IKEA desk hack: scratching post legs

Living with a cat has meant that I’ve always had a not so attractive scratching post around my apartment. Not only are they not pretty to look at, but they take up precious floor space too. So I came up with this idea to convert the legs of my inexpensive IKEA desk into built-in scratching posts:

I’ll outline the steps for this project below but you can also watch this video showing how I made this project and more home office ideas.  

I built my IKEA desk with a GALANT top and ADILS legs ($3.50 each) and used 1″ pre-slit pipe insulation, sisal rope (100 ft per leg) and foam double sided tape to convert the legs into a scratching posts.

Step 1: Cut the pipe insulation to fit the length of the leg and wrap around the leg. I used pre-slit self sealing pipe insulation and stuck the edges of the insulation to the leg to prevent it from moving. You could also use insulation without the adhesive and use double sided tape secure it to the leg. By placing the gap on the inside of the desk, it’s not noticeable. The insulation makes the legs closer in diameter to a scratching post you would buy at the store.

Step 2: Attach strips of double-sided foam tape around the top and bottom, and along the length of the insulation.

Step 3: Wrap the sisal rope around the insulation, pulling tightly as you go along.

Step 4: Wrap white tape around the bottom of the legs to help secure the sisal rope. 

I love the natural color and texture that the sisal rope adds to my office and the legs have been a hit with my cat Lia. She does tend to use the front legs more than the back legs but the nice thing with the IKEA legs is that they are easy to take off to rotate the back legs to the front, so it will be a while before I have to replace the sisal rope. You can see a video of the scratching post leg project and the rest of  my IKEA desk hacks in this video.

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4 Comments

  1. Ofelia

    Well, this is genious!

  2. Doris

    What a wonderful idea! One of my boys is trying to use the carpeting to scratch on and I need to do something in a HURRY as I am renting (he still believes we own our space…)
    I have an antique table that once was a drop leaf before great uncle converted it. For years it was the folding table in laundry room. After an unknown spill bubbled the old paint I stripped just the top and discovered a walnut top with a burn in shape of an old iron. I decided character is good and poly finished just the top and left the old paint on the sides and legs.
    I want to bring some texture into my lr, so am going to try this on the table legs. I think that I will use manufactured cane on the sides. Then Romeo Dude can have at it, and I will have the texture I want for the space. I think that the contrast with walnut top will be interesting. Thanks for the idea!!

    • Isabelle

      Hi Doris, Thank you so much for sharing your idea – I think it’s great and I hope you’ll share pics of your project when it’s done. Hope Romeo Dude likes it!

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