DIY Birdbath from a Vintage Lamp

DIY Birdbath from a Vintage Lamp

I’ve wanted to try my hand at a DIY birdbath for some time now, as we love supplying food and water to the wildlife in our backyard. So, I decided to make a do-it-yourself bird bath with a vintage lamp from the thrift store as my base. 

I went thrifting in search of the perfect lamp to repurpose. This one caught my eye because it was heavy and would make for a sturdy pedestal.

vintage brass lamp

It also had a wide, flat top that would hold a bird bath bowl from quite nicely.

Then, I scored 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 birdbath! 

iridescent shell platter

What made it even more ideal was that the concave side (i.e. interior bowl) had some texture to it. Just enough to make it less slick for birds to stand on.

Now, I *have* made a DIY hanging bird bath before! But I decided I wanted a standing bath, as well.

diy hanging bird bath

So, with DIY bird bath components in hand, I was ready to get to work!

This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. All blue, bold, and underlined text is a clickable link, either to a product or to a related post.

Making the Base for a DIY Birdbath

First, I needed to remove the wiring from the brass lamp and any extraneous or decorative pieces that weren’t needed.

making a DIY birdbath from a lamp

I didn’t need many tools for this, just some pliers and a screwdriver. But this would vary from lamp to lamp, depending on construction.

vintage brass lamp with the cord and socket removed

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?

lamp nipple to be removed

Luckily for me, Jon was able to break out our Dremel tool and slice it off, but any rotary tool would work. To keep it safer, he first cut it off in the middle and then the remainder of it at the base of the lamp. That way, a hot, 3″ piece of metal couldn’t go flying away (worst case scenario).

We used safety gear (goggles, face shield, gloves, heavy closed toe shoes, etc.) while doing this metal cutting, and obviously implore you to do so, too.

cutting off a lamp nipple

Building a Do-It-Yourself Bird Bath

After he finished removing the lamp nipple, I gave the entire brass lamp a good wipe down before giving it two coats of latex paint.

This DIY birdbath is honestly a great project for leftover paint you have from other projects, but any inexpensive water-based paint would suffice.

painting a bird bath base

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 birdbath will live outside in the warm, humid months, I needed to seal it as much as possible.

waterproofing a do it yourself bird bath

Lastly, I 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. But rather something that could stand up to southern summers.

I selected GE Silicone II Window & Door Caulk as the adhesive for my DIY birdbath. It seemed like the best choice.

glue for a glass plate bird bath

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.

do it yourself birdbath

While the adhesive set and cured, I placed heavy objects in the bird bath bowl to help weigh it down. Specifically, I stacked some power tool batteries in it, but anything that’s small and solid would work. Just not too heavy to break the glass or tip it over!

DIY Birdbath from a Vintage Lamp

My DIY birdbath hung out in the garage overnight to set/cure/dry and before getting placed in our yard the next morning. Finally, I set it out in the backyard, added  little water in the glass plate, and it was ready to go!

diy bird bath from a vintage lamp

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.

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

How to make bird suet for a suet feeder in a ceramic coffee mug as a DIY bird feeder for the winter

Craft on!


Want to be notified when I publish my next upcycling project tutorial?

Please subscribe here.

Join me on Social Media:

please follow sadie seasongoods on facebookplease follow sadie seasongoods on instagramfollow sadie seasongoods on pinterest






glass plate bird bath

do it yourself bird bath

Website | + posts

Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  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!

  14. Melissa Griffin says

    Question, after you cut the nipple, what do you do after?

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Ahh, I think I know where your confusion came from, so I’ve added additional language to the blog post. He cut it off in two pieces- first in the middle, then again at the base (so that we had a clean, flat surface). He did that as a safety precaution. Apologies for the confusion and thank you for your question!

  15. Love this so much! I just happen to have three of those lamps in my basement. Lol

Have a question or like what you see? Please let me know!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.