DIY Cat Scratcher from an Antique Cheese Grater

DIY Cat Scratcher from an Antique Cheese Grater

I have to admit- scratching posts for the cats are hit-or-miss in this house. But I had an antique cheese grater that I didn’t know what else to do with. It was COMPLETELY dull to the touch so I knew it would be safe for upcycling into a DIY cat toy of some sort. And the more I looked at it, the more I saw a DIY cat scratcher that I could hang from a doorknob.

antique cheese grater

I’m usually a little afraid of vintage graters because I am typically averse to sharp things….especially sharp OLD things that look like a prop from Texas Chainsaw Massacre. But this one had been used so much that it was now just bumpy.

close up of vintage cheese grater

So I gathered my repurposing thoughts and decided to move forward with it as a hanging cat scratcher!

upcycling an antique cheese grater with sisal rope

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Covering the Antique Cheese Grater

I loved the fact that the dull grater was like a “basket” of sorts, and decided to turn it into a holder. But the bottom was open and needed to be covered. Well, ALL OF IT needed to be covered, but I needed to also cover up the bottom.

First, I looked through my vast collection of fabric remnants and found some stiff canvas that I had gotten for super cheap.

fabric remnants to cover the grater

So, I cut out a trapezoid-shaped piece of canvas and constructed a makeshift “diaper” of sorts. I know that sounds really weird, and while I really don’t know anything about diapers, I’m pretty sure this was, at the very least, diaper-esque.

covering the bottom with canvas

And because I really didn’t want to permanently commit this vintage piece and ruin it with any glue, I used a curved needle to sew the canvas to the holes of the antique cheese grater.

Basically, I stitched the canvas “diaper” to itself snugly to keep it in place.

upholstery needle

Even though the grater was super dull, I still wanted to cover it up with fabric before turning it into a hanging cat scratcher. I’m a pretty protective cat-mom, after all.

Next, using the same canvas remnant, I cut out a long strip and hemmed the raw edges on my sewing machine.

wrapping a diy cat scratcher with canvas

Finishing the DIY Cat Scratcher

Next, I wrapped the canvas around the antique cheese grater like an Ace bandage. I overlapped it as I went and stitched it to itself to hold it in place. Again, no glue was used.

making a diy cat scratcher

Once the antique cheese grater was completely covered, it was time to add the sisal rope (i.e., the stuff that cats love to scratch on)! For this part, I did break out the fabric glue– but just to glue the rope to the canvas.

sisal rope to make a cat scratcher

First, I glued one end of the rope across the back of the hanging cat scratcher, and used super stretchy rubber bands to hold it in place.

wrapping sisal rope around a hanging cat scratcher

Once the end had dried, I simply wrapped the rope tightly around and around. I added a bead of glue each time to the front, and every other layer to the back.

making a hanging cat scratcher

DIY Cat Scratcher from an Antique Cheese Grater

When I was done wrapping and gluing, I threaded some rope through the hole on the handle, and hung it from a door knob. Hard to believe this DIY cat scratcher is made from an antique cheese grater, eh?

diy cat scratcher

But, wait- that’s not all! (said in an infomercial voice)

Since I had covered up the bottom with canvas, I added a cat toy to it. Maybe THIS would entice the kitties to actually use their new hanging scratcher.

diy cat scratcher from an antique cheese grater

Plus, since nothing is permanently attached to the wood or metal, it’s still a perfectly good vintage piece underneath the canvas and sisal rope.

hanging cat scratcher

I hope you enjoyed this unusual (but effective) upcycling idea for a hanging cat scratcher! I certainly had fun making it for Cottonball, that’s for sure.

Enjoyed this upcycling idea for a DIY cat toy? Then you’ll love this cat cave I made by upcycling an old t-shirt!

Repurposing tshirts into a DIY cat cave or pet tent

Craft on!


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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. Wrigley (or is it Cottonball in the picture?) is just gorgeous, Sarah !!! What a fun idea to create a cat scratcher from the grater. I hope the kitties will use it. Sending some belly rubs for them. 🙂

  2. I hope that Cottonball uses it, My cat seems to only like the cardboard ones. They are messy but distract her from the woodwork in the house.

