Friday, August 18, 2017

Design Wall

I did find all the Alternative Jane blocks. Here I have them on display on the design wall at the new (to me) house.

Did I say "design wall at the new house?" Yes, and that's what I did today. I am setting the design wall up in the living room because it is the room with the most light. This may change in the winter...but right not there is so much sun I had to close the shades...and the lighting for the photos is off.

In any case, I can show you how I put the design wall together.

I bought 10 foot lengths of 1 inch PVC piping. I cut three 3 foot lengths and nine 4 foot lengths and laid out a four patch design. The PVC piping is held together with corner, T and + joins.

There is a ratcheting cutting tool that makes cutting the PVC pipe a snap. Literally.

I use a king size flannel sheet for the design wall. I put the top PVC section together (corner, 4 foot length, T join, 4 foot length, corner). Then I opened up the side seam so the top of the sheet becomes a sleeve. Then I slide the top PVC section into the top "sleeve" of the flat sheet.

I also opened the seam in the middle so the middle T join could poke through...and then I slide the middle section of PVC piping into that T join.

I also open up the seam at each end and attach the end sections into the corner joins.

And this is what it looks like with the entire frame put together and the flannel sheet attached through the top "sleeve." At this point I also realized I had made a big mistake! When I cut the lengths of PVC piping, I had planned on having the design wall be seven feet high. However, I didn't take into account that the joins add length and now the design wall almost goes all the way to the ceiling.

When Molly runs up the new design wall she might hit her head. Happily there was an easy fix. I just took off the bottom rung of piping and cut six inches off the three vertical supports. Phew!

That should be plenty of room. The next step is to pin the sides so the flannel sheet is taut across the design wall.

I have shelving units behind this design wall, and I attach the design wall to the shelving units with bungee cords. This setup is preliminary though. The shelving units and design wall are in front of the fireplace and mantel. I don't plan to use the fireplace, but in this current arrangement, I can't reach the shelves easily.

Also, Buddy liked to sleep between the fabric in the shelves and the flannel...forming a bulge at the bottom of the design wall. So I have to fill the shelves and tuck in the bottom of the design wall so Buddy can have a hidey/sleeping spot if he wants.

Okay, its more feline furniture than design wall... and design walls are down right boring without a cat running up it and sending all the blocks to the floor.


  1. Molly is going to be so happy to her design climbing wall set up again and I hope Buddy can settle himself down in his favourite spot. The wall is a super size and what a good idea that it can be dismantled should it be necessary at a later date.

  2. WOW-you are a "pipe fitter" too ;))) the Alternative cute hugs, Julierose

  3. Wow, a design wall and a climbing wall/gymnasium for cats all in one! I'm sure both supervisors will be happy with your work.

  4. That is,the cleverest and most considerate design wall ever. Putting Molly's AND Buddy's needs in the mix is so neat. I hope it works well in the testing stages. Good luck!