Nicholas Britsky

“Reduce, reuse, recycle.” We’ve heard the phrase chanted by environmental scientists and spokespeople since the 1970s. And while we’ve been increasingly aware of consumption and waste since then, working the practices into daily life can actually take some conscious effort.

Well, allow me to take some of the work off of your hands. I can bring you one step closer to total sustainability with a guide to building something genuinely useful out of unwanted beer cases: you can use these corrugated cardboard boxes to build a cat scratcher.

At long last, kitty can benefit from your drinking, too. And if you don’t have a cat, just look for a friend, neighbor, or Tinder crush who has one -- they’ll surely appreciate the gift. Of course, there are similar products on the market for purchase, but you can build our version for basically the cost of spray glue.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cutting mat (or a piece of plywood could be used in a pinch)
  • Box knife with new, sharp blade
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • White glue & can of spray glue
  • Straight edge
  • Four medium sized empty boxes (at least one must be a beer case box)
  • Catnip
  • Optional: quick clamps


Step 1: Select the best looking beer case box and place a short side up. Mark 2”, 4.5”, and 6” on the left and right edges from the bottom-up. Connect each of those lines across the box. Repeat on the other short side. credits:"Nicholas Britsky" align:center

Step 2: Connect the lines on the short side of the box to the long sides of the box. The line will now wrap all around the box.

Step 3: Using your box knife, cut the top line (6”) around the whole box. You will now have a shorter box without flaps.

Step 4: Where the sides join at the corners, cut down to the 4.5” mark. This will create new flaps.

Step 5: On the short sides of the box, measure in 1.5” from each corner. Cut down from the opening of the box to the 2” mark. Then cut across between the 2” and 4.5” line along that 1.5” vertical. Then cut across to remove a square of cardboard. This will leave another flap there. Repeat on the other side.

credits:"Nicholas Britsky"

Step 6: Fold all of the flaps inward. Each one will be about 1.5”.

Step 7: Break down all of the remaining boxes and pieces of cardboard into panels.

Step 8: Break down all of those panels into strips that are 1.5” wide.

Step 9: The length of the long side of a beer case box is 15.5”. Count out 70 strips of this length and put those aside.

Step 10: Cut down the remaining strips to 7”. Aim for around 130 of them.

Step 11: Using the spray glue, stack 35 of the long 15.5” strips with a spray of glue between each layer. Keep one long face as flat as you can. Repeat with the remaining 35 strips for two blocks.

credits:"Nicholas Britsky"

Step 12: Place the blocks into the left and right sides of the prepared beer case box with the flap on top of the block.

Step 13: Place the short 7” strips with the corrugation facing up across the base of the prepared beer case box. No need to glue them. Keep filling until everything is snug.

credits:"Nicholas Britsky"

Step 14: Using white glue, connect the flaps and tops of the blocks together. Use clamps if they don’t stick on their own.

Step 15: Fill the base with catnip and present it to your furry friend.

Note: Shock Top and Blue Point Brewing Co. are members of The High End, owned by Anheuser-Busch.