How can I reuse or recycle an old bird cage?

birdcageWe’ve had an email from Cathy:

Please give me ideas about how to recycle a bird cage. I don’t have childen though I think it could be used to store stuffed animals? Now it is holding old video tapes. Thank you for your help.

I saw a pretty ornate one going cheap (unintentional bird pun, sorry) in a charity shop last year and was tempted to buy it to use as a “hanging basket” type thing for my growing collection of spider plants. I thought it would look nice in our turquoise bathroom – the white of the cage, the green of the plant and the plantlet shoots hanging down. I didn’t buy it in the end but I still think it would have been cute.

If it had been a bigger, less ornate one, I might have been tempted to buy it for the garden for, say, sweet peas or beans or the like. A clear plastic sheet over it would make an impromptu greenhouse to start with and when the plants had got big enough, take that off then the plants can use the wire sides for support as grow.

Any other ideas?

(Photo by bradimarte)

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18 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle an old bird cage?”

  1. amber says:

    If you have cats, you can put a catnip plant in the cage. The cat will only be able to reach what pokes out through the bars, and therefore will not destroy the plant in one sitting as many cats (including mine) are wont to do.

  2. Mary says:

    How about hanging Origami birds in it?

  3. Lucia says:

    If it looks nicve enough you can transform it in a hanging lamp, covering it with light coloured fabric, a pareo with toucans, maybe?

  4. Anonymous says:

    You could use it to dry clothes on – especially ornate socks, bras and the like – by setting the clothes on top or hanging them off the sides by sliding the hangers onto the wires. Also, store laundry supplies inside to double its use.

  5. Rochelle says:

    I have seen them used as setting for various vignettes on several blogs. The people displayed decorative vintage items in them. They didn’t necessarily have a bird theme. They were quite attractive.

  6. trish says:

    You could weave something like plastic bags or some other type of material (fabric?) through the bars, remove the door, and hang it outside as a bird house.

  7. Jennifer says:

    A family I know uses one, decorated with flowers, at wedding receptions as the “money card box” instead of a mailbox. It looks very pretty and has used by many of the brides in the extended family.

  8. Anna says:

    if it;s not too big, you could glue pegs on the bars and use it as a jewlry holding case. I could see bracelets and necklaces hanging down and around it as a really pretty thing.

    But that really depends on the size…

  9. Patti S says:

    line the bottom with chicken wire, add peat moss, a few trailing plants and hang on the porch.

  10. Christine says:

    You could make a very nice silk flower arrangement in one. I did this before and it looks very unique.

  11. If it’s a metal Bird cage, then recycling it into something else isn’t very easy- they rust over time and look unsightly. Bamboo cages stand the test of time and recycling it into say an outdoor feature is a great idea. Putting a hole in the bottom and hanging bird food inside, then stringing it from the branch of a tree will attract finches into the garden and be a real paint for cats to climb over.

  12. Kim says:

    I’ve seen them in gardens…the rustier they get, the better…plants growing up around/through them…they look nice.

  13. Gavin says:

    An awesome rope hoisted laundry or treehouse hamper?

  14. peter says:

    hi there i have been looking for on just like that if you would like to sell it i would be very intrested.

  15. Lori says:

    If it’s clean, the opening is wide enough, and you can add a shelf, then you could consider using it for fruit and vegetable storage. Usually such storage units are in the form of multiple hanging baskets. But this could be quite cute. Why waste a good birdhouse?

  16. Rhonda says:

    I’ve seen them in flower gardens. Cut out the bottom or just leave the doors open put bird food inside and the birds come in and eat then leave. I liked cutting the bottom out due to the clean up… The One I saw was Beautiful ! It was on the stand that came with the cage. I have seen them hanging from beautiful trees used in the same manner.

  17. Terri says:

    The problem with two of the ones I have, is that some of my finches were very sick and died very close together. I’m afraid that if I use them for anything else, they will either make me sick or infect any other birds that go into them after I’ve given them away. Someone told me to burn them, but I don’t know if it would cause toxic fumes. I’m trying to get them out of here, as we may have to sell the house soon, to get enough money for my mom to live on in the wildly expensive nursing home she’s been in.

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