Upcycled birdhouses and bird feeders from Gadget Sponge

Put a Bird In It!

upcycled bird house

You know how I love my upcycled chippy hippy house things. Our hoard o’ vintage surely is destined for: Art. I also love birdhouses — so sculptural… and useful. Put vintage + birdhouses together and you get: Clever upcycled birdhouse creations from Brian Carlisle aka GadgetSponge on etsy.com. I asked Brian some questions about his birdhouses and bird feeders, so that I could show lots of pictures and Get Inspired.
upcycled bird feederHow long have you been making these — and what got you going?
I’ve been creating the upcycled birdhouses and bird feeders for almost a year and a half now.  It all started with a vintage copper coal bin.  The handle, the front handle, the slope of what would be a roof all began to come together in my head and I just went with it!
What is your background? Did you already have the welding skills, etc?
My professional background is Graphic Design (for almost 20 years now).  It definitely helps with the creative side of things.  I’ve got lots of tools in general, but my background of stained glass work also helped get things rolling with the soldering of the materials.
Where do you get all your its and bits to use for the items? Is your garage/storage a vintage hoarding nightmare?
My garage is by definition “a hoarding nightmare”!  At least once every couple of weeks, I’ve got to stop and unhappy clean the whole area back up to have a clean
 surface and area to start over with.  I find most of my parts, pieces and general junk through family and friends out and about coming across things, garage and estate sales, and antiques/collectibles stores.
Are the enclosed birdhouses really livable?
The upcycled birdhouses I create are actually livable as long as the new owner keeps them out of direct sunlight (hot summer) and out of cold, exposed winds (winter).  But, honestly, most of my customers look at me like I’m crazy when I ask where they are going to put them outside.  Most are used for decorations and accents around their homes.

These are just so cool — and the last photo is just a small example of Brian’s bird photography. One talented guy! Thank you, Brian!


  1. No problem at all Kristi. My post was mainly to inform the other folllowers of my best interests because you do bring up a common point I have to emphasize with my customers. Thanks and take care!

  2. Thanks a million Pam! I’m so grateful for the spotlight. One of the best blog features to date for me! As for birds actually using the metal birdhouses (Kristi), I always promote bird safety with my customers. I emphasis that great care must be used if a customer actually plans on using the structure for residence. I’ve had several families in my birdhouses over time but only because it was placed in a very protected place from the elements. Covered and well shaded patios are recommended. But, honestly, most all of my customers don’t take my creations outside and use them as decorative pieces which is their prime purpose. Thanks again!

    1. Kristi says:

      Brian , I hope I didn’t sound horribly preachy. I think your bird houses are fantastic and I don’t doubt that most people don’t want to subject them to the elements but choose to display them inside. I’m so glad that you let your customers know about using them only in the shade if they are out doors. Love them!!

  3. Tahnee says:

    These are super fun! love ’em! Also, Pam, you seem to have a great sense of humor…have you sketch from Portlandia “Put a Bird on it”? You use the phrase, so assume you have, but if not give it a search on YouTube.

    1. chris says:

      We literally just discovered Portlandia on netflix instant. My brother told me about it 3 days ago and we watched the first episode (the yuppies who want to know more about “Colin” – the chicken they might eat at the restaurant.)

      SO funny!

  4. Annie B. says:

    This is a win-win-win idea: upcycling, creative expression, and a home and feeder for our feathered friends. Talons up for Brian.

    Love the photo of the little chickadee putting his seal of approval on your work.

Comments are closed.