If you are reading this post, chances are you've googled 'Graham & Green Bird Shade' after your jaw dropped seeing this quirky, brilliant shade in an interiors magazine or online. Chances are that your jaw dropped even further when you saw the £375 price tag. For those of you who do not know about this shade feast your eyes on the original design here.
Obviously, as soon as I saw this shade, i wanted it BADLY! It's so original, a massive talking point and I'm a huge sucker for anything with birds on. But £375 was just far too much for me to part with, especially for a 'shade' that doesn't actually have any functional use as it doesn't actually shade anything! I knew there must be a way to DIY this and so after some research I set about creating my own version. I have to say I have had this in my home now for a few years and visitors love it, more importantly, I love it, and it cost me around £40 in total to make.
To make your own shade, your will need the following:
- Copper floral mesh with the squares 2.5cm in size and a height of at least 35cm.
- The skeleton frame of a 40cm wide light shade. You can purchase these on ebay or in craft stores, but it is much easier and cheaper to simply go to Ikea and purchase a really cheap circular shade and remove the paper/fabric drum.
- Copper spray paint. For a small job like this you would only need a half size tin which can be found in the craft section of DIY stores like Homebase for a fiver.
- Birds! My birds are from VV Rouleaux in Marylebone. There seems to be a small selection online, but if you live in London and have never visited this shop it is worth the trip. It is a beautiful store for ribbon, trimmings and millinery and I always get inspired to make something new when I visit. If you do not live locally then there seems to be a wide range of birds you can purchase online - simply google 'clip on birds'. Rockett St George currently have some gorgeous ones in stock. Prices for birds tend to range from a couple of pounds to around £10 for something large and intricate. How many birds you use is up to you - you can always add more later on.
- A lamp base or a ceiling light pendant depending on how you want to use the shade. I used a lamp base so turned the shade upside down to work. If you are using a ceiling pendant you can spray paint a basic white pendant fitting and use some coloured light cable for a budget fitting. If you want to splash out a tiny bit more buy a metallic fitting for £10.
- Pliers with the functionality to also cut wire - or some separate wire cutters.
Follow these steps to put together your bird cage shade:
- Take your shade skeleton and spray paint it copper. Once dry, wrap your floral mesh around the top or the base of the shade skeleton to fit, overlapping at least 2 squares at the join. Cut your wire in a line down the centre of a line of squares.
- At the top and bottom of the mesh, cut away the edging so you are left sharp wire spikes.
- Take the bottom of the shade frame and bend the exposed wire ends over the frame to create a hook. Secure the wire to the frame with pliers.
- Join the mesh up in a perfect circle by also folding over the cut half square wire to the overlapping wire.
- Repeat step 3 for the top half of the frame.
- Clip on your birds to the frame. If your birds did not come with clips, attach with cut mesh wire, or you could use a strong glue like No More Nails. If you want to create extra areas for your birds to sit, attach in spray painted wire as a 'perch' (using cut wire from a coat hanger is perfect), or you could add a shade carrier like i have.
- Add a bulb! As the bulb can be seen a filament bulb is perfect for this design. Filament bulbs can be quite expensive in some stores, but you can get them a lot cheaper on Amazon or Robert Dyas .