How to Repurpose a Ceiling Fan Light Fixture Into a Bird Feeder

4 Materials

Ceiling fans are a huge thing where we live. The summers are hot and humid and we've grown so accustomed to running them (even in the winter sometimes) that when one breaks, it's no small thing. When the inevitable happened at our house last year, a trip to Lowe's was top priority and my electrical-bent husband had us up and running again in no time.
I'm not so electrically minded, but I do know a pretty thing when I see it, and the discarded light fixture - which was still in great shape - wasn't something I was ready to toss out. I snatched it up and set it aside for a project I had brewing in my mind - a DIY fountain for the garden.
I found a great lamp base at a yard sale to use along with the fixture, and set them aside until I was ready to make my fountain. Plans change, you know! :) This year, we spent most of our Labor Day weekend cleaning our our garage, garden shed, and workshop. You know, the places you pile things after you move until you can "get around to" organizing everything. It took us nearly 6 months to "get around to it". It was a good thing though because I found all kinds of inspiring things that hit my project list and that forgotten ceiling fan light fixture was one of them.
I'm kind of a paint junkie and this was just another prime opportunity to try out a new color and finish. I found this great hammered gray and decided it would be perfect.
It was. I love how it turned out - fresh and clean, but not overpowering. Just what I wanted.
I found a 10-foot decorative chain at Lowe's and grabbed a package of S hooks. I gave the hooks a shot of paint, but decided to leave the chain unpainted. I thought the black finish was a nice contrast. I wanted a 2-1/2 foot drop, so the chain was exactly what I needed. I dug around in my husband's (now clean) shop, found a pair of cutting pliers, and made fast business of making 4 shorter chains.
One of the perks of living in the deep south is that we get to enjoy birds all year long, and get many of the beautiful birds each winter that migrate away from cooler regions. The robins are especially fun to watch and we only see them in winter. My new bird feeder hangs right outside the kitchen window, and I'm keeping watch - waiting for those first few visitors. I hope they'll enjoy using their feeder as much as I enjoyed making it.

Suggested materials:

  • Ceiling fan light fixture  (salvaged)
  • Rustoleum Hammered Gray Spray Paint  (Lowe's)
  • 5 S Hooks  (Lowe's)
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To Work With My Hands

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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Vicki
    on Sep 13, 2016

    How deep is the light fixture? Did you fill it'd completely with seed or did you place something inside to fill 1/2 the space? I am asking because I wonder if the birds will really go to the very bottom to get the seeds? Thanks

    • To Work With My Hands
      on Sep 14, 2016

      It's about 4 inches in the center. It's right outside my kitchen window so I see it often. It will be easy to keep it filled.

  • Sun7399443
    on Sep 14, 2016

    I love the idea,,,,but how do you keep the rats away?

  • Kathleen Bolanos
    on Sep 14, 2016

    Did you close the hole in the bottom or use screening, or something else, to stop the seeds from falling out the hole?

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