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Birdcage Ornament tutorial

Good Morning my Joyful readers! Today I am re-posting a guest post I did for the Craft Snob blog – Sara contacted me while I was in vacations in Chile and ask me to be a part of her Handmade Ornament parade while she was away from blogging because of the birth or her lovely daughter Clementine =]

I am really excited because now that the tutorial has been shared there, I can also share it here with all of you! I love birdcages, but I don't like when birds are in them =[ because they belong free and not secluded in a tiny little space, right? so the birdcages I have are just decorative. Because of my love for birdcages I thought that it could be really cute to have one as an ornament =] the best part is that once the holidays are over you can use this little birdcage to hold pens in your office or just to decorate your favorite space!

ornament tutorial

MATERIALS

  • Galvanized Wire (I used 16 gauge, but you can used a thiner one if you wan it smaller)
  • Soldering tool
  • Flux core Solder
  • Rosin Soldering Flux
  • Pliers
  • Permanent marker
  • Ruler (a cutting mat is perfect to measure)
  • A glass cup
  • 1 toothpick
  • Spray paint or primer (if you want it in color)
  • A little piece of paper or cardboard for the bottom
  • Optional ribbon for top

 

MAKE IT
I love to work with wire, but there are some things you should know. Always try to use gloves, your hands will than you because they get really nasty, specially when you work with galvanized wire. Usually when you use flux core solder, you don't need rosin soldering flux, but in my case I like to place a little bit of paste before soldering on each wire intersection because it makes the soldering a lot easier and the joints cleaner =] I think we all like clean and pretty soldering points. right?

I also wanted to point out that we will be working with rings and wire curves, those are very tricky and even tho we will be measuring, it's really hard to work on having perfect shapes when you work with curves (specially because we will be making our curves with a glass, so there is no measurement there) So don't worry if your pieces are not perfect, you can always fix them later on.

Ok so the first step will be to create the rings for our birdcage, and the size will depend on the size of the cup you decide to use, I've made birdcages using shoot glasses and also using the smallest glasses I have.You can try and see how big your circle ends up because after you wrap the glass with wire it will loose up, being bigger than the diameter of your cup. So it can be tricky. My cup had 3 inches of diameter and my loops end up being almost 4 inches.

After that we will need to cut the pieces we will be using to assemble our birdcage, you will need:
– 3 circle pieces
– 3 main structure pieces
– 1 toothpick
– Horse shoe shape for the bird hanger

To make the 3 main structure pieces I measured 4 inches in a straight piece, and then bend using the same glass cup until I had te desire shape, I cut the pieces leaving 3 inches on each side after the curve. It's very easy if you just lay the piece in a mat and mark where the curves start and measure from there. After that you will need to solder the circle pieces to close them.

For the bird hanger, you basically have to first make a loop in the top (to attach this piece to the birdcage) and then, bend the bottom so that you wrap the toothpick, just like shown in the pictures above, you can also see how I measure everything in my cutting mat.

To assemble the birdcage you will need to first mark all of your structural pieces where the curve starts, so that can be your first horizontal ring. I started with one ring and one structure piece. If you have trouble holding the pieces to solder, tape them to the glass. That always helps me =]

After that you will need to visually mark your circle so you can add the other two structures. Here is where you can just mark an approximate, because the exact measure will depend on how big your circle is. And since this is just a little fun project, go with and approximate. Divide the space so the other two fit and your all set. Attaching the other 2 circles is way easier, just measure an inch below the first and solder =]

As you can see here I really liked how my birdcage end up, but I thought that the top was too empty, so what I did was mark 3/4″ up the line and I added another ring, but in this case since I didn't know the exact measurement for that one, I took a shoot glass and made a smaller one, I left that piece bigger than I needed it so I could cut, once I had the exact piece I wanted. In this case I solder all the piece to my little marks leaving the first and last open to be able to cut. I made sure I was not going to cut too small or too big and the solder the end. I know it sounds complicated, but it was the easiest piece to solder because all the structure is already there =]

After you finish, clean your structure with a paper towel to take all the oil from the soldering and spray paint it if you want. Attache the bird hanger to the inside of your birdcage by making a knot in the ribbon. After that add the piece of paper to the bottom (you can glue it, or you can do what I did and stitch the paper to the wire – I just don't like hot glue so much)

ornament

birdcage tutorial

And there you go, a cute and very long-lasting birdcage! I hope you enjoyXO

* This tutorial and pattern is provided for personal, non-commercial use only.
Check the Site policy at the bottom for further information, Thank you!

