This is an exciting day for me! I was recently invited to be on a local TV Channel's mid-day Variety Show. They asked me to stage a fresh SPRING PORCH. Well, everyone in my neighborhood knows that I'm kind of a Porch junkie! I'm known as the "lady with the decorated porch" around here. haha. 
I had this crazy idea to turn an old bike into a planter, and when I suggested that to the producers, they loved the idea...and this project is what I ended up doing.

So, you can check out my TV segment online HERE!. Though I filmed the segment last week, it just aired today. (I'd been anxiously awaiting the airing all weekend because I wasn't able to see any of the segment that day.) I only knew how it went, though I probably even forgot some of that. It goes by REALLY fast! 

I have previously been on this program, STUDIO 5 two other times. Once was for having my hair done in my own bathroom (that was interesting!), and the other time I was cooking live in the studio! Both times were terribly fun so I was thrilled to be invited back again!

I'm including the directions here, as well as tips and more info (following the photos). I'm sure as the next couple of days go by I'll even be updating even more. If you have questions, please feel free to comment and I'll answer as quickly as I can. I love this project, and I would really love to see these colorful painted bikes popping up in yards everywhere!

First, here is a pic of the whole porch set-up that I did.

And some more close-ups of some of the elements other than the bike:

Here are some more close-up pics of the bike:

Here are some pics of the other elements:

I included a link to download this image in a previous post. You can find it here.

So now let's talk about how I put all of this together:

This is what the bike looked like after I stripped it down, with the baskets added, but no paint yet. You can see the ends of the zip-ties hanging off because I'd not clipped them just yet.


Before you begin, you’ll want to decide where your bike will be placed. Is it going to be on a porch? Next to a fence? Planted in your garden? The location will determine what you will plant in it, which will also determine what type of baskets you will need.


NOTE: If you are using an antique bike that has a lot of character and patina, I recommend that you leave it AS IS and just find baskets and attach them.  If you are using a “modern” bike, then follow the steps below

Tools you will need:
Work Gloves
Wire Cutters
Socket Wrench set
Allen Wrench set
Zip-ties (Outdoor type)
Spray Paint


1) Remove the seat.
2) Remove the wheels.
3) Remove the rubber tires and tubes from the wheels.
4) Remove the chains from the gears, and then break one of the links of the chain to completely remove it. This is easiest with two small flat head screw drivers pushed against the insides of a gear to “snap it” open.
5) Remove the reflectors from the wheels (pushing opposite ways against the sides if it doesn’t have a screw).
6) Unscrew all the gear mechanisms, and pull the wires out along the way, cutting if needed with the wire cutters.
7) Remove all other components of the bike taking it down to just the frame and the gears.

1) Re-attach the wheels, and the seat, if using.
2) Attach chosen baskets with zip ties to various parts of the bike.
3) If attaching baskets to the pedals, make sure to use zip-ties to hold the pedal assembly in place next to the frame.
4) Spray Paint entire bike.
5) Fill baskets with chosen liner material.  (see Filling your Baskets)
6) Plant with flowers and enjoy!


Types of Liners:
Coir (Coconut shell, sold in sheets at Nursery Centers)
Landscape Fabric
Fine mesh with sphagnum moss
Plastic and plastic bags
Coffee filters (also to hold in the dirt if you use plastic)

**MAKE SURE TO USE A HIGH-QUALITY POTTING SOIL! This is not a situation where you can get away with the cheap stuff. You need water retention and fertilizer components added because of the extra exposure to air.

Any drought tolerant plants
Million Bells
Morning Glory
Sweet Potato Vine
Asparagus Fern
Any plant that “vines”…especially if you are using the bike as a “trellis”


~ When looking for a bike, keep in mind where you want your baskets to be placed on it. A large men’s bike will have the bar when you can hang things below, where a women’s bike doesn’t have the same type of space. But a women’s bike can have a basket strung between the handle and the seat bar.
~ Pay attention to the handles on the bike you’re looking at. You’ll want to be able to hang a basket from them.
~ Use the extra holes, loops, etc on your bike frame to hold baskets in place. Before you remove a component when stripping the bike, decide whether it would be useful in holding up a basket.
~ Use a spray paint that works for plastic as some parts of your bike might be plastic or epoxy-coated.
~Scrape off the stickers if they are loose, or if you just want them gone. Otherwise the paint will lift them even more.
~Wash down all parts of the bike first because paint won’t still to dust and debris.
~To get full coverage, turn the bike upside down to complete the paint job once you have the sides down. Don’t forget  the insides of the tires where the rubber used to sit.
~You will need at least 3 cans of spray paint to do an adult bike. 1-2 cans for a child’s size.
~ If you intend to leave your bike out year round, you will want to spray it with a protective varnish so it doesn’t rust as easily. Also, if you’re putting it in a garden where it will get a lot of water, I would suggest making sure you use a varnish to protect it. Make sure to give it a heavy coat on the wheels where it sits in the dirt.

