I’ve been lusting after a birdcage lampshade for quite a while, but haven’t been able to justify spending £395 on one from Graham & Green or notonthehighstreet when it doesn’t seem too complicated to make yourself! My mum made a DIY birdcage chandelier for our house in Amsterdam last year, and I wanted to make a table lamp version for my flat in London.
I found a simple wire lampshade on eBay for just £25, some fabulous artificial birds from Pipii and Rocket St George (including a fun and colourful Toucan!), a can of spray paint from B&Q, and found an old unused lamp in the attic. All together the birdcage creation came to less than £50!
When the wire lampshade arrived, it still had some hideous white porcelain birds glued onto it and I had worried how to get them off, but they’re so fragile that they pop in your hand with the tiniest bit of pressure! They literally came right off. They made a slight mark but as I was planning to paint the wire anyway, it didn’t really matter.
To spray paint the wire, I placed the lampshade in a box and took it outside, that way the spray paint from the spray can didn’t escape the box and the whole lampshade was evenly covered. I chose bright yellow for my lamp as it was going on a yellow cabinet, plus the lamp base was silver and so I didn’t want to clash with a gold, brass or copper against the silver.
I wiped down my old lamp, unscrewed the lampshade and the bulb, placed the new lampshade on top and screwed the bulb back in, then clipped on my new and colourful artificial birds. It took all of 30 seconds and looks so much more fun! I might even get some more wacky birds to add to it.