Bright Idea

Final Product: Birdcage Lamp

Now that we’ve added color to the living room, we could use a little light. For some reason, there are no overhead lights in our living room, leaving us with a lot of lamps. Ideally, we should install a light fixture; John actually mentioned this idea. But, that entails getting up into our crawl space attic to run the wiring, drilling a hole in our ceiling and of course, finding the right light fixture. I’m crafty, not handy. Although John may be handy, he is currently overwhelmed by my ever-growing project list. And we’re back to lamps, at least for the time being. We have a standing lamp and a table lamp when you walk into the room, but nothing on the far end of the room. In the evenings it’s dim and tough when you have company. We’ve been looking for a creative solution to the lack of lighting. On a side note, I have fallen in love with bird cages. I know it’s trendy right now, but I really dig them. But, I am not a huge bird person ( as in own a bird), and John would probably leave if I brought home another pet; our last vet bill nearly did him in. So, I needed to find a way to incorporate a bid cage into our decor. That’s when I got the bright idea of a bird-cage lamp.

We already had a hanging lamp from our old house that I removed from the over-sized shade. I searched online and local stores for the right size and priced bird cage. I found a deal on Oriental Trading Company. The only piece missing was the shade. My friend Michelle and I went thrifting in the Mission and found the perfect sized porcelain lamp shade for $2.oo. What a find!

When I got home, I went over all the pieces with John. We headed to Home Depot for our last few items: something to hang the lamp from the ceiling. While we were there, we also purchased white chain links to hang the bird cage from and loop the wire from the lamp through. This made it a little more aesthetically pleasing.  Once we got home, we assembled our lamp– John assembled while I took pictures of him. He hates photos, so I only got a leg shot. Sorry folks… and he’s got such a good face.

Note: We just got an awesome new record player that you can see in this photo. (Wedding Gift). We’re so excited about it.

Once we got the lamp hung and the placement correct, we stood back and admired our work. Of course, it was in the middle of  a bright, sunny day, so the effect of the light was a little lost on us, but we really loved the birdcage. As a matter of functionality, the new lamp is serving its purpose. It gives the right amount of light to the far end of the room. More importantly, we’ve got a bird cage in our living room.

Here’s What You Need:
bird cage
hanging light
lamp shade (small)
ceiling or wall hooks/mounts to hang lamp
chain to hang the light and cord through
wire (if you will need to secure the lamp cord to the inside of the bird cage).

Here John’s stringing the lamp wire through the white chain.

How We Did It:

  1. Find a bird cage that is the right size for your space.
  2. Open the cage to insert your lamp at the correct height.
  3. Run the cord through the top of the hole in the bird cage. Ours did not have a hole in the top, so John ran the cord through the side and top hook. If the hole is not in the middle, the light will not hang straight. We needed to add some wire horizontally in the inside top of the bird cage to hold the lamp centered.
  4. Then he opened every few links (we went by 3s) of the chain to fit the plug through. Loop the cord through the chain.
  5. Hang the lamp from your ceiling/wall and run the cord. We hid the cord along the window frame by securing it with nails and small white brackets. I still need to paint the small part of the chord that runs along our wall to match our paint color. Or, you could run it along your baseboard.
  6. Done.

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