DIY Birdcage Lamp–Stage 1

IMG_1016 Happy New Year, everyone!

I thought I would ring in 2014 on this blog with a re-purposed DIY post.  One of my goals (I’m hesitant to say “resolutions” since those tend to fall away after the second week of January) for this new year is to start DIYing/re-purposing older/used items as a way to decorate our first home together without breaking the bank.

Back when we first moved to Louisiana, Keegan and I discovered an awesome antique store (which I blogged about here).  I purchased an old birdcage with the vision of transforming it into a cool hanging lamp for our living room.

Here’s the picture of the birdcage when I first spotted it on the floor of When Pigs Fly Antique Shop:IMG_0646Things I noticed about this cage that I thought would make a good hanging lamp:

1. The two parts of the wicker cage were held together by thin wires, which would be easy to remove once we were ready to start assembling the lamp. Not being able to lay this lamp flat while we drilled into it would have made assembly difficult if not impossible.

2. The solid wood knobs on the top and bottom would be perfect to drill though in order to create a hole for the lamp cord.

3. That chain will hide some of the wire once we run it through the top of the cage adding some visual interest to an otherwise standard/ugly cord.

IMG_0997 IMG_0991The first step was to decide where we would install the light socket (we purchased a cheap hanging lamp materials from Home Depot, but there are some better options on websites like Shandell’s–we were just impatient and didn’t want to wait for an online order to be processed and delivered).

Since our birdcage is made of wood, we decided to drill a hole through the top of the cage.  We used a piece of threaded pipe from the plumbing aisle (you can see it in the picture above to the right of the light socket) to fit through the hole and give the socket something to screw on to.

IMG_1002After you have a place for the socket, thread the cord through. Separate it slightly at the end. Use a pair of wire cutters to shear some of the plastic coating and expose the copper wiring underneath.

IMG_1006

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).  Wrap the wires around the screws and then tighten them up again (this can be tedious, but try to be as accurate as possible)

IMG_1008 IMG_1010At this point, we were so excited to have a socket attached, that we thought we would put in a light bulb and see if it worked.

IMG_1012Success!

Right now, this is stage 1 of the hanging birdcage lamp.  It is a working lamp, but it is unfinished.

Stage 2: Decorate the inside of the lamp (possibly with tissue paper?) and attach the bottom portion of the cage.

Stage 3 (and completion of the project):  Find a second hook to attach to the ceiling.  Run the lamp cord from the first hook to the second and allow it to run down the corner of the wall rather than the middle.

So, that’s where we are right now.  As we are in New York for another week, it will be a while before I can get my hands on a hot-glue gun and finish this project completely.

Do you have any DIY projects already lined up for the new year?

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8 thoughts on “DIY Birdcage Lamp–Stage 1

  1. Looks good dear, just remember to limit the bulb wattage to 40 or you will have excess heat buildup and possible FIRE.

    Dad

  2. Love the 2014 “goal” for more DIY in your life! It’s a perfect challenge to include in my year of making something creative per week for a year. Recycling things around the house is inspiring. Thanks for following my blog, too!

  3. Pingback: DIY Birdcage Lamp–Stage 2 and 3 (Completed!) | A Tree Grows in the Bayou

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