Birdcage Chandelier Lamp
We have this thing in my city every spring called “Reuse Rendezvous” – on a marked weekend you can leave any unwanted items from your house on the curb and anyone who wants it can take it. It’s kind of fun actually! Usually a couple girlfriends and I make a night out of it, getting together and driving around the city, music blasting, looking for fun things to pick up. There is a total sense of excitement that hits every time you turn a corner and find another house with a pile of stuff in front of it, wondering what goodies could be hiding inside to be taken to a new home. One person’s garbage is another person’s treasure, am I right? At the time it’s a total high, until you go out in the garage the next day to check out what you actually picked up and start to wonder, “What the heck was I thinking?” Hey, it was for free so no harm no foul! Anyway, during one of these excursions I found this beautiful copper bird cage in perfect condition and I knew that at some point I was going to find something to use it for. So, I grabbed it, threw it in the back of my car, and then it sat in my garage until that inspiration struck. Fast forward a year later, I went to Mexico and in one of the restaurants I went to, there were these gorgeous chandelier lamps on the ceiling. I fell in love with them and decided I would make one for myself out of the copper birdcage I picked up.
Oddly enough, I also have these chandelier floor lamps at home that I could use for the project. They are way over the top in their style and never really fit into the theme of my home so they were in the storage room collecting dust. Now, I get use of two unused items, giving them a new life, AND I have a beautiful new showpiece to love, love, love in my living room.
- Old birdcage
- Small chandelier
- Wire cutters
- Shrink tubing
- Copper spray paint
- Masking tape
My chandelier top was originally a floor lamp so I needed to dismantle it and get rid of the parts by cutting the plug end off and pulling wire through the base and pipe. Save the plug because it will get reattached after. If you happen to find a light that is intended for ceiling installation, you are one step ahead. BTW, garage sales are a great place to pick these kinds of things up! I see them all the time.
There was way too much beading and unnecessary flashiness on my lamp that had to go as well. I took some time to pull it apart and make the light look much cleaner. The one thing I kind of don’t like about chandeliers, as beautiful as they are, is they are dust collectors so the less on there to attract, the better. Plus, it will make it look much more modern at the same time.
I had a little trouble deciding if I was going to make this a ceiling light or a table top light, and after a couple times of changing my mind after rewiring, I decided I would get more use and functionality out of a table lamp. Not everything happens the first time you know!
I know it bites, but all the beading and crystals have to come off because it will make spray painting a whole lot easier! Take a picture of the before so when you put everything back on you can remember how it all went.
Mask with making tape all the parts that can’t come off. Then, spray paint the light fixture.
Reattach the plug, if you had to cut it off, with shrink tubing. This stuff is great for sealing and covering up wires in a clean looking way. I used a small diameter for the individual wires, then a wider diameter tube for the whole strand. Just set them on there and use the hot air from a blow dryer to shrink them. Simple.
Reassemble the lamp with its crystals and beads.
To get the lamp to hang within the cage, I removed the wire clasps that would normally be used to hold the bottom of the cage and used those to hang the chandelier from the top. It worked like a charm!
This birdcage lamp is so stunning! The copper makes it modern, the sparkle makes it fun and girly, and the ability to use it as a table top lamp makes it so much more usable in my home. So incredibly easy to make for the dramatic look it brings! Love, LOVE it!