Upcycle Cat House – 70’s Theme

For my upcycling project, I was really stuck on what I wanted to design. I knew I wanted to incorporate the use of cardboard. As an out-of-state student, I have a ton of old cardboard boxes that I use to move back and forth. Rather than tossing the cardboard away, I believe I can make something useful out of it.

My first thought was to make a bedside table. It wasn’t very exciting to me though, so I pushed the idea away. The following day, I noticed a co-worker of mine was surfing the internet for a “cat house”. I figured this would be the perfect opportunity for me. I quickly stopped my co-worker, and told her I could design her one! I figure I can use all this leftover cardboard to create a home for her cat. I’ll cut the cardboard into the shape of a home and use a hot glue gun to piece it together.


 My next thought was how do I make this a comfortable living situation that the cat will actually spend time in? After digging through my closet, I found a soft rug; this rug can be placed inside the home in order to have a soft surface for the cat to lay on. The rug itself resembled the 70’s aesthetic to me. The 70’s era was very funky and groovy, filled with warm colors and overall happiness. This inspired me to choose the 70’s aesthetic for my project. The 70’s era was described as “bell bottoms, shag rugs, mustaches, and late-night disco. Graphic spirals and flowers, neatly stacked onto wallpaper in a smoky lounge. A whole new world of warm-hued, full-color photographs in magazines, swaying and sparkling to soulful tunes. A little of the psychedelic, art-nouveau influence of the 60s, with a distinct move towards a more cohesive, contemporary form. Not quite geometric, but not entirely free form either. You’re picturing the aesthetic of the 70’s – namely one adopted by the youth of the time – in all its groovy glory” [3].

I also participated in a CU Boulder painting event, which resulted in leftover paint and paintbrushes. I have very little artistic abilities, and I was planning on throwing this away too. However, this seems like a perfect opportunity to decorate the outside of the cardboard and give it the cool 70’s look.

The three pictures above show the colors and designs that I will try to replicate. In the first image, we have the spiral pattern wallpaper. My house would mimic this with a lot of repeating spiral shapes filled with warm colors.  In the second image, we have the stripes on the side of the Burger King. The colors are extremely similar to the first wallpaper. Finally, the third image I found has a different pattern I could replicate with another similar color scheme. I believe these patterns would be good options to show off the 70’s. 

Overall, I’m really excited to put this together. I think it’s exciting that I get to use a lot of materials that I would normally just throw away. In addition, I get to give it good use by giving it to my co-worker. 


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardboard_box

[2] https://www.amazon.com/Rest-Eazzzy-Weatherproof-Insulated-Together-Selfwarming/dp/B0BDSSDXWZ

[3] https://dawningdigital.com/branding/retro-branding-a-70s-aesthetic/

[4] https://allthatsinteresting.com/70s-pictures

[5] https://myloview.com/wall-mural-retro-seamless-pattern-in-60s-and-70s-aesthetic-style-no-FDC6275

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Daniel Bojorquez
    February 6, 2023 5:20 pm

    It sounds like you’re “upcycling” pretty much everything needed to build this cat house. It should be cool to see the final outcome of your cat house because the 70’s aesthetic is recognizable right away. Good luck with this.

    • Peter Jakubczak
      February 12, 2023 9:25 am

      Hi Daniel,

      Thank you for checking out my post. It is nice that I have all the materials required for this. The best part is, I get to gift it to someone!


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