I’ve been looking for a nice night light for Amelie’s room and it seems to me that there isn’t a huge range of nice lamps out there if you’re on a budget. So I thought I’d have a go at bashing my own one together…using a bird box, light bulb, and my dad – to tell me what to do. He tried to show me how to wire a plug (I really should know by now). But I wasn’t really listening because my brain was thinking how to break a birdbox in two in order to get a light bulb inside, so I still don’t know.
Heres what you need:
- Plain bird box
- low energy light bulb, fixture & lead*
- Acrylic Paint
- Strong Glue (like araldite)
- 4 screws
*If you don’t have my dad to hand, your local electrical shop will be able to point you in the right direction for the bits you’ll need.
1) First, take the base off the box. You should be able to snap this off, they’re not usually that strong, but if you can’t get a little hacksaw on it. Then take your light fitting (do make sure its low energy, a standard bulb would get too hot) and align it in the centre of the base and check the top of the box fits back on, then glue the fitting in place. NB…This was the moment I realised my light was too TALL for my box. Maybe do measuring BEFORE buying. But its okay, I made provisions (read on if you make the same mistake!).
2) Paint the box and the base
3) Glue on some warm-toned fabric to the inside of the box, behind the hole if you want a softer light.
4. Now you need to screw the top to the base so that the bulb is concealed but accessible so that you can change it. My images show a gap due to my error, but there shouldn’t be a gap! To cover the gap I cut some plastic (or lolly sticks) to size, glued in place and painted them.
5. Drill a hole in the back if you want the option of hanging the box
And you’re all done!! Fab. Much cheaper and, er, chirpier (sorry) than buying a fancy one.
I’m really happy with how this turns out. I originally made this light without the fabric lining – but I think it makes a real difference. Plus Amelie spent a good half an hour stuffing pom poms and hair clips into it when I put it on her shelf. Not ideal!