A few weeks ago my youngest daughter had a birthday, and we thought it’d be nice to get her a new bike. I was chatting with my mom about it and she said she had an old one in her garage. I don’t think either of us realized quite how old it was…but it had a certain charm to it.
We gave Maddie the choice of a bike makeover or a new bike, and she thought she’d like the makeover, since she’d be able to choose the colours. So we bought some spray paint, new handle grips, one new inner tube, since the bike had a flat, a new bike seat cover, a pretty wicker basket, and some steel wool. My husband removed the tires for me, and I worked on the rusty wheels.
After a little research on-line, I learned that you could remove rust with a little cola and some tin foil or steel wool….and lots of elbow grease. After much scrubing, we were pleased with the results.
They didn’t come out perfectly, but they were much improved. Once the wheels and handle bars had most of the rust off, we sealed up our work with a little car wax to hopefully keep the rust away for awhile.
Next it was time for some spray paint. We found the prettiest colour of teal blue, and began taping up the frame. We made sure to cover the seat, chain, pedals, and handlebars and then started spraying. I began with the bike upside down best to master the technique on the bottom which will show less. I gave the bike many, many light coats to try and avoid any drips.
After letting it dry over night, we finally removed all the tape. It turned out to be so pretty.
Our final little project was to make a retro inspired basket for the front, perfect for bringing Maddie’s teddy bear along for a bike ride. We wanted to add some flowers to the basket, but didn’t want to do anything permanent, in case Maddie wanted to change it in the future.
Our solution was to hot glue the flowers to a piece of ribbon and then tie the ribbon around the top of the basket. It still slid around a bit, so I added a few quick stitches with some fishing line to hold it in place.
Maddie loves her “new” bike, and so do I. I’m so glad we did the makeover. My favourite part? Hearing Maddie say while I worked on it in the garage one night, “Mom is the coolest”. It’s the little things.
I’m not sure which is Maddie’s favourite part…the basket, the shiny new bell, the pretty colour, or that she can now keep up with her older sister. With a Vintage Bicycle, life really is a party!