Instructables

How to Recycle an old Bicycle into a Christmas Reindeer

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Instead of throwing that old 10-speed in the trash or taking it to the dump, give it new life and festively decorate your yard at Christmas. In about an hour you can make a reindeer (or other types of animals) just from an old bicycle.

They make a unique recycled statement in the spirit of Tim Burton's "Nightmare before Christmas". You can also use the parts to make a catchy head mount for the shed or gate. If the old bike is one that has served you well over the years... why not immortalize it?
 
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Step 1: Find an old or damaged bike to salvage

Find an old or damaged bike to salvage. The before and after images are for a beauty that I pulled out of the Yukon River last Spring. Remember that you have the option to keep it as a reindeer permanently if the parts are too far gone, or to re-use it as a bike in the Spring if you keep the spare parts and reassemble them later.

Disassemble the bike and strip off excess parts such as reflectors, pedals, shifters, brakes, derailleurs, cables & wheels.

Remove and keep the seat, and the handlebars/stem unit.

Step 2: Remove the crank arms

Remove both the crank arms, or at least the one with the chain ring attached so that the frame can sit level on the bottom bracket. If you keep the crank in place you can keep the other crank arm on if you tie it off to the frame. If you don't have a crank arm puller, you can get a bike shop to pull the one with the chain ring off for a small charge.

Step 3: Make a support for the front forks

Picture of Make a support for the front forks
reindeer side.JPG
Make a support base for the front forks. This can be done fairly quick and easy by attaching them to some old lumber such as a 2x4 and 2x6 piece as shown using some screws. This will allow you to keep your bike animal steady while you work on it. Once completed and sitting in the yard, kids will sometimes try to climb on your bike reindeer so best to make it stable.
astral_mage11 months ago
hack a saws work well. if not sledge hammer it in to submission . it let u work out yr stress.
I LOVE IT!!! I have some tricycles to canibalize, maybe I can make some baby reindeer.
YukonRider (author)  domestic_engineer5 years ago
good idea... and you wouldn't need to worry about making a stand for a tricycle one.
lol, rudolph the long dead reindeer, had some very shiny bones, and if you ever saw it, you could even swear it moans. all of the other reindeer, used to shout and run away, they were all to scared of rudolph, to let him play any reindeer games. then one foggy christmas eve, santa came to say "aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!!" then all of the other reindeer, came and came and inscribed his name, rudolhp the long reindeer, it surley is a shame.
Here's my tricycle reindeer. It was hard to get the tricycle apart, but it was fun. Thanks for the good idea!!!
DSCF1756.JPG
so cute. kinda looks like a small dog( large rat) to me though. lol just my view
Awwwwww
curvy772 years ago
good lord man! youve starved that poor animal to death! why hes all bone!! (lol)
wobbler5 years ago
If you don't mind destroying the frame, you could make it even more Reindeer like by leaving only the cross bar on the main frame and the two back tubes. Hacksaw off the front downtube with a cut under the front fork tube, the rear down tube just under the seat and the two bottom rear wheel stays at the rear wheel axle. This should leave on the frame just the two tear tubes and the cross bar making the body shape more animal like. You could also try bending the front forks and rears wheel stays apart o give more stability and you might then not need the wooden block. You might also be able to bend the stays and forks into a more running shape but I'm not sure how much bending a frame will do if it's alloy. With the old steel ones you could use a blowtorch and heat them up then bend them or use the extra rear stays to attach to the still fixed rear stays so you could drive the rear legs into the ground fo the front reindeer, allowing it to be taking off. I like the idea though, I might make one for the garden. Who needs Christmas?
zieak5 years ago
Very cool! I wish i had noticed this when there wasn't so much snow on the ground so i could salvage some bikes from the dump. ...like i need any more bike parts around!
Wow--that first picture is very Nightmare Before Christmas. I love it!
WileECoyote5 years ago
I love this and I have an old bicycle that I have been hanging on to for a while that I could use. I think I'd want to keep it in my yard all year round though.
That looks kinda like the reindeer in the nightmare before christmas. GOOD JOB!
YukonRider (author)  eomonkeyboi245 years ago
Thanks... it wasn't my goal at first, but it did come out that looking that way. "Rudolph" kind of grows on you after a while.
canida5 years ago
This looks awesome! Love the red nose.