And as a fun last tidbit, I did a color generator on the bike, and this is what it gave me:

Monday Fun-Day
Share your Cup Thursday on Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olsen

This post was FEATURED at http://jannolson.blogspot.com/2015/02/share-your-cup-thursday-138.html


Stacy's Shabby Shoppe said...

I absolutely ADORE your porch makeover! I am a porch junkie too and a lover of pink so this is right up my alley! I see you are in Utah...me too, Riverton! Thanks so much for sharing your fabulous porch project!

BusyBee Emily said...

Thanks so much Stacy! I'm so glad you like the whole project! I don't know about you, but it makes me happy when I see other houses with decorated porches! I just want to stop and give the owners a high five! So, are you starting to look for a bike of your own to do this with? :)

I have lots of other porch decorations on my blog…make sure to look through it…and still more that I have to get posted. My porch has never been empty for more than a day since I moved in 3 years ago.

And thanks for the follow!!

Holly Young said...

I absolutely love this project. I have 2 bicycles that I am in the process of "stripping". My biggest question is how did you cover the seat? I have some shopping bags from TJ Max - did you modpodge the fabric on or what medium is best?

Thanks for your inspirational projects & messages.


BusyBee Emily said...

Hi Holly! How exciting that you're doing TWO bikes!

So, I used the utility shopping bag because it's waterproof and it has worked great so far! I cut a square larger than the seat (I had it removed from the bike first), and then I sprayed the seat and the back of the fabric with Spray Adhesive. I used 3-M brand.

Keep in mind that the fabric will not be fully smooth because the fabric they use on seat covers is stretchy. Mine had a few wrinkles on it, but that's life! Once I had it smoothed on, I cut the lower edge down to have just enough to attach on the underside with hot glue.

Good luck!

BusyBee Emily said...

And Holly…thank YOU for commenting and being so nice!

Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson said...

Another bike lover here. lol! My old bike was aqua but I painted it white last year and planted it red, white, and blue. It was fun, but now I'm ready to paint it back aqua. Love yours all pretty in pink. Perfect for Spring! Thanks for sharing with SYC. I will be featuring you this week.

Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson said...

Oh my gosh Emily I realized right after I commented that you are my sweet fb Emily. lol! Yahoo!!!

BusyBee Emily said...

Yay! You're the best Jann! Seriously, one of these days we really, really need to meet in person! Thanks so much for featuring my bike! I made her for Studio 5 last year...and she now resides on the side of my house under a little window. I even decorated her with pink balls and lights for Christmas! In the summer, my pink Hydrangeas grow around her. I loved having the whole design on my porch, but I just can't bring myself to "un-plant" her now! I can't wait to see your Aqua bike!

Cindy Lou said...

Adorable! Wow! A lot of work but looks so charming! Love the wreath too! Very inviting homes,Take care!Cindy

lynn cockrell said...

Your pink bicycle theme is wonderful! I can hardly wait for spring!

BusyBee Emily said...

Thanks Cindy! It all came together pretty quickly once I got the bike stripped down. The wreath is pretty darn cute, I must say. Thank you Hobby Lobby for the mini bikes! Have a great day!

BusyBee Emily said...

Thanks Lynn! We've had spring early this year in our neck of the woods...most of January and Feb was in the 60's...crazy!! Now I want winter for 2 weeks and then I expect it to be in time for spring in mid-March. Wonder if I'll get my wish?? Thanks for coming to visit!

Julie @ followyourheartwoodworking said...

Love your bike and want to make one to sit outside my workshop. Could you please tell me, did that colour come from a can, and what brand and colour it is? I love the deep pink. Thanks!

BusyBee Emily said...

Thanks Julie! It is from a can, though I don't have it anymore (this was over 2 years ago) so I can't tell you the brand or color, but I likely got it from Walmart. I've noticed that a lot of the paint manufacturers change their colors once a year or so, but there's got to be something out there that's similar in Krylon or Rustoleum brands. Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

Julie @ followyourheartwoodworking said...

Thanks Emily, I'll have to look around for something similar.