It’s a pretty rhetorical question in the Cole and Marmalade household. Can cat owners go too far into the extreme when decorating for the holidays? Not in this house! And what’s the most important thing for you to remember when choosing your decor? It MUST be safe for your felines, or “catified” as it’s called. But why not make it utterly over-the-top? Who is stopping you?! The answer is no one.
So here are a few extreme ideas we at Cole and Marmalade have created for the holiday seasons.
It always begins with the best intentions. The creative juices begin flowing and the “Martha Stewart” floods out. Usually onto their favorite building material…cardboard boxes. A feline favorite. Now you could go the simple route that cat dad, Chris Poole, a.k.a. Cat Man Chris, goes. But that’s more of a quantity over quality method. Still works wonders and perhaps for an Easter “Egg” hunt maybe?
Beginning small and basic, cat mom Jessica Josephs (JessiCAT), grabbed a few tiny boxes around the house and threw this together. No, not very exciting, but you have to start somewhere! So Florida 2013’s holiday decorations were simple and sweet. And effective to a very minimal point.
But when they moved from Florida to California, there were PLENTY of leftover boxes to try to reach the extreme levels of catification.
Not only was this 100% cat proof Christmas tree a delight for the felines, it was much easier than putting up a real tree! And with that 2014 was recorded as a success.
And for 2015, a bit of coziness was desired in the small Southern California apartment. Cole and Marmalade snuggled up around a crepe paper blowing on a small fan fireplace, and listened to dad’s holiday tale.
Missing family in Northern Illinois, the clan again moved across country for a TRUE white winter in 2016. But it was Chris’s turn to determine the BEST way to decorate and his favorite holiday item is the tree. He was pretty successful I’d say!
Similar to store-bought displays of the same nature, a simple 1-box gingerbread house was constructed for the 2017 holiday season.
Construction paper circles and cutouts were used to create the cat-safe decor. But with one door in the back, the basic build would bring sweetness to only one cat at a time. And during these early creation days, no windows to allow sneaky cat eyes to peep out, were even added!
But then, the designs began to develop. One of the easiest ways to cover the cardboard was found to be scrapbook paper. With the 100’s of designs available, it opened up a whole new world of embellishments! And using non-toxic Mod-Podge to adhere it, then cover it for a waterproof seal, is PURRfect!
With that, the boys became the owners of a brand new extreme sled…that is used still to this day!
To create this yourself, simply grab a HEAVY DUTY small box from your local hardware store. Secure one side closed and on the long side, draw/cut the side shape of your sled. Using an scalpel or box cutter, cut the side off in one piece. You can now use this as a template for the other side to match. Then you can fold down the small flaps on the front and back to form rolls, or attach mailing tubes as done here. Decorate with paper in a decoupage style and line with a comfy blanket.
But if you decide to go more grand and a bit over the top, you can try your hand at the MEGA gingerbread house from 2017! Both Jess and Chris joined forces for this superstructure.
You can watch the full video of the silly project and more directions on how to build your own below.
Not only did the construction stand up to the daily antics of the boys for MONTHS, it went on to become more special. Their friends and staff at Purrfect Cat Rescue, Inc in Crystal Lake, IL spruced it up for their shelter pets for another holiday…in 2020!
Hopefully this has inspired you to break out the cardboard and aim for extreme heights! And remember, enriching your pets lives is an ALL YEAR activity! So be sure to share your creations with us all and happy crafting.
All photos/videos property of The Furtastic/Accessorati
REMEMBER: ENRICHMENT LEADS TO HAPPYINESS & PETS ARE FAMILY TOO!
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