How to Make a Bird Bath or DIY Bird Bath

How to Make a Bird Bath or DIY Bird Bath

I’ve wanted to try my hand at a DIY bird bath for some time now, as we love supplying food and water to the wildlife in our back yard. So, I decided to find out how to make a bird bath and used a brass lamp (or vintage lamp) from the thrift store as my base. For the bird bath bowl, I upcycled a glass plate or glass tray (also from the thrift store).



I hit a local thrift store in search of two things: a vintage lamp to use as the base; and a shallow, glass plate (to use as the bowl- but nothing too deep). I scored both in one visit, with this brass lamp:

Brass lamp or vintage lamp at thrift store to be repurposed with a glass plate into a DIY bird bath by Sadie Seasongoods /

And this pretty glass plate that just happened to be an iridescent seashell. For some reason, that just delighted me and my plans for a DIY bird bath! This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience.

Glass plate or glass tray at the thrift store to be upcycled with a brass lamp to make a bird bath by Sadie Seasongoods /

Upcycling a Brass Lamp into a DIY Bird Bath

The first step was to remove the wiring from the brass lamp and any extraneous or decorative pieces that weren’t needed. I didn’t need any tools for this, but it’s possible that some pliers or screwdriver might be needed, depending on the vintage lamp you chose.

Taking apart a lamp or brass lamp from the thrift store to create a lamp base for a DIY bird bath by Sadie Seasongoods /

However, in order to get to that wide, flat “platform” for the bird bath bowl to sit upon (the main reason I chose this particular vintage lamp), I needed to cut off the nipple. Dang, that’s a horrible thing to say, isn’t it?

Using a rotary tool for cutting metal or removing lamp nipple from lamp base to be upcycled into a DIY bird bath by Sadie Seasongoods /

Luckily for me, Jon was able to break out our Dremel tool and slice it off, but any rotary tool would work. We always use safety gear (goggles, gloves, heavy closed toe shoes, etc.) while doing any metal cutting, and obviously implore you to do so, too.

Rotary tool used to cut metal on vintage lamp or brass lamp to make a bird bath with glass tray by Sadie Seasongoods /

Once he finished and I gave the entire brass lamp a good wipe down before giving it two coats of latex paint. This DIY bird bath is honestly a great project for leftover paint you have from other projects, but any inexpensive water-based paint would suffice.

How to make a bird bath with a lamp base and glass plate bird bath bowl from the thrift store by Sadie Seasongoods /

After the paint cured, I then gave it two coats of clear enamel (one coat with the vintage lamp right side up, one coat with it upside-down…to get in those curves and crevices). Since my DIY bird bath will live outside in the warm, humid months, I wanted to seal it as much as possible.

Spray painting a brass lamp or vintage lamp to become lamp base for a DIY bird bath with a glass tray by Sadie Seasongoods /

Now I just needed to attach the glass plate (i.e., bird bath bowl) to my lamp base. I didn’t want to use just any old adhesive…I needed something that could stand up to southern summers. Therefore, GE Silicone II Window & Door Caulk was the perfect choice for my DIY bird bath adhesive.

Silicone to adhere glass plate or glass tray to brass lamp as lamp base for DIY bird bath by Sadie Seasongoods /

DIY Bird Bath from a Vintage Lamp and a Glass Plate

I put a healthy amount on the lamp base, then positioned my glass plate on top. After that, I added an additional bead of caulk around the lamp just under the dish.

DIY Bird bath made from a vintage lamp or brass lamp and a glass plate as the bird bath bowl by Sadie Seasongoods /

My DIY bird bath hung out in the garage overnight to set/cure/dry and before getting placed in our yard the next morning. A little water in the glass plate and it’s ready to go!

How to Make a Bird bath by upcycling a vintage lamp or brass lamp with a glass plate or glass tray by Sadie Seasongoods /

Isn’t it fantastic? The right vintage lamp is key: One that no longer functions but is still sturdy is ideal…and having a wide platform to perch your glass plate on top is beneficial, too. And an iridescent shell-shaped dish? Just dumb luck, thrift store-style.

If you enjoyed this upcycling idea for birds, then you’ll love this suet bird feeder inside an upcycled coffee mug!

Coffee mug or coffee cup from the thrift store upcycled into a suet bird feeder by Sadie Seasongoods

Craft on!


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  1. I have been wanting to do some DIY projects for the yard/garden and this is a great idea. I think I may have to do something like it.

  2. I love this idea. Thanks for sharing. My daughters amd I were just talking about putting a bird bath in our front yard.

  3. I love this idea! I have a lot of birds around my house and they would love this. Pinning. 🙂

  4. OMG I love this! What a gorgeous project, pinning for sure!

  5. So creative! I love it! I would love to have you link it up to my Feature Friday Link Palooza!

    Danielle @ Blissful & Domestic

  6. Super cute! That dish was screaming for a project like that. Too perfect!

  7. I love it!….very creative and gorgeous to boot!

  8. Love it!! I love the shell glass dish you found 😉

    Thanks for sharing!

  9. It looks pretty in you garden. I bet the birds will love it.
    Thanks so much for sharing at the Make it Monday Party!

  10. distresseddonna says

    A lovely piece of garden art – and the birds will love it too! Glad you shared this at Make It Monday.

  11. I love this idea. I am sitting here at my vintage sale eyeballing a lamp I have that will be perfect for this.. It works but I am willing to sacrifice it for the love of a project.

  12. I love the clock bird feeder. You’ve given me such great craft ideas. I’ve added them to my floral business and people love to buy them. Thank your for the inspiration.

  13. Several years ago I lucked out and found a bird bath base at the dump! I had been gifted with another gazing ball and wanted to set it up. Your lamp bottom looks like it has a hole big enough to set that gazing ball into. Instead of cutting off the nipple, I’d use it to screw on a small board as a stabilizer, then bury the board in some mulch!


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