Introduction: BikeSpoke Bats
Bike Inner Tube Re-Use Project Number 83...I was looking for a way to spook up my bike for the Halloween season, especially for the daily rides to and from the local elementary school.
After making a stick broom for the rear rack (photos to come), it seemed a bat was in order. Having experimented with one for my bike, I introduced two second-graders to the project and in short order both had BikeSpoke Bats of their own...
Step 1: Ingredients
Materials are as shown:
Bike inner tube
Red and black pipe cleaners
Scissors (I used sharp paper scissors)
Step 2: Cut and Open the Inner Tube
Cut a length of tube 10 or 12 inches long. This length worked for my 27" wheel, as well as 18" and 21" wheels.
Then cut the inner curve of the tube and open it up flat. The resulting piece is a bit warbly, ideal for a more realistic looking bat shape.
Step 3: Trace and Cut Out the Bat Shape
I used a rubber bat we had in the Halloween collection to get this particular shape. Permanent marker worked well for outlining it and the second graders had no trouble cutting the tube with these scissors.
Step 4: Mark and Cut Holes for the Eyes and Wing Attachments
Mark a pair of slits for each eye and each wing (or claw). Cut carefully with scissors.
I'm still not sure how durable the tubing is and whether these slits will prove too close and thus rip after use, but I'll report back if they do.
Step 5: Thread the Pipe Cleaners Through the Slits
Cut one 3-inch length of red pipe cleaner and two slightly shorter lengths of black pipe cleaner. Thread the red one from the back to the front, then front to back, then back to front and front to back again for the eyes, leaving about an each sticking out at each end.
Thread each black piece through the wing slits, either from the back or front, leaving an inch or so sticking out. If you thread them from the front (as determined by the eyes), when you twist them on the spokes they'll seem a bit like bat claws, an effect I liked.
Step 6: Attach!
Twist the pipe cleaners onto the spokes of your wheel.
The trickiest piece here was finding a location on the spokes that allowed the bat not to slip around too much (a concern of the second graders in particular). With the smaller wheels, we found it was best to twist the eye pipe cleaner around an 'x' in the spokes, which kept it in place. The larger wheel seemed to allow for it to stay in place more easily. Keeping the bat in between the two sets of spokes helps ensure it won't tangle in anything, but be sure to check clearances before setting off for school or elsewhere!