“How To” make a Bird Cage lamp

“How To” make a Bird Cage lamp

It started out as a simple plane ride home when I came across this article in Elle Decor which spoke of 19th century birdcages that were suspended from a ceiling hand painted by Florentine artisans.  I immediately remembered the bird cage that I had seen in my friend Annie’s house.  Annie recently moved and we had to purge a great deal of her belongings, believe me Annie needed to purge, and we didn’t have the heart to throw away an old rusty birdcage that she had used as a planter.  I told her to hang onto it as I would figure out where to put it. There was something really charming and sweet about this little bird cage.  Annie refers to me as “The Decorator”.  I am not sure if that is complementary or that she is referring to how controlling I am with her new space and it’s interior design.

I was inspired by how these bird cages were hung from the ceilings.  While this Florentine house used them as candle holders; I thought that the same idea could be applied as a light fixture.  I took a few close up pictures so that you could get a feeling for my vision.  Annie just rolled her eyes at me with that look “Oh here she goes again”.

I was onto something, but I had to play it out.  I never quite know what I am going to do until I begin, but somehow it always works out into something beautiful.

BEFORE: We began by taking the old rusty bird cage to Annie’s back yard, and there we spray painted it flat creamy white.

AFTER:  You can see the transformation of the rusty old cage and how it transformed  to a nice clean workable birdcage.  It really is a reminder that we can repair “Old Stuff” with a simple coat of paint.  We are always so quick to throw things away.

We then went to Home Depot and purchased a $29.99 single pendant hanging lamp.  You can see it below sitting in the cage.  We picked bronze because Annie’s dining room is surrounded by pine cabinetry with bronze mesh wire accents.

I thought about spray painting the lamp white, but really liked the contrast of metals.  I began to put the lamp inside of the cage.  Easy!!  Now how do I get the pendant to hang evenly and string the wire up to the ceiling????  Thinking, thinking, thinking……laughing….

Ok got it: I had to get the plyers out.  I opened up one of top wires so the chord would fit through, and I then wrapped the chord decoratively around the top.  Now I had to figure out how to get the pendant to hang evenly????  Thinking, thinking, thinking…….listening to Annie squabble in my ear….

OK got it!!  Tie clips!! Never leave home without them.  I carry them in all colors; clear, white, black and green.  They are always in my tool belt.  I would take the tie clip from 3 different areas at the top of the bird cage and grab hold of the chain.  That way my pendant would fall evenly down the middle of the birdcage.  You can buy these tie clips at any local hardware store.  Yep just clip the ends once you pull tight.

I had to stick both of my hands inside of the cage to adjust the tie clip.  Can you see it poking up on your left?  Ohhh those are Annie’s feet. She is still squabbling at me….(you can see the package of tie clips near my feet)

Almost there.  We had success, but wanted to make sure that it was going to look right in the space.  I am just getting a feel for how much of the chain and wire I will need to trim.

Yep I think I found the right length.  Now I just needed a little help with the electrical.

Later that evening….Bobby, Annie’s better half, came by to help do the electrical and the finishing touches.  (I had gone home and showered and came back.  I look so much cleaner!!)

And there it is!!  I thought it was so cute!!  It really matched Annie’s dining room and entire ambiance of her house.  We were all really pleased.  Even Annie :)

This is a better shot.  You can see the detail.  Nice……never doubt someone with vision Annie!

Oh Yes please meet my dear friend “Annie”.

Annie’s Birdcage lighting fixture.


  1. Mary Lou says:

    Theresa – you are SO smart and SO creative!

    I LOVE this idea!! it looks fabulous!!

    I always say – never throw out a “treasure” as you never know what ELSE it can BECOME!!!

    you ROCK girl!



    • I just saw the bird cage lamp what a neat idea on the tv, I have a cage that has a solid base do you think that would work? O r would the lamp get too hot!
      Thanks for your HELP.

      • Sandy,
        It will depend on 2 things: the bulb wattage and the material of your cage.
        If your cage is wood keep the wattage lower. If your cage is metal you should be fine.
        Have fun with it. It is easy to do.

  2. Love the new lamp Theresa! ~Delores

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