Joy



About Joy

Joy Kelley is a Chilean Designer & lettering Artist. Mom to 3 little boys. Crafter. Pattern lover. Color obsessed. Lemon pie dependent. And the hand behind the HowJoyful Studio & HowJoyful Shop

24 replies
  1. Kathy
    Kathy says:

    How lovely! You make is seem so simple and clear to do.. Maybe I’ll give it a try! I get tons of ideas to use them 😀 Might crochet a little tiny bird or something like that for inside <3

    Great tutorial with good and clear photographs, thanks Joy!

  2. Kim
    Kim says:

    This is so gorgeous! I wish I had a tree to make one for. Since both my boyfriend and I go back to our parents’ homes for Christmas, we don’t get a tree.

    • Granny Jack
      Granny Jack says:

      You could always make a tree! A nice decent size plant pot (decorated to suit you style. Fill with sand. A small branch (either cut from your own, friend or family members tree or found whilst enjoying a walk in the countryside), again sprayed to match your decor. Plant the branch in the sand filled plant pot, tamp down the sand to ensure the branch is held firm. Voila! an all year round tree to hang you fabulous hand made bird cage(s).

  3. Sara
    Sara says:

    YOU ARE AMAZING! I love love love this! It’s adorable, and you make it look so easy! I definitely want to give this a try!

  4. Fulvia
    Fulvia says:

    this is such a great tutorial Joy! I do not have a soldering tool but after seeing this I might just get one. thank you!!

    fulvia (from Italy)

  5. Jess
    Jess says:

    This is so cute! I think I’ll make one with a heart hanging down inside for Valentine’s Day. 🙂

  6. Lightleaf Studio
    Lightleaf Studio says:

    That is a very lovely project and nice of you to share it. I wish I could do it as it would be great for some of my creations. Though I’m not sure I could be good with soldering tools, lol.

  7. Chris Badot
    Chris Badot says:

    Great idea…….but if you wanted to make it easier why couldn’t you just buy a sheet of hardware cloth which is already soldered together, and simply cut, bend and shape? Wouldn’t that be easier? Either way they are adorable.

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      I actually tried that but it didn’t work for me, it looked super funky and the parts i had to cut to re-shape had to be sanded after cut (or they were very sharp) and I ended up quitting and making this one, took me way less to make my own like this 😉

  8. Tracy
    Tracy says:

    Oh my gosh!! This is sooo cute!! I am in the middle of decorating my newly remodeled bathroom in a bird theme. I have some serious budget issues and consider myself rather artsy/crafty so I have been making my own decor. I went on your site to learn how to make the felt roses for a rug and saw this as I was browsing your site. I have been looking for a birdcage but am finding they are out of my budget :[. This is something I have all the tools for at home already and can make to the size(s) I want. I am sooo excited to do one. If it goes well, I’m going to make one for my mom too since she has decorated their sunporch with birdhouse theme. She even has a bird themed Christmas tree that I put together for her :]. I have been painting and decorating little inexpensive birdhouses from the craft store ($1.00 each) and if I say so myself, they are very cute! I should have a well decorated bathroom when all is said and done. Thanks so very much Joy for all your inspiration!

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Thank you so much for the comment Tracy! I am so happy this helps you to inspire your space =] I would love to see it once you finish!!
      XOXO

  9. 1@godsgarden
    [email protected] says:

    thank you for posting this diy project . I’ve bee looking for a site t learn how to make birdcage for our pastor ‘s wife birthday party in august can’t waite to get started in making them.

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