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Build your favorite bird a beautiful birdcage using salvaged windows.




Specific dimensions are not given, as the size of your birdcage will depend on the size of your windowpanes. The depth of the birdcage should be determined by the size of the tray chosen for the bottom. If constructing a cage for a bird that chews and bites on things, like a parrot, use stainless steel wire instead of sparrow netting.

Resources: Galvanized garden tray (Martha used an 11-by-30-inch tray, but other sizes are available) can be found at Jamali Garden Supply. Half-inch galvanized chicken wire or sparrow netting is available in a 4-by-25-inch roll from Louis E. Page. Stainless steel wire is available at Eco Spec paint is available from Benjamin Moore. Peel Away paint stripper is available from Dumond Chemicals. All other tools and materials are available at The Home Depot.


  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Table or circular saw
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Safety glasses
  • Two large salvaged windows
  • Peel Away paint stripper
  • Putty knife
  • Paint scraper
  • Sandpaper
  • Heavy-duty gloves
  • 1/2-inch, 22-gauge chicken wire (also known as sparrow netting) or stainless steel wire
  • Heavy-duty staple gun and staples
  • Wood glue
  • Balsa wood
  • Lengths of one-by-three poplar lumber
  • "L" brackets
  • Wood screws
  • 2-inch lattice pieces
  • Tack nails
  • Lengths of one-by-one poplar lumber
  • Galvanized garden tray
  • 1/2-inch plywood
  • Two sets of hinges
  • Door latch
  • Drawer pull
  • EZ-glide floor protectors
  • 1/2-inch quarter-round trim molding
  • 4 casters (optional)


  1. Step 1

    Clean any dust and dirt from salvaged windowpanes. Using a putty knife, generously cover wood with Peel Away paint stripper and cover with included paper. Allow paint stripper to work overnight.

  2. Step 2

    Peel away paper to reveal stripped wood. Clean and sand bare wood, if necessary. Important note: Carefully and entirely remove any old paint from the windows to avoid exposing pets to contaminants.

  3. Step 3

    Wearing heavy-duty gloves, remove existing caulk and glass panes from window frame. Check window frame and grill for any small shards of glass before removing gloves.

  4. Step 4

    Cut chicken wire to size of window frame. Staple in place around inside edges with a staple gun. Cut strips of balsa wood to size and attach over stapled raw edges of chicken wire with wood glue.

  5. Step 5

    With poplar and "L" brackets, create a rectangle for one side of the birdcage that is the height of the windows and desired depth of cage. Use wood glue in the seams when securing the brackets. Cut chicken wire to size of rectangle, and staple in place around edges with staple gun. Attach pieces of lattice with wood glue and tack nails to cover raw edges of wire.

  6. Step 6

    Cut a plywood base to dimensions of birdcage. Attach three sides to plywood base with screws. Add two 1-by-1 poplar stabilizing bars to fourth side, one flush with the top of the other three sides, and one raised from the bottom, enough to allow entry and exit of galvanized tray.

  7. Step 7

    To make door: Make another rectangle with poplar and L brackets, sized to fit between the stabilizing bars. Add chicken wire and cover raw edges as you did for the other elements.

  8. Step 8

    Cut a roof from plywood and attach to top.

  9. Step 9

    Line up door between stabilizing bars. Mark hinges on door and frame. Drill pilot holes, and attach hinges with screws to door and frame. Mark, pre-drill, and attach latch in the same way.

  10. Step 10

    Finish the birdcage by adding quarter-round trim molding to top and bottom edges. Paint desired color.

  11. Step 11

    Add a drawer pull to the side of the tray, and add EZ-glide protectors to the bottom of the tray to make for smooth sliding in and out of cage.

  12. Step 12

    Add casters to bottom of cage, if desired.

The Martha Stewart Show, January 2010



Reviews (23)

  • melphys 27 Sep, 2013

    Your site is quite interesting and very well written. I like the way it is organized and presented. Very concise and articulate. jocuri gratuite

  • CassieSuzuki 12 Aug, 2013


    Not only is the materials listed hazardous, a wood cage is not healthy for an bird either! Re-purposed windows can potentially carry toxins (Remember the days of lead paint!!), and pet birds/parrots love to chew wood! Some woods are also toxic for birds!

    And like Cloverstreet said, galvanized steel is deadly!

    Feel free to make this for a dummy/fake bird but do not make this for your beloved pet bird!

  • cloverstreet 22 Jun, 2013

    DON"T KILL YOUR BIRD WITH THIS CAGE! Galvanized metals (normal chicken wire) is poisonous for birds, especially parrots. It is OK for chickens because they do not climb on it and chew on it. Same goes for galvanized screws if your bird can reach them. This is well known in the bird community. Martha Stewart should be ashamed in this project, although it is a quite beautiful design. She does include a link to stainless steel chicken wire which is OK, though expensive.

