign and pull down to secure tightly in place.
Hanging such a creation requires a couple “d-ring hangers,” but since I’ve used all my d-ring hangers on other projects I had to get creative with soda can tabs.
To make a soda can tab ring hanger:
- Drill a small hole in the bottom of the tab.
- Attach the tab to one side of the chair with a small screw.
- Gently bend the top of the tab down with needle-nosed pliers so it twill grab the screw in the wall. Don’t bend too much or you will snap it.
- Drill the 2″ screws into the wall the same distance apart as the ring hangers. (Use wall reinforcers if needed.)
Here’s the kitty litter changing station in it’s official place above the litter box in our upstairs guest bathroom. (You haven’t seen this room yet because it’s deplorable.)
No more bending over and digging around for supplies. Everything I need is right at hand level.
On a side note, many of you have asked me what kind of kitty litter I use. Since I prefer my kitties to smell like sweet kitty fur instead of dusty, choking perfumes, I use chicken starter. Chicken starter is NOT to be confused with chicken feed. Chicken starter/crumbles is a combination of crushed bone, shells and other absorptive ingredients making it a great, natural clumping litter without all the dust and heavy fragrance of commercial cat litters.
I was so excited about this kitty litter changing station that I woke the cats up from their naps to show them.
They tried to act like they didn’t care, but I know it meant a lot to them.
To find out what other Haven attendees created, join the fun below!
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