I’m lucky to have a craft cupboard that’s overflowing with all kinds of bought and thrifted treasures patiently waiting for their opportunity to shine in some craft project. So when a large crystal encrusted bead rolled out the other day, I knew just what I was going to do with it. You see, I’ve always wanted to make an art deco wire birdcage, and that crystal bead was just the thing to get me started 😀
It’s my wacky take on the gorgeous, ornate cages designed by Hendryx in the early 20th century. If you find one online for a good price, snap it up. Those things are so collectible, but way out of my price range. I glammed the little wire cage up by adding the crystal bead on top.
And for the inside the art deco wire cage I made a simple clay mouse and stuck her down next to a faux succulent. You can fill yours with whatever you have lurking in your craft cupboard 😉
Okay, before I show you how to make your own art deco wire birdcage and a small clay mouse, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!
What you need
For the wire birdcage
- Wood slice
- Pretty crystal bead with a large hole
- Drill and marker
For this birdcage, it’s best to use a thicker gauge wire. I only had a roll of 18 gauge left after making up a few wire dresses for a friend of mine. If you need help with wire gauges you can read more here.
For the little mouse
- Air-dry clay
- Faux leather scraps
- Black beaded pin or small black bead
Let’s quickly look at how to make the mouse, before getting to the wire birdcage. If you’ll be adding something else inside yours, feel free to page down to the juicy, wiry bits.
Making a little mouse
The little mouse is super easy to make. Take a piece of air-dry clay and knead it between your fingers to make it pliable and easier to shape. Roll the clay into a ball and gently pinch one end outwards to form a nose. Flatten her bum so she doesn’t wobble 😀
Cut two small oval shapes from the faux leather. Add a tiny bit of glue to one end and glue together.
Make two holes in the air-dry clay blob with a toothpick.
Add a small dollop of glue inside the holes and insert the ears. For the nose I pushed a black beaded pin into the mousey clay form. Leave the mouse to dry in the sun. If your air dry clay needs to be baked, add the nose and ears after it’s hardened.
How to make an art deco wire birdcage
Figure out roughly how many pieces of wire will fit inside the hole in the crystal bead. The hole in the bead will determine the maximum number of bars your finished birdcage can have. Divide 360 by the pieces of wire that will fit inside the hole. Use a protractor and permanent marker to mark equal sections all the way around the slice of wood, using the figure calculated above.
Drill small holes on the marks (about ½” in from the side of the wood slice). Cut pieces of wire that are at least double the height of your final cage. These wires will form the bars of the birdcage. Make a small loop on one end of the wire bars as shown below.
That loop will anchor the wire in place at the bottom of the slice of wood. Put the looped wire bars to one side and glue or stick down whatever you’ll be displaying inside your cage. I added my little clay mouse, a faux succulent, and some pebbles. Just make sure the inside bits don’t cover the holes.
Once you’re happy with the layout, insert toothpicks in the holes. Wrap a piece of wire around and between the toothpicks.
Continue wrapping the wire around all the toothpicks and finish off by double wrapping over the first loop.
Remove the toothpicks and insert the wire bars you cut earlier up from the bottom of the slice of wood, into the loops.
Repeat until all the wire bars are in place. Slide the looped wire up the wire bars. Bunch the top of wire bars together and push them into the crystal bead for that glamorous art deco touch 😉
Curl the top ends of the wires to add a little whimsy.
Wrap a piece of wire under the bead to secure it in place and that’s it.
Quick and easy, right!?
Next time I make one, I’ll use a thicker gauge wire so she’s not so delicate.
But for now I’m super happy that crystal bead fell out of the cupboard 😉 What do you think? Is it something you would try?
If you like the idea of making an art deco wire birdcage for your home décor, don’t forget to pin it for later.
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And if you prefer to buy rather than DIY, then maybe these beauties will appeal.
And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.