  • writing is my passion 28 May, 2013

    This is what I need! My sister's bird will be having its first birthday and she wants to give a present for the bird and this is the perfect item. essay

  • jomaria 11 Mar, 2013

    We had been playing to buy a few birds for my daughter as she loves them very much.But i have been concerned about getting a proper birdcage and had been postponing it.Thanks for the step by step instructions to create one.san bernardino personal injury attorney

  • carl warrior1 12 Feb, 2013

    There is a very cheap, and very easy method to building a birdcage. All you require is a cardboard box, some tape, and the pet bird itself. You can even use scissors to punch holes through the cardboard box for air for the bird. Basically take the bird and put it into the cardboard box. Take the lid to the box and tape it so that it is seal shut.
    thesis topics

  • KatGelino 14 Mar, 2012

    I am at the finishing stages of my bircage. Thanks for the inspiration. I still need to add hardware and decorative edging, but if you'd like to see my version goto:

    I found an old entertainment center on Craigslist for free, used spare wood found in the garage, and only paid for paint, hinges (the top opens) and popsicle sticks for the singles. What do you think???

  • rdee10 4 Mar, 2011

    Martha Stewart thanks for recommending Peel Away Paint Remover. I followed the advice of one of your readers and purchased Peel Away from and saved over 35%. Peel Away Paint Remover is so easy to use and the best paint remover. Thank you Martha for finding Peel Away Paint Remover. I do not have a birdcage, but Peel Away was great for my favorite picture frame.

  • jackson2000 2 Jan, 2011

    I just finished using Peel Away to remove the paint on very old intricate door frames. There must have been 50 years of paint on these hand carved door frames and Peel Away did wonders to remove the paint. It was amazing how the paint attached to the Peel Away Paper and just lifted off. Thank you Martha Stewart for introducing me to Peel Away Paint Remover and thanks to one of your readers who suggested we buy Peel Away Paint Remover from where I saved 46%. Thank you Martha

  • jaderia 28 Dec, 2010

    I've used Peel Away for years. Used it last summer on antique doors to reveal beautiful old wood underneath. Just bought 2 antique windows with arched panes. By modifying Kristin's birdcage instructions, I plan to make a Victorian terrarium for my African violets.

  • duneman 12 Dec, 2010

    Just looked at this demo again.
    I tried the product after I saw how much you loved Peel Away Paint Remover. I said to myself if Martha Stewart loves Peel Away Paint Remover so uch I had to give it a try. I now agree with you that Peel Away Paint Remover is one of the best paint removers available. Thank you Martha Stewart.

  • BB3130 7 Jul, 2010

    BB3130, Here, I live alone, in an apartment, and am disabled-how easy is this beautiful casge to build?

  • Shannanagains 6 Jul, 2010

    The bird is a Parrotlet. It's name is Peko!
    Today the crafter featured on the Martha Stewart Show was Kristin St. Clair--she designed/recreated this cage from a similar cage that Martha has in her own home. This adorable little bird is Kristin's.

    I'll be making this cage for my doves--and I will try this stripper they suggest as well.
    Good Luck ybubbles6! Sincerely-Shannon

  • ybubbles6 12 Apr, 2010

    Can someone tell me what kind of bird that is? Is it a lovebird? Thanks!

  • SpringSummer 4 Mar, 2010

    I found the exact Peel Away product with the "red top" that was demonstrated on the Martha Stewart Show It is called "Peel Away 1" and I found the best price on

    The kit includes 5 gallons of Peel Away 1, the Peel Away Paper and a neutralizer to wash down the wood.
    There was a savings of 15% off retail plus another 10% because the order is over $100. Use the promo code
    "BigSale." It looks like a good deal to me.

  • Bighornram 29 Jan, 2010

    I have Zebra and Society Finches. Sure would like to make this beautiful cage. I sure would like a photo. I would like to show my builder, my husband. thank You Jeanne

  • alvie212 29 Jan, 2010

    YES Please add a pic of this cage and of the one that inspired it, the one at martha's house. i missed it, too.

  • ivapoole 29 Jan, 2010

    I too, would like a picture of this bird cage.

  • reds1949 28 Jan, 2010

    I have a moluccan cockatoo and I was wondering how hard it would be to build one of these cages for my bird Ringo. It would be good if I had a picture of the cage...

  • mysimidog 28 Jan, 2010

    I'd like to make this, but I need a picture. Can you email me one? Or post it on the site? Thanks!

  • tjzxcqwe 28 Jan, 2010

    Where can I find Peel Away paint stripper?

  • tessatillietwila 28 Jan, 2010

    where can i find a pic of this? i missed the show

  • Jerre 28 Jan, 2010

    Where can I find a picture of this birdcage?