  3. My cats would love one! Pinned & shared. Thanks for joining us at the Inspiration Spotlight party.

  4. That’s really clever!! And now it is completely safe, nothing like something from the Texas Chainsaw massacre. Thanks for sharing your link at the #HomeMattersParty !

  5. Really cool idea! We have a kitten so this will come in handy. Thanks for sharing at Two Uses Tuesday!

  6. This turned out really well, If I ever see something similar I will try it. I like the fact that you could put catnip sachets inside too.

  7. Very cool and fun project! One of my cats likes to scratch, the other doesn’t seem to care. Who knows what cats are thinking! Love this project, shared on my FB page this morning. #merrymonday

  8. This is a great project indeed 🙂 I love how you repurposed this old grater into something greater! Just loving the puns here, lol! You’ve given me some inspiration, as we have a cat who likes to scratch. I need to get some of this twine and find something to cover as well. Awesome idea! 🙂

    • Haha, you win the pun award!! 😉 Thank you so much!!! Another reader said her cats love to claw on chair legs, so she’s going to wrap them to protect the wood- isn’t that awesome??

  9. Sarah this is so fabulous for us pet lovers. I have lots of pets in my house so I know what it is like to live with the not so lovely toys and pet items clashing with the décor. This is brilliant. Thank you for adding it to the Celebrate Your Story! Link Party Blessings – Jenny

  10. Perfect!! Very creative. I hope your kitties appreciate it! My kitties prefer my rugs and furniture to the cat scratchers I have around. I think that is typical!

  11. Well arent you clever, great re-purposed project. It does look great to hang anywhere.
    Our cats like carpet and the cardboard scratches.
    Thanks for sharing on the #OMHGWW this week.

    Have a great week!

  12. This was a fun post ( from a cat owner! 🙂

  13. I am always amazed at what creative people like you come up with! What a great idea! I don’t have a cat, but I would have looked at that and the only idea I would have had was to hang it up for interest on a wall in the kitchen. Kudos to you! Thank you for sharing at Celebrate Your Story!

  14. Brilliant! We are always in need of cat scratchers in this house and this would be perfect. Now I need to noodle a way to something similar, unless of course i can find an old grater like you did. Guess I just need to head to the thrift store! Love a good reason to head to the thrift store…so thanks!
    Anyways, happy Wednesday! Hope Spring is popping in your neighborhood.
    Hugs, LYnn

  15. Great idea! My cats love sisal. My husband made a 4 level “tree” for our cats and we wrapped sisal around it and it has really decreased the amount of scratching they do on the kitchen chairs!

  16. You really are smart! Thanks for sharing this at Thoughts of Home on Thursday. 🙂

  17. This is amazing!
    Thank you for sharing this with us at Thoughts of Home on Thursday. We are so glad you are here.

  18. This is such a great idea- I bet your kitty will love it. Your cat is pretty- looks cuddly. Thanks for sharing on Thoughts of Home!

  19. Lovely!

  20. Sarah, How do you come up with these ideas? They are so brilliant! Thanks for sharing at Snickerdoodle Sunday!

  21. What a neat and creative idea!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  22. Neat idea! Have you ever thought of sharing your projects on YouTube? We definitely appreciate you sharing them at Celebrate Your Story!

  23. Sarah, another great idea come to life. Hope your kitty is happy. Thank you for sharing at Vintage Charm this week. sb

  24. I don’t know if my cats would use it but it is certainly worth making one to find out. It is a very goodlooking catscratcher.

  25. Mary-The Boondocks Blog says

    Sarah this is brilliant. You know that you are the queen of the repurposes right? Your cats must be so happy with it. Pinning.

  26. My cats need this!! Thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY Party!

  27. Cottonball is adorable!! : ) Great DIY – awesome project!

  28. I have one rescue declawed cat from the shellter and he “scratches” especially cardboard boxes to leave his scent. I say “Squeak, we know this is your territory” and he stops! Coincidence? Basting the rope with a bit of catnip tea may help attract them to the scratcher if they like catnip!

  29. Wow Sarah what an awesome idea! I think the model is loving it too! 🙂

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