When Shoni found a gorgeous cage for her daughter's birthday budgie, Aquaman, on Instagram, she knew it was perfect.
However, the mum-of-two couldn't find anything like it in Australia, so she decided to create her own.
"Hacked this IKEA unit to make a birdcage for our little guy Aquaman," Shoni shared in a Facebook group. "Sides are lead-free mesh, and he is out and about for most of the day. He loves it!"
It wasn't just Aquaman who liked the new cage, with many group members praising it.
"Love love love it!" one woman wrote, followed by another who added, "That’s awesome, such a good idea."
"That’s so cool! How is a bird’s room better than mine," a third joked.
A mum on the hunt
"My inspiration came from a repurposed china cabinet on Pinterest," Shoni told Yahoo Lifestyle.
"I couldn't find anything after weeks of looking on Marketplace, so I investigated retail items and learnt that IKEA does not use lead in their products."
Shoni purchased the Baggebo display cabinet for $59 and went about transforming it into a beautiful birdcage.
She removed the interior shelves and then added some $3 Kmart palm leaf contact to the back of the cabinet, hot-glued Kmart fringing to an old mirror and some artificial turf to the base.
"The arrangement of branches are changed monthly using native branches," Shoni added.
"Both my daughters, who are aged nine and five, love him, however, he is the nine-year-old’s pet," she continued. "He even loves her photo and follows her around the house.
"My daughter dotes on him daily, giving him baths, playing tricks. He falls asleep on her some nights and he has to sleep in his cage so he doesn’t get squashed. So she has the cage beside her bed, he wakes her up in the morning, and they play before school."
Lots of birthday tears
Shoni carefully considered the bird's needs in building the perfect birdcage, which she did in secret as part of the birthday surprise.
She said Aquaman knew not to fly into the glass door and cleverly waited for it to open before flying out.
"There were lots of tears when we gave her Aquaman and his cage," Shoni revealed. "We then watched tonnes of YouTube videos together about budgie body language, diets and trust."
There's no doubt Shoni's daughter will remember her ninth birthday!
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