Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Dinosaur Bike Makeover

Another week down in the So You Think You're Crafty Competition. For last week's theme "Let's Hear it for the Boys" I made this Dino Bike for my nephew. ( BTW- This week's theme is "Out and About". Voting ends tomorrow.)

My dino-bike started with a $5 bike I picked up at a tag sale. The bike was functional but definitely needed a makeover!

My nephew loves dinosaurs. The shape of the handlebars reminded me of a dinosaur's jaw line, so I decided to create a dino's head on the front, and paint the rest of the bike to look like the body.

The mister took the bike apart. Then I cleaned off any dirt and grease on the frame and taped off the areas I didn't want to paint over.

To paint over the old blue paint I used the Martha Stewart Spray Kit. (If you're curious about this kit I used it for the first time recently on another project. I talk about my impressions of the kit in that post, which you can find- here.)

The main color of the bike was a green called Scottish Highlands. Once that was dry I sprayed highlights on the front and underside of the crossbars using a yellow called Yellowjacket.

Then I used a brush to paint dark green (a color I mixed myself) stripes.

Finally, I sprayed the entire frame with a glossy finish coat/sealer.

For the dinosaur's head I needed something that was light enough to easily attach to the bike, and most importantly, soft so if my nephew bumped his head or face on it he wouldn't get hurt. Craft foam fit the bill perfectly, but I would need to make it weather resistant if it had any chance of holding up on the bike.

Before cutting the head out of the foam I used a grocery bag to create a shape that matched the curve of the handle bars. I folded the grocery bag in half, cutting out just half the shape of the dino's head. When I unfolded the paper I had a symmetrical shape.

Once I had a shape I was happy with I used the grocery bag as a template and cut the head out of the foam.

Before painting craft foam it has to be sealed (otherwise it will soak up the paint and dry blotchy). Usually I do this with regular Mod Podge, but this was an opportunity to help make the foam weather resistant so I sealed it using outdoor Mod Podge.

Once it was dry I painted the dinosaur's features with acrylic craft paint, that was water resistant. Then sealed it again with a waterproof spray sealer.

The mister put the bike back together and I attached the dino's head to the handlebars using a waterproof glue that was for use on both metal and foam.

I'm really happy with how this $5 bike makeover turned out. I can't wait to see my nephew ride his new dino bike!


  1. oh my gosh, that is absolutely amazing! what a great vision, well done!

  2. Very impressive! I just went to vote, too.

  3. Thank you! I really had a great time giving this bike a makeover.

    : )

  4. Oooh, very nice! I was going to paint my daughter's tricycle, but I didn't want to do all that work. Check out what I ended up doing instead:

  5. I love Tanya's comment - "Stinking Adorable!" And she is absolutely right on!

    I would add brilliant! Genius!

    What an imaginative and clever remake. Bravo you!

  6. Thanks Pam, Tanya, and Echoesofstars!

  7. OMG! This is genius!!! My son is crazy about Dinos and he would die for a bike like this!!! The Dino head looks so nice and not scary at all. Do you happen to have the drawing? Would you mind sharing it? Thanks so much and congrats!!!

    1. Aww thanks so much for your comment! I actually just did that drawing freehand on a paper grocery bag so I'd have a rough pattern to cut the foam with. I didn't hang onto it- besides the painting I did ended up being much different than the drawing. The painting I did as I went- no pattern. I had fun with the project- this is my nephew's second year with that bike and so far it's help up great.

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  17. It was great, and I will start making it today for my twelve years year old son. The color of the Scottish Highlands looks a little too dark, and I'm thinking of making it a little lighter. Thanks for sharing this. Masters Dissertation Writing Service

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