Monday, June 8, 2015

Whimsically Ambient Birdcage with Ivy and Lights

For my next few posts I'll be highlighting homemade chalk paint. It's my new obsession. That along with birdcages.

This particular post is on a birdcage that I spruced up to decorate a piece of chalk painted furniture that I'll be revealing on my next post.  

Ideas with birdcages started brewing when my neighbor brought me into her house the other week to show me her beautiful succulent birdcage that she made after seeing my succulent birdcage post (here). It really made me feel great to have inspired someone (especially so close to home!) since that's one of the reasons why I started blogging! 

She also showed me her other awesome birdcages decorating her house and she filled me in on where could get some cheap birdcages, since we share the same, some would say addiction, to birdcages. She purchased her birdcage that she used for succulents at Michael's for 40% off or so and she was able to use a coupon to get a sweet deal. This was news to me. I didn't know Michael's had coupons! She said you can also just pull up the coupon ad on your phone in store and use it! Even easier!

So a few days later I made my way to Michael's to scope out their birdcage collection. I found a shelf full of white birdcages with clear birds perched on the top for 50% off (apparently it was a get the Spring decor outta here sale) The bird had been broken off one of the larger birdcages, which was fine by me since that wasn't the look I was going for anyway. I put that birdcage along with a smaller one in my cart and strolled around the store for a minute before making my way to checkout.

I'll share with you all a trick/tip I ALWAYS use on damaged goods: I ask at the counter if I can get a discount for damaged products. They more than likely will say yes and it just depends on the store and employee how deep of a percentage off they will give you. It never hurts to ask! I've left stores saving tons of money, feeling great because I'm a bargain shopper by heart!

I scored the two birdcages for $17 altogether getting an additional 20% off the missing bird-cage. Not too shabby. I think I'll be checking out Michael's more often since in the past I found them to be a bit on the pricey side.

I got home and started almost immediately with my birdcage project. I knew I wanted to put the birdcage on top of my "new" piece of furniture and that I wanted to put a plant inside of it. I just happened to have some leftover ivy from planting all my planters outside. I love everything about ivy. It is one hardy plant (it's hard for even me to kill with my black thumb and all) and I am in love with trailing plants that you can train. We happen to have an old ivy plant that is pushing 16 years old on top of our fridge.

I pulled out a pot that was sitting in our garage and planted the ivy in it and then set the pot in the birdcage to admire. Eh. It needed something. The terra cotta color wasn't doing it for me. It just didn't flow. So I decided to paint the pot with the same color chalk paint I had just used on my piece of furniture.

The recipe I used for my homemade chalk paint was super easy. I found it on Salvaged Inspirations along with 3 other great recipes for chalk paint. They are all tried and true recipes that have been passed along so much that the original creators are impossible to find.

I'll share with you all my first second experience making chalk paint:


  • paint (any color you like in a satin, eggshell or flat finish)
  • plaster of paris
  • water
I mixed plaster of paris and water in my handy dandy paint container until it was the consistency of a smooth paste. 

Then I poured 3 times the amount of paint to the amount of plaster of paris mixture into the container and mixed that all up. 

To reiterate the ratio is 3 parts paint to 1 part plaster of paris mixture. If you don't mix the paint and plaster of paris mixture well enough there will be hardened pieces of plaster of paris on the bottom of the mixture (speaking from experience here folks), so be sure to mix very thoroughly.

The chalk paint is super smooth and, well, chalky. I really like the ease and smoothness of painting with this paint. I only had to paint one coat on the terra cotta pot. I'm not really sure if this is exactly how thin chalk paint should be but it worked out great for me and I'm very happy with the outcome.

While I don't recommend painting a pot when there's a plant and dirt already in it. the whole process really did work out just fine for me. No dirt spillage or dirty paintbrush. I could have just been lucky though, and you can still see a tiny bit of the terra cotta color peeking through on the inner edge but I don't think anyone will be looking that closely to notice since it's inside a birdcage.

I set the finished pot in the birdcage and then stood back to admire my new ivy decoration. I thought it looked pretty good and once the ivy starts to grow it would look even better. As I scrutinized the birdcage I thought to myself it could still use a little something...maybe some lights to give the room some of the cozy, warm feelings I get during Christmastime from the Christmas tree.

Yes, I'll admit I am in love with Christmas lights. It's such a sad day at my house when I take down the Christmas decorations, especially the lights. Not just because it's so much work taking all those decorations down (ugh I absolutely dread it) but because I immediately miss the beautiful ambiance Christmas lights create.

I went on down to the basement storage area and pulled out my heavy tote of Christmas lights and brought out a string of battery powered led lights (with a timer even!) that I had previously used on a wreath. These lights would work out perfect!

I strategically placed the lights inside the birdcage and tada! Instant mood change to the room. Here's the finished birdcage. It creates the perfect amount of whimsical ambiance to the living room.

Now I can get that warm and cozy Christmas lights feeling all year round!



  1. I can easily see this on a patio! It will be dreamy and I will pin this to make it one day. :)

  2. That's such a great idea Two PlusCute! I think I'm going to do that with the smaller birdcage I haven't done anything with yet :)

  3. Sherri, this is so cute and summery! I would love this outside on my small porch.
    Thanks for sharing at Something to Talk About!

  4. Thanks Karen :) I'm for sure making another one for outside! It will make a great setting for relaxing outside on hot summer nights!

  5. So cute, I love it!
    Thanks so much for shairng at AMAZE ME MONDAY!


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