Sunday, March 4, 2012

Make Your Own Spoke Cards And Photos from the Bike Swap

see the contact paper around the unfinished card?
Kids made homemade spoke cards by decorating cards with stamps, glitter and pastels, then they were sealed in contact paper. You slide them between your wheel spokes and they spin happily as you ride.

Heat laminating might work better than contact paper (except maybe for the glitter) but we had neither electric power nor enough time to supervise the potential burns. 
To make your own, have 8-1/2 by 11 inch (or A4) 110 lb heavy card stock cut into sixths (or smaller if you are going to use them on small kids' bikes) at the office supply store. Gather stamps and ink pads, pastels, markers or anything else you can think of. Decorate the cards and seal them inside the clear contact paper with some edge overlap. We found contact paper at our office supply mega store. They may have it at the hardware store as well.

Lots of families stopped by and it was very fun. Many thanks to Active Transportation Alliance and Bike Winter for welcoming us to give it a try. Bionic bike mom Jane Healy- leader of Cal-Sag cycles- and her amazing daughters were our partners at the table. Jane shared her stupendous collection of bike stamps (there must be 80 of them) with us all- including a much-coveted Edward Gorey stamp with two kids flying on a bike.

We had a do-it-yourself how to make a balance bike display, and a few people put together spoke noisemakers from plastic picnic plates or cardstock and zip ties, like at our bike party.

The family riding presentation was great. There were plenty of very cute babies there. It won't be long before the babies are out riding the neighborhood greenways and protected lanes coming to Chicago. They'll be the first generation of Chicagoans to grow up with safe sheltered spaces for children to use their bikes as transportation. I can't wait. 

The swap itself went well downstairs, with plenty of interesting stuff and lots of people saying, "You should have been here a few minutes ago; I just sold a guy a bucket of the best stuff for $5!" One bike in the Bike Corral, for $20, was a Bridgestone Disney Princess bike with a roller brake and Japanese stickers all over it. There was a Rivendell Bleriot and a RRB and a bunch of Waterford Treks and titanium frames and, and... but no cargo bikes and no tandems. Only 2 kid seats, and they were pretty standard. 

You should try to make it next year! 


  1. some good art work is presented here by the kids. Kids are the such good artists and they should be encouraged to take part in such kind of activities.

    Plastic Cards
    Plastic Cards

  2. Thanks Umair. The kids made beautiful cards. They really went to work and came up with spoke cards like you've never seen. We're going to be keeping our eyes out for them out on the road. We brought some basic materials. The stamps, inks , papers shape cutters, some extra beautiful paper. pastels, glitter and glue. I don't know how the thicker glittered cards would laminate with a hot laminator. You could vary or limit the materials to great effect. We has lots of fun!


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