10 Eco-Friendly DIY Projects for Your Bicycle


Any bicycle enthusiast will tell you that customizing your pedal-powered ride at a bike shop can be expensive. Ditch the flashy paint jobs and mass-produced bike baskets in favor of a DIY pick-me-up that suits both your style and your cycling needs – whether you use your bicycle for exercise, two-wheeled transportation or lazy-day fun. Check out these 10 innovative DIY projects for your bicycle, and kiss boring, run-of-the-mill bikes goodbye.

1. Decoupage bike makeover


Photo: Vanessa Ryerse/The Vintage Butterfly

If your beloved bike is looking a little drab or dull, give it a makeover using trash like vintage enthusiast, bicycle-lover and creative reuse-aholic Vanessa Ryerse. When Ryerse, who chronicles her adventures in do-it-yourself on her blog The Vintage Butterfly, snagged a Manton and Smith Golden Eagle Pacer at a local thrift shop, she knew it needed a little TLC to realize its full potential.

After stockpiling a collection of 1950s travel magazines, she broke out the Mod Podge and got to work on decoupaging the entire bicycle frame for a quirky collage-like look. The final design also incorporates pages from a turn-of-the-century geography book for added personality.

To use this fun weekend project to pimp out your own two-wheeled ride, check out Ryerse’s detailed tutorial to find out how she did it. To see more of the creative crafter’s innovative reuse ideas, check out her Etsy shop, The Mosaic Butterfly.

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2. Basic bike basket

Bike baskets can cost big bucks at retail stores, but they’re virtually free if you go DIY. Simply start with the upcycled container of your choice, such as a wicker basket, plastic bucket or milk crate, and use a few simple steps to attach it to the front or rear of your bicycle.

Check out this video from Howcast for tips and step-by-step instructions on building your bike basket. To avoid unwanted surprises, take a test-drive with books or hand weights before using your basket to carry groceries or breakable items around town.

Tip: Embrace upcycled containers for your bike basket to showcase your unique personality. Try wooden wine crates or produce boxes for a spunky natural look, or a pannier made from reusable shopping bags for a convenient eco flair.

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Mary Mazzoni

Based in the Phoenix metro area, Mary is a lifelong vegetarian and enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, biking and relaxing in the park. When she’s not outside, she’s probably watching baseball. She is a former assistant editor for Earth911.