I said a while back that you can mod podge anything. I am now coming with confirmation that it is true.
I started going to school in a college town that isn’t too much bigger than my hometown(when school isn’t in session), but it has to accomodate a much bigger variety of people and interests, so it has a much wider diversity of things to do. Bike riding is one of those things. With all the opportunities here like sidewalks, hints of bike lanes, other people who rode bikes, etc. I could not pass up the idea of riding a bike. So I set out to find the medium with which I was going to fulfill this dream. There are a couple of bike stores here, but they sell road bikes and bikes for cycling. I just wanted a standard bike like I had when I was a kid, easy to ride, nothing fancy. There are different internet options, but it didn’t make sense to waste all that gas to have it ship something that was supposed to conserve it. Craiglist was my next best option. I started searching a couple of weeks before school started because I knew I wouldn’t have that many options. I found one that would do, only $50, and it was the kind that I wanted. I went to take a look at it. I liked it well enough and I didn’t think I would find anything super amazing and it was a pretty good price, so I bought it. It wasn’t extremely unsightly, but just a bit boring.
It’s kind of hard to tell, but the whole bike is covered in a dark black color with these lighter blue splotches.
I rode it for a couple of days before it hit me. Not a car, but an idea. You can mod podge anything.
So I set out on a quest to find out how to make this idea a reality and I stumbled onto this. She had done all the work, I just had to put my own twist on it.
What you need:
A bicycle- check out thrift stores, ebay, Craiglist for a used one. Honestly, if I had bought a new one I never would have had the heart to do this. It just wouldn’t make sense. Find an ugly one, one that no one wants and prove to the world that it’s worth a second glance.
If you have a son or daughter that needs or wants a bike, but can’t afford something new and all you can find is girl’s bike if you have a son or vice versa, give it a new look with this project. They’ll never know the difference and they’ll feel even more special because it’s the most unique bike on the block.
2 Mod Podge Outdoor- I used a whole bottle and then just a tad of the second, but I didn’t start out very generous and that made the project quite a bit harder, so definitely get two bottles.
Mod Podge Hard Coat- Definitely only one bottle. I could only find the outdoor in a store, so you may be better off just getting both of the internet.
Tons of Paper or 1/2 yard of fabric- come up with your idea of what you want the bike to look like before you start cutting up stuff.
1 inch foam brush- ONLY get one inch. I got larger ones and it made the project a lot harder and get more than one because they wear out pretty quickly.
Scissors- A pair that you don’t care about
Drop cloth- for obvious reasons
Time and patience- I used a lot of small pieces of paper, which took me quite a while, over a week to be exact.
Because I used paper that is what I will be explaining about, but here is a link if you want to use fabric.
Step 1- Cut out your paper. I used magazines. I just cut out textures, patterns and colors that I liked. I suggest that you stick with about four main colors with a random color every once in a while to make sure it’s not too busy. Also pick a lot of neutrals. For me this was mostly book pages. I cut out tons and tons of these because I wanted to make sure I had a wide selection of interesting things to choose from. I used a 1 1/16 inch hole punch like the kind people use for scrap booking, but you can do random torn out shapes, squares, hearts, what ever suits your fancy.
Step 2- If you want to take apart your bike this is the time. I don’t recommend it unless you’re absolutely sure that you can put it back together. I was too afraid to do that to mine, but it mind some parts kind of difficult. Just be sure that’s what you want.
Step 3- For the sake of this tutorial we’ll say that you’re using the circles. With the outdoor mod podge, generously paint the back of each circle and place it on the bike in whatever order you want. The trick is when you get to the more difficult places on the bike, like where the pieces are held together, then you want to make sure it’s nice and wet so it will hold it’s shape and be more malable. On the really difficult place on the bike then try cutting your paper into smaller pieces. The mod podge is pretty thick, but don’t be afraid of it.
Step 4- Take it one piece of the bike at a time. I suggest going with the harder parts first. This project will probably take at least a couple of days, so each time you put the project up for the night go over the section you worked on with one last coat of the outdoor mod podge glue. Also try to keep the bike inside if possible because the rain or some other natural element may mess it up if all the sealers aren’t on there yet.
Step 4- When you’re done with all the sections, add one last coat of outdoor over the entire thing. Once you’re finished with the entire bike let it dry for several hours.
Step 5- When you’re sure that it’s exactly how you want it, put your last coat of the hard coat mod podge. This stuff is pretty drippy, but don’t worry; I’m now pretty sure that it’s impossible to mess up mod podge.
And this is my completed art work. Depending on your taste, you may or may not like it, but I really like it. The world is your canvas people, just pick up some paper scraps and get to creating.
While I was working on mine loads of ideas where coming to mind. I really want to make another bike, but I only have the need for one, so I’m hoping somebody will be inspired and ask me to make one. For now I’ll live my dreams through you. Here are my ideas in case you’re at a loss.
Use a road map: I think this would be adorable to cover the entire thing in several different kinds of maps.
Use black and white photographs: I also think this would be awesome. If that’s too boring you could add a spot of red or pink in different places or use the black and white as you’re neutrals.
Make a design: This was one of my first ideas, but I didn’t know what kind of design I should make or if it would turned out right because I’m pretty horrible drawer. I thought about covering the whole bike in book pages and then using colors from the magazine to make a vine and leaves that grew around the bike. Or a snake. Snakes are awesome.
Use comic books: I really, really wanted to do this, but I didn’t have any comic books and that would mean I wasn’t upcycling.
Do the layering effect that I did except cut out some feather shapes instead of circles. I didn’t do this for obvious reasons. It would take forever to cut all that out.
Cover the whole thing with book pages and then draw graffiti type art or regular art all over it.- Again, I thought this would be awesome, but I suck at drawing. I would make sure that you could draw on the dry outdoor mod podge before doing your final layers of it.
Paper patchwork effect- Cut out different sizes of squares for that quilt effect.
If you want to use fabric, but still want to upcycle try looking at thrift stores for thinner shirt or dress materials. You may need more than one shirt or dress, so find away to incorporate the different colors and styles like doing a patchwork type look.
So, those are my ideas. Let your brain run wild with all the possibilities. Good Luck!
Want more ideas? Check out my DIY page.