A couple years ago, we found a rusty birdcage at a salvage shop. We buy lots of crap (old boards, mostly). The guy we buy crap from sometimes gives us crap. So, this birdcage was free. Some people have punch cards for the local deli. We apparently belong to an unofficial loyalty program at the local junk store. Hurray, us.
We thought it would make a great pendant light.
I ordered a few parts online, and assembly was quick and easy. The parts listed below aren’t the exact same as what you see in the photos. I selected the closest items I could find to what I used two years ago.
- Socket: $6.50
- Steel canopy: $5.00
- Collar loop: $0.55
- Strain reliever: $0.85
- Cloth-covered, 2-strand wire (approx. 2′): $2.80
- Decorative Edison bulb: $5.26
- 18″ chain: $1.98
- Birdcage: $0.00
TOTAL: $22.94 (plus shipping & taxes)
I rusted the canopy and chain with a 50/50 solution of bleach and vinegar. I soaked the chain in a dish full of the solution and used a spray bottle to spritz the canopy. I wetted them both, rinsed, dried, and repeated several times until I was happy with the amount of rust.
Assembly was simple: I attached the wire to the socket, which is secured by a plastic strain reliever (the socket and bulb dangle within the cage).
The birdcage and collar loop are joined together by the chain, and the collar loop is connected to the canopy.
I loosely wove the wire through the chain, about every other link, and fed it through the collar loop, connecting it to the in-ceiling wiring with wire nuts. Add a decorative bulb, and that’s it.
It’s more interesting than a pendant light we might have bought at the store and costs far less. Our favorite detail: the shadow patterns it casts across the ceiling:
If you want to tackle a project like this yourself, you should have at least a rudimentary understanding of electrical work (or recruit a friend who does), and note that the parts you need may vary from what is listed above, depending on your cage (or whatever you’re using as a shade).
Have fun, and if this post inspires you to make something awesome, we want to see it! Post it to our Facebook page, or drop us a line in the comments below so that we can get in touch.