Carly Rubach

A bountiful birdcage

By - Sep 4th, 2011 04:00 am

My grandmother always had a love for birds—figurines, photos and drawings of the feathery creatures were scattered about her home, which made my mom fond of them as well. So when I went shopping around Farm Girl Art & Antiques a few months back and spotted an antique brass birdcage, I figured my mom could put it to good use. She appreciated the sentiment and was excited to create a scene of some sort within the wiry habitat.

I was at my parent’s a few weeks ago to catch my dad’s rock ’n roll gig with the ever-popular Chunky Monkey at the Taste of Roselle in my hometown. Not only was I able to enjoy some sweet tunes, but I also got to admire my mom’s latest design creations.

The porch and garden are my favorite areas of the house, and she is constantly updating the layout. They recently had a big storm that took down a lot of large tree branches. Instead of having them taken away, she decided to hang them in the corners of the porch to add a little depth to the space. Genius.

My mom has a real knack for incorporating nature in her design, both inside and out. One of my favorite pieces is an old trunk with a large hasta plant inside that pours over the edges and makes the old piece of furniture feel very much alive.


She also did a swell job creating a happy little scene in the birdcage I gave her. This reminded me of the terrariums that I see in design blogs all the time lately. Apparently this was a big fad in the seventies and is coming back full swing. Instead of a large glass vessel for your terrarium, try a birdcage! I suppose they are a bit different, but they have the same general idea. You can find oodles of birdcages at antique stores; I got mine at Columbus Antiques Mall & Museum—Wisconsin’s largest antique mall!

There is no definite how-to for this, as there are so many options for what you can do with your birdcage scene. I mimicked my mother’s design a little bit and added a few personal touches… and it looks like I gained a fondness for birds somewhere along the way.

My Materials:

Dried branches
Terra cotta pot and plant (succulents would look great in here)
Rocks from a trip to the beach and Colorado (makes the scene more personal)
Bird figurines (super cheap at Michael’s)


I pulled out the tray and arranged a layout of how I wanted the scene to look.

I kept only the moss on the tray and slid it back into the cage—this can get messy.

If you have a small hinged door on the front of the cage, you can add most everything else through here.

Use your scene as a centerpiece on your kitchen or other side table.

Categories: TCDIY

0 thoughts on “TCDIY: A bountiful birdcage”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Don’t forget to check out the Chunky Monkey website:
    Catch their next show Nov. 11 at McGonigal’s Pub in Barrington, IL. Go pops!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I never knew a bird cage could be anything but a bird house…

    Good idea!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Great bird cage, plus I love the window paintings and the Columbus Antique Mall. Someday I want to see and hear Chubby Monkey in person!

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us