Gardenpinks' Blog

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Altered Bird Cage

For Christmas I received an ornamental bird cage; I’ve wanted one of these for quite some time so I was both delighted and surprised to actually receive one as I hadn’t realised anyone had heard me!

It is constructed from metal with both an opening domed top and a small doorway. Around the sides are vines and flowers and it was painted a boring cream colour so I just had to change that. Using alcohol inks and Goldfinger (a product similar to rub ‘n’ buff ) this is how it turned out:

Inked up bird cage

The bottom vines were coloured with Ranger’s Denim alcohol ink applied with felt; the door way and inside perch bar also had Denim patchily applied. The sheaves of flowers in the middle section and the vines in the top section had a mix of Bottle and Terracotta alcohol inks dabbed over them and the flowers amongst the vines in the top section had a smidgeon of Orange Sunset dabbed into their centres and then Copper Goldfinger smeared over the petals. Green-Gold Goldfinger was rubbed over all the bars with Denim alcohol ink smeared over the top of the green-gold on the domed portion.

One thing I knew that I didn’t want residing in my bird cage was birds! I hate the thought of birds being trapped in a cage so I used butterflies – as Rod said butterflies can easily get out of the cage if they want to. Kath from UK Stampers kindly sent me some beautiful die cut butterflies and I painted them with Twinkling H2Os to make them shimmery.

‘Caged’ butterflies

Initially I had hoped to suspend most of the butterflies with one or two settled on the perch bar but no matter what was tried these butterflies would not suspend without tipping to one side or almost upside down so I had to rethink. Finally I came up with the idea of sticking two vellum rosettes back to back with thread sandwiched between them and adhering a butterfly on either side – hey presto! Suspended butterflies. Two more rosettes had smaller butterflies attached to them and then magnets adhered to the rosettes and then placed either side of the bars. A ruffled flower had a magnet attached to its reverse side so it would ‘stick’ to the perch bar and a butterfly adhered either side of the flower and, finally, a flower and feather placed into the bottom of the cage with a butterfly adhered to the flower! So it was completed. Our daughter who gave me the bird cage fortunately loved what I had done – expected her to be horrified!

Some close ups of the butterflies:

butterfly on floor

 

butterflies and flower on perch bar

 

butterflies either side of bars

 

Many thanks for taking a look x

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Altered Bird Cage

  1. Beautiful birdcage Lynn
    The butterflies are lovely. Sounds as if it took a fair amount of time to get it just right. I dont have many pretties around my house with all the kiddos the usually manage to weather the fu around here. I do have my special things around my craft corner where the kids are very monitored. How sweet of you daughter to get you such a sweet suprise. Love your masterpiece. Thanks for sharing your creative ideas.

    Love and hugs,
    Shelly

  2. Thank you Shelly. The inking up of the actual cage took around 30 minutes to do but the butterfly painting took a while longer and then I spent even longer fiddling about placing the butterflies to my satisfaction 🙂

    Ah yes I remember the little fingers into everywhere very well! We still have little fingers trying to get everywhere but a look from us soon stops them and their parents are very strict about it too 🙂

    Love and hugs
    Lynn xx

  3. How beautiful!! Your daughter is very thoughtful to have surprised you with this bird cage. Your butterflies and flowers are so colorful and bright. Did you die cut the butterflies yourself or did you purchase them? If you die cut them, please tell which die(s) you used!

    Did you use your masking tape technique to create the two color butterflies? They are all so beautiful. They are so lacy and delicate looking. I love the one you have on the outside on the rosette. Is that from a stamped image?

    The bird cage itself that you have worked on is so pretty. Where does this beautiful piece reside in your home? In your craft area so you can admire it as you ponder what to do next or is it out in a living area for all to enjoy? Beautiful piece of art you have made.

    I see you have changed your background to the green stripe. Does this mean you are totally ready for spring to get here 😀

    Love you – Leslie

    • Hi Leslie, I changed the background because I was bored with the other one 🙂 Quite like the colour of this one.

      The bird cage is residing on the windowsill/ledge of our sitting room a corner of which I craft in so the cage is within my line of sight 🙂

      The butterflies were kindly sent to me by a lady from a UK based forum I’m a member of and I believe she used a Marianne die – I haven’t any butterfly dies yet! No masking tape, just painted half with one colour and let dry and then painted the other half! The flowers I made myself, I made them an age ago and they have been residing in a tin ever since 🙂

      The butterfly on the outside of the cage is a stamped one with Glossy Accents added to it to create a shine and protect the colours. I actually made this butterfly and flower for another project but scrapped that project until I can rethink it 🙂 It just seemed appropriate for the cage.

      Love and hugs
      Lynn xx

  4. billiescraftroom on said:

    HI Lynn

    Oh it looks lovely. You did a great job. There seems to be more and more of this kind of thing in the shops lately too. You’re so on trend 🙂

    Best wishes and happy Crafting

    Billie

  5. How lovely that you chose butterflies so that they could fly free through the gaps if they chose to! What a beautiful way to use this gorgeous cage! You’ve turned it into such a wonderful creation. 🙂

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