Saturday, January 14, 2012

Dear Cats, I win! - A tutorial

I have cats. I think that says a lot, but only to people who actually own cats. I never understood the oddities that cat owners had to deal with until I ended up with two of the little creatures in my home somewhere around 21. Don't get me wrong, they are fuzzy and cute, but mine are plotting to kill me. I even researched it and asked my vet. Look, it's been confirmed. I actually have scars from their attempts. Yet, I continue to let them mooch off of me for food and clean water. I'm a pushover, what can I say?
At the end of the day though, there are certain things that cats do that make me say @#$%^&! Point and case (and the reason for today's blog post) is the continual and utter destruction of the mini blinds. Fortunately, we won't have to pay to replace any sets that fall out of the windows, because the apartment people admit that they are cheap and just gave us new ones! (Hooray!) The cats caused this destruction though, and I'm not sure how to recycle vinyl blinds. So, I upcycled them. Booyah! I win! Ha! Cats 1, Me ∞! Details below:

The "I'm smarter than my cats" Mini Blind Basket

Step 1:
Gather your supplies. I used the broken blinds, a pair of scissors, double sided tape, a stapler, and ribbon.

(The photo shows only tape, but it was not strong enough to hold the corners together, hence the tiny attacher later in the photos.)

Step 2:
Cut the strings to take the blinds apart (this will vary based on your set of mini blinds) to get all the slats free.

Step 3:
Layout your "center" with 4 slats

Step 4:
Start weaving a flat panel and expand in each direction with the number of slats you desire. This will be your base when you are finished.
To determine my size I considered that I had 36 inch long slats and I wanted the box to be 5 inches tall. That meant that my base could only be up to 25 inches by 25 inches (36 inches - 5 inches for right - 5 inches for left - 1 inch clearance  = 25 inches) The box pictured is 6 inches wide by 14 inches long by 5 inches tall.

Step 5:
Create pieces that will be long enough to wrap all the way around the basket. My basket was 14 inches long by 6 inches wide meaning that my strips for weaving must be 40 inches long. I measured some 6 inch pieces to add to my 36 inch long slats to make 42 inches (because I really like having room for errors!)

Step 6:
Start turning the work vertical.
Take one end of the long slats and staple it in a corner.
Weave toward the next corner and gently turn everything 90 degrees (vertical), fasten with another staple. Be gentle with the slats as you move vertically, they will break if you crease them. Move around the basket carefully continuing to staple in each corner.
(You could use tape here, but it just didn't hold well for me.)

Step 7:
Weave around the basket, stapling the corners and anywhere else that needs stability, with your long slats. Repeat until it is the desired height.

Step 8:
Finish the edges. When you are done weaving you need to secure the edges. In normal basket weaving you fold the edges and tuck them inside. You can't fold these edges in the same way, but you can break them off, stapling them in place as you go.

Step 9:
Take the ribbon and cover the raw edge along the top. Use the tape to hold the ribbon in place.

Step 10:
Put something exciting but low-duty in the basket.
(It is not the strongest thing in the world, so I would not put something important in it and attach it to your bicycle!)  

Step 11: 
Revel in how much you just schooled your evil cats. I hear that kids can break blinds too... I hope you parents out there need diaper storage! I think this is is WAY cooler than throwing the broken blinds in the trash! Also, this is all that I have left...I think I need to make woven coasters.


  1. Get out! What a fantastic basket steph! You're a genius!

  2. Holy smokes, this is fantastic! I love your tutorial, your project and your sense of humor -- great job!

  3. Love it! Keep upping it, thanks for the great post.

  4. Cool idea, sharing on my Facebook page at

  5. What a cool idea, I'm sharing this one on my Facebook page at

  6. awesome, I like tis. I have a cat but she has never destroyed my blinds other then chewing thru the strings and then you need them. these were tthose accordin blinds she chewed.

  7. Love it! I hear you about the cats and blinds, too....NOT a good combination!

  8. Very Very Good Idea! Thanks for the tutorial!

  9. I love this... now if I just had a bunch of broken blinds.... I like the plant labels and the basket the best

  10. I know this is a very old post, but I saw it today and loved it(!!) and just wanted to say-it is SO NICE knowing I'm not the only one who likes to re-use things for something unique, "useful", basically free except for your time, and doesn't just get thrown in a landfill! "MY" only problem is (and maybe you can relate) I have a hard time drawing the line on how many "projects" I can actually get to--- and not hoarding what many people (that aren't like us!) would call trash ('husbands' for example!) Sometimes I have to let things go, even though I KNOW I could do something really cool with it...or pass by things put out by the side of the road (OH THE SHAME! ROFL) that I KNOW I could transform into something amazing, even profitable! I just tell myself "there are people like me who will snatch that up in a heartbeat-They may really need this blessing" and that lets me be at peace and not regret it for the next 2 I crazy or so you agree or ever feel like this?! Lol