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How to make a birdcage lampshade DIY tutorial

Updated: Nov 23, 2023

Bring colour and a sense of humour to your home, with this fun DIY birdcage shade, which is easy to make and costs just a fraction of what it would be to buy off the shelf.

Copper is a hot interior trend, but you could use gold or silver spray paint, or even black or dark grey to compliment the brightness of the birds, when making your shade.

When buying your birds think about the size of them in relation to the size of shade you choose. The idea is that they will look like they realistically live inside the shade! And there is nothing to stop you adding some greenery – check out our faux ivy garland and skeleton leaves, both of which would make pretty additions!

What you’ll need to make your birdcage lampshade

Drum Lampshade Ringset (we used a 30 cm rings set)

Plastikote Copper spray paint

Copper wire – 0.6mm

Small decorative birds

Pieces of wooden dowl

Wire cutters

Tape measure


Hot glue gun (optional)

Offcuts of wood for spray painting

Newspaper or an old sheet to protect your table

How to make your birdcage lampshade

1. Using the diameter of your ringset (ours was 30) find the circumference of your ringset by multiplying by 3.14 (Pi). Add 3 cm to this figure to give you the total length of the wire mesh.

30 cm (diameter) x 3.141 = 78.52 + 2 cm = 96.2cm

You can also use the fabric requirement length on the corresponding lampshade making kit page on our website

2. Cut the mesh to the length using the wire cutters.

3. Cut the depth of by choosing the most suitable height for your shade and then cutting in the next square along, leaving 3/4 of the wire-free for wrapping around the rings. We cut our depth at 20 cm.

4. Cut 2 x 7cm pieces of copper wire. Taking the plain ring, roll the ring along the top edge of the mesh and secure the seam of the mesh together at the overlap with one of the pieces of copper wire. Use pliers to twist so secure.

5. Fold over the wire to secure the plain ring in place.

6. Wrap the wire around the plain ring and pinch any sharp edges around the frame using pliers.

7.Insert the utility ring into the opposite end and repeat steps 4, 5 & 6.

8. Using your finger weave any lengths of wire together at the seam and pinch together using the pliers.

9. In a well-ventilated area or outside (we did ours outside), spray the plain ring following the instructions on the can.

Note: it’s best to remove the white lampshade reducer/convertor that sits in the centre of the utility ring and then replace when the shade is dry.

10. Leave for an hour to dry or follow the directions on the spray can, then turn the shade over and spray the utility ring.

12. Prepare the dowel pieces by slotting them through the mesh and then cut to a suitable size. Avoid positioning them across the centre of the shade as you'll need to make space for the bulb!

13. Position the birds around the frame, to get the look you want. Be careful to avoid positioning a bird too near to the bulb, from a fire safety point of view.

14. Our birds had clips attached to them, but for a more natural look remove the clips and inserted copper wire, securing with a hot glue gun.

14. We also used the same method above to attach birds to the copper mesh, to avoid seeing the clip.

15. Ta-dah! You've finished your beautiful birdcage shade


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