A New Shelf

I  might start by saying that no, my cat is not spoiled! It’s just that he’s an indoor cat, and I know he likes to look outside. Plus I enjoy watching him playing and climbing on things. And now that I’m retired, Pinterest is just way too accessible!

without shelf

Okay, that was the disclaimer. Now it’s up to you to decide for yourself.

It wasn’t long after our Outside Friends started coming around that Foster figured out that from this window he could see the Maine Coon cat on the other side of the fence, sleeping in the neighbor’s yard. I had finally given up trying to keep him off the windowsill, and since he is obviously too big for it now, I decided a shelf would be nice.

maine coon
We have changed this one’s name from Outside Friend #2 to Big Outside Friend. We have now learned that our original calico Outside Friend’s real name is Molly. More on that in another post.

plain shelf 2

My first thought was that I could probably just nail a piece of plywood to the windowsill itself.

brown shelf

Then I thought maybe I should use something prettier, like an actual shelf. But there was a problem with this idea in that I didn’t think would be able to hammer nails through the 5/8 inch thickness, plus I could see that it would mess up the finish.

I had bought some brackets just in case, but since really I wanted the shelf to be on top of and not under the windowsill, I realized that brackets wouldn’t work.

testing brown shelfI even experimented by holding the shelf up and putting Foster on it, and he barely fit. I couldn’t do the same test with the plywood because it was a lot bigger, so I put both shelves down on the floor and lured him onto them with his fishing pole toy.

The plywood won, hands down. (Or paws down, if you want to get technical!)


I decided to go with my first plan and nail the shelf to the windowsill. It wasn’t hard at all.

trying out shelf

Then we had to make sure it was sturdy enough, which it was. I thought of painting the shelf, but all I could see in my mind was a bunch of kitty footprints all over the house, so that was out. Since becoming the ModPodge queen with his climbing structure (see Thinking Inside the Box) I decided to ModPodge fabric to the shelf.

 So it was off to the sewing room to get some fabric!

choose fabric

Then we had to try them on the self to see how they would look. I even tried it with a  piece of carpet. Finally I decided on the paisley (which, if you know me, shouldn’t surprise you!)

try out or size

foster helps
A always, I had plenty of help!

I was about ready to start Mod Podging the fabric when I remembered…I had just gotten a new ironing board cover, and my old one had a thin piece of foam that I had stuffed in the sewing room wastebasket!

After cutting both to size, I sewed the foam layer to to the fabric. Then I put it on the shelf, and noticed that the edges were still going to show. So I Mod Podged some of the paisley fabric to the shelf edges first.


new shelf

Voila! I thought it turned out pretty good!

underside of shelf

The only thing I still have to do is put some fabric on the underside of the shelf. But the only way you can really see this part is if you are sitting in the recliner, so I’m not in a major hurry on that one.

shelf a.JPG

As an added bonus, it always helps to have a few bites of Kitten Chow on your new shelf!