I have continually seen birdcages used as decor but it wasn't until I saw the lovely stylings of Alaina's home on her blog LiveCreatingYourself that my desire was ignited to have one of my own. But apartment dwelling also means that there is limited space for sheerly decorative items so I came up with the concept of utilizing a small bird cage as a make shift "chandelier" as well! A basic concept that involves hanging a bird cage from the ceiling, coiling white lights inside the cage, and then artfully draping the excess strand lights to the nearest outlet. Here's a few tips on how I created mine:
*As I mentioned, I've been wanting to display a birdcage in my house for such a long time and I have been keeping my eyes peeled for the perfect one. Antique stores offered the best vintage cages but they also seemed a bit broken down and came with a hefty price tag. Luckily, while at Ross one day, I stumbled across the one photographed above. The color didn't suit my tastes but when I saw the 6 dollar price stamp, I knew I could spruce it up myself.
|(I placed my birdcage on an outdoor hanging plant|
stand so that I could spray paint it more easily)
*White paint really made the piece come to new life plus I knew it would match the decor of my dining/living area, but select any color that suits your tastes. Make sure to use specialized paint for whatever surface you are working with. I did not use primer for this project, the spray paint I purchased said that it would adhere to just about anything, and it did. Sometimes I get impatient while completing projects, so it's nice to be able to skip a step.
*When spray painting, it is key to do two light coats of paint (holding the can 12" away from the surface). Using a back board is also helpful as well. Just place a sheet of cardboard or poster paper behind whatever you are spray painting to ensure that the paint coats thickly/evenly. Using a backboard is also cost effective because paint is not wasted.
*I used a simple (and minimally invasive) hook screw to fasten my small (and light) birdcage to the ceiling.
As I mentioned, I live in an apartment and I did not want to damage the walls so a smaller cage was perfect for me. If you are using a larger/heavier cage, I would suggest looking for something sturdier at your local hardware store that can with stand more weight.
*Don't plug the strand lights in and directly loop the excess lights into the cage. Instead, run the lights elegantly up a wall, use a clear tack to secure to the ceiling, drape the strand slightly to the fastening hook, and then loop the lights artfully into the birdcage.
You may not be able to tell from the photo but I actually have my dining table underneath my staircase. My apartment's floor plan did not allow for a separate eating area but since having a place to sit down and enjoy a meal with friends and family is so important to me, I took advantage of the awkward and unused space under the stairs. After managing to fit a full sized table under there (plus a set of DIY chairs!) there wasn't much room left over for floor lamps. I knew I needed to light the area much better (I'm the kind of person that has to be able to see what I am eating) so overhead lighting was essential. I love the idea of a grand crystal chandelier in an elegant dining room, but since I'm decorating on a shoe string budget, this "birdcage chandelier" will more than suffice! Maybe even sometime down the line I'll add flowers to the wires of the cage or perhaps attache ornaments in the winter, do you have any other ideas to make this project your own?