Thursday, July 3, 2014

Pimp My Ride

Princess's birthday is coming up in a few weeks. My baby girl is turning 4! And she is starting school in the Fall! I can't believe it. I look at her now and she is a LITTLE GIRL! SO not a baby anymore. Her baby fat is all gone and she is all thinned out and taller. Her 4T pants are too small! I can hardly stand it. When people say it goes fast, they aren't kidding. My BABY! One thing my husband and I wanted to get our little Princess for her birthday this year was a bike. We thought she would be the perfect age for it. But after scouring the internet and overpaying for a few Frozen toys (obsessed is an understatement) our budget for presents was pretty much depleted (Disney really scored with that one). Lucky for us one of our neighbors just gave us an old bike of theirs for FREE! But, as luck would have it, it was pink. Very pink (And you all know how I feel about pink). And a little worse for the wear. Both tires completely flat. I decided I was gonna roll with it (haha) and completely re-do it. Paint it up, make a seat cover, make some streamers for the handles....totally pimped out and customized! Here is what I did to remake this sad little bike into one SWEET little ride.

If you want to customize your own bike here is a list of items you will need:
Goo Gone (lots of it)
Spray paint (in the color of choice)
Spray gloss finishing spray (just to give it a nice shine after painting)
Paint thinner (just in case you get a little excited with the spray paint)
Painters tape
Screwdriver (for removing parts if need be)
Tire pump
Fabric for muff and seat
Sewing materials
Possibly new velcro (if the old stuff from the old muff is un-usuable)
Appliques and embellishments
Ribbon (if you want to skip making your own streamers, they also sell them at Target. Not as cool though.)
Super glue
This list keeps on going and going! It was a big project!
1/2 inch elastic


Condition: Both tires flat. Hideous stickers. Color, PINK!!! Streamers missing.

Step 1. Remove all stickers and clean bike. This proved to be a pain in the butt. But it was so nice to have a clean start. A lot of Goo Gone was needed for this part, so be prepared.

Step 2. Prep the bike for painting. Cover anything and everything that you don't want painted. This takes awhile and a lot of careful tape placement. I used regular painter's tape and foil to cover the wheels. I also removed the gear cover. Ideally, if you could take apart the whole bike, that would make painting the main frame a whole lot easier. But I wasn't about to take it apart and then have an, "Oh shit" moment when I couldn't put it back together again.

Step 3. Prepare your painting area (preferably in a ventilated area). I laid out a large old curtain of ours and it was the perfect thing to protect our grass! And now the fun part. Spray paint the bike! Make sure to look at it from all angles to make sure you get all of the nooks and crannies. I suggest doing 3 full coats, making sure each coat is FULLY dry before adding another coat. It takes patience to wait between coats, I know. When you have done 3 coats, spray over the top with a clear gloss finishing spray. This will add shine and help the paint from getting scuffs in it.

Step 4. Remove the muff from the front of the bike and if the velcro is re-usable unstitch it from the muff.

Step 5. I just used the old muff as the pattern to make a new one. And I changed colors of the muff about 4 times, so don't be confused when the finished product is a different color.

Step 6. Using your old muff as the guide, cut out 2 pieces of fabric (in the color of your choice) and one piece of batting. I wanted the new muff to have about the same thickness as the original, so that is why I decided to add batting.

 Step 7. Layer the pieces together as shown, then sew along the two long sides.

Step 8. Flip right side out, then tuck in the two other sides, pin and sew in place to close.

Step 9. Add the velcro (make sure to put one on one side of the muff and the other on the opposite side) and any embellishments you want to add. These appliques that I found were supposed to just iron on, but they weren't sticking very well, so I hand stitched around the edges to make sure they didn't fall off. And again, sorry about the color change. It just took awhile for me to find the perfect color!

Step 10. If your bike originally had streamers like this one did, there should be little plugs inside the handles of the bike. Take some pliers and remove being careful not to break the plastic. Cut several pieces of ribbon in coordinating colors slightly longer than the length you want the streamers to be. The longer the better, because you can always trim them later.

Step 11. Using super glue, glue half of your ribbons together (reserving the other half for the other handle of the bike) on the ends. You will need to work quickly, as the super glue dries fast and you will probably have rock hard fingers by the end of it....but no worries. It washes off in a few days.

Step 12. Before the glue is completely dry, wedge (the glued side of) the ribbon into the plugs and pour some more glue in there to keep them secure. Clip to hold the ribbon on there while the glue dries. I just used some old balloon clips. Repeat with remaining ribbon.

Step 13. Using a lighter, burn the ends of the ribbon so that they don't fray.

Step 14. Using the pliers again, stuff the streamers back into the handle bars, being careful to get all the ribbon you just glued on there to go in as well.

Step 15. Draw a rough outline of the bike seat. This will be your pattern. Cut out and use to cut out your fabric for the seat.

Step 16. If you are using fur like me (of course! Princess deserves the best!), sew all the way around the edges to stop some of the fur from coming off. Then sew on the elastic all the way around it, pulling the elastic as you go so that it scrunches up when you are finished.

 Like so.

Step 17. Then attach two, 2 inch pieces of elastic by the top and bottom of the underside of the seat cover. This is to keep the cover taught and wrapped around the original seat. You don't want that cover coming off or looking droopy.

Step 18. Then believe it or not, you are done! Stand back and admire your customized work of art.


If you wanted to get really fancy, you could get a stencil and spray paint some designs on the main frame of the bike as well. I prefered a cleaner look.

I know some of you are thinking, wait, those kind of look like..... "Frozen" colors.....and you'd be right. Once I got started, I realized it was looking quite like a "Frozen" bike, but it was perfect because Princess loves it. And I thought it was pretty cool considering there are no Frozen little girl's bikes on the market yet. Princess will be the first one to rock a custom Frozen bike. WHAT!? Jealous? I know. She's pretty cool like that.

Be aware that this project takes more than a day. I took me a few weeks to finish it. A tarp comes in handy if you need to hide it from someone before its all finished.

I'm pretty excited that I was able to turn this fixer-upper bike into a practically new customized "Frozen" dream bike.

And THATS how I pimped Princess's ride.

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