DIY: Vintage Birdcage Lamp

09/13/11

We’ve had this homeless vintage bird cage randomly traveling around our apartment for the last few months. The thing really had no idea what it was supposed to be, and we didn’t know either. I bought it once upon a time (8 months ago) to use at our wedding reception to hold the favors for guests; it served it’s purpose well, but now it needed a little re-purposing. So, as steep of a learning curve as it may have been, I decided I would attempt to transform it into a lamp. Not to toot my own horn, but I even impressed myself (and definitely hubby).  I’ve tried to compile a tutorial as best as my learning curve would allow, and here’s what you’ll need:

Materials Needed:

1. Open your lighting kit, unravel the chain, it will be grouped together onto one link.

2. Take the lighting wire, and begin to braid it through the chain. Don’t leave much extra slack on the end with open wires. You won’t want the bulb to be hanging down too far from the chain, but you still have plenty of time to adjust this accordingly.

3. String the wire & chain through the top of the birdcage as it will be when you hang it. You will have to assemble the fixture itself inside of the birdcage, because it will be too large to fit through the openings afterward.

4. Take the hardwire socket, and pull the two pieces apart.

WARNING: It is VERY important that you don’t have the wire plugged in when you continue with these steps. You will electrocute yourself, and that’s not classy people!

5. Gently pull out the black piece in the base of the socket.

6. Take the top piece and string in onto the wire (I forgot this part the first time, and I almost punched a wall, okay not really but it was annoying).

7. Use your screwdriver to unscrew the two small screws on each side of the socket, but don’t take them all of the way out (it’s just less work this way).

8. Gently pull the separated wire end slightly farther apart to give yourself a little more slack, and then position one side of the wire onto each side of the socket. You’ll be placing the tips of the metal wires into the little dots on each side, and then push them down. You’ll be able to tell if they are inserting into the socket properly.

9. Once, you’ve positioned each end, you’ll secure them into place by screwing the screws back in. I found it to be easier to bend the wire a bit so that the screws held it in place without actually damaging the wire.

10. With the wires connected, clamp the two pieces back together as they originally were.

11. Your kit comes with two of these hooks, you’ll only need one to attach it to the ceiling, so I used the other one to onto the inside of the top of the birdcage so that the bulb would hang in the center.

12. – 14.  Now, to attach the hooks to the ceiling, you’ll need to determine wether or not you will be attaching it straight into wood, or in our case, drywall. If youre attaching it to wood, you lucked out. All you’ll have to do is simply screw the S hook (I just made that up) straight into the ceiling. If you’re the unfortunate few of us dealing with drywall, you’ll have to drill a hole just large enough to fit the largest part of the hook into the ceiling, as hubby is demonstrating because i’m too short :] You can measure this better by squeezing the two sides of the hook down (this is what you’ll have to do to insert it, and then release). Once you have this completed (step 14), all you have to do is screw the S hook onto that!

So, your semi-done now. All that’s left is to attach the light bulb, lock the lid down to your birdcage, and hang! If you still have some steam left, you can check out some of the paper birds I made to hang inside of the cage to dodge the light a bit:


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12 thoughts on “DIY: Vintage Birdcage Lamp

  1. allie

    I’m trying to replicate this project but am having a little trouble. I got the same 12 foot swag kit but my chain came in two pieces. Is that normal? Also how did you attach the hook to the inside of the birdcage? Thanks for the help!

    Reply
    1. Ashley Post author

      I just screwed the hook to the inside of the birdcage. My chain came in one long piece, but you can just untwist a link, and attach it to the another link to make it one long chain :) Hope this helps!

      Reply
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