Introduction: Head From Bike Parts With Little Bike Shaped Ear

About: I like building things mainly from wood or metal. Especially if they look complicated to make, then I like to think about how to make it. And I love it when the result looks good.

I like the contests from Instructables, because it helps me to think out of the box. When a contest is launched I start to think what I could make that fits the contest. I do not want to make an Instructable about something that lots of people already made, so I try to come up with something I have not really seen before. Or at least make something in a different way then others. Also it should be something that I enjoy making, because it should be a hobby. And the result should be interesting enough to share with you. This process of thinking about what I could make and how to do it, is what I enjoy most. And during the contest I look what other people made for the contest, so I see what their ideas where.

But this time I really struggled to come up with something for the bike contest. I have a bike and it works fine, so I do not see any interesting upgrades on my bike. Therefore I had to think about something else related to bikes. Let me share all my ideas as they might give you ideas for a project you like.

  • Long ago I wanted to make a bike powered by a rowing motion, but that is a huge project and right now it would take too much time.
  • Then I thought about making a wind sculpture from a bike wheel, but I think I will get a better result if I do not use bike parts for that.
  • Then I wanted to make a miniature motorbike. I actually did make that and I really like the result, but because it is not a bike, it is not suitable for this contest. Anyway, I made an Instructable on that project and you can read that if you look at the other Instructables made by me.
  • Then I had a crazy idea about making a birds nest from spokes with an egg from an old bike light and let a tiny bike come out of it and there would be a hand made from a bike chain feeding parts to the little bike, so it would show how little bikes are hatched and fed. I started making it, but it was ugly, so I quit that project.
  • Then I used a steel wire to reinforce a bike chain with the idea that I could shape the bike chain and make it stand upright by itself. I did try this, but it turns out the steel wire does not support the weight of the chain, so it collapses.
  • Back into the thinking process I thought, maybe I should just picture a thinking person, so this Instructable is showing that.

It is quite easy to make, as it requires almost no tools, just some old bike parts. I think it can be suitable as a DIY gift for somebody who likes bikes or just as decoration for example in a mancave.



1 bike chain

1 bike light

1 ball bearing from a bike

3 sprockets from a bike

copper wire

piece of wood



Step 1: Print the Drawings

In the 3 attached PDF documents, you can see how I made the little bike which I used as ear. Also there are two pages which together form the head. I split that up in two pages because it was too large for just one regular piece of printer paper.

Step 2: Clean the Chain

All used bike chains are dirty, mainly from grease and dirt from the road. I put a solvent in a small bowl and washed the chain there. It would be better to use a bowl with a good lid, so you can close the lid and shake the bowl. Any remaining dirt can be removed with an old brush or rag. It is recommended to wear disposable gloves while cleaning the chain.

If your sprockets are dirty, you can clean them too.

Step 3: Make the Ear

I stripped the black insulation from an electric wire and used the solid copper wire to make a small bike. The size should be suitable as ear for the face. On the photos you can see the result and on my drawing I show six short steps of making this little wire bike. Just follow the lines on my drawing and you get the little bike. It helps to use some pliers to twist the copper wire.

Step 4: Some Trials for the Shape

I placed the chain on a piece of paper and moved it around to get a shape I liked.

I like the one with 3 sprokets better than with 2, because 3 can serve both as hair and to visualize the process of thinking.

I used 2 balls from a ball bearing for the mouth and placed the bike on the location of the ear. I also made glasses from a spoke, but I did not like that a lot so I decide to leave it out.

I used the inner part of a bike light as eye. I thought about using a working light to represent a bright idea, but I would probably never use that, so I left it out. Of course you can add a real light, if you like that.

Here the background is white. I thought it would look better on a background of a rough kind of wood and decided to use that.

To be able to transfer the shape of the head to the wood, I marked the position of all pieces on the paper. You can see the photo and if you print the PDF drawing you can use it as template.

Step 5: Start Making the Face on the Wood

I used my drawing and carbon paper to transfer the shape of the head to the wood. I did not transfer the position of the sprockets, ear, mouth and eye, because those positions are obvious and I did not want the pencil marks to be visual on the wood after the project is finished. All my marks were now hidden behind the chain.

Then I used nails to support the chain. I did not use glue, so if I need the chain for something else in the future, I can still use it. If you also want to use nails, check my photo where you can see all nails. Gravity wants to pull the chain down, so you have to place the nails under the chain. And if there is a curve, you have to make sure the curve stays a curve by adding a nail too. The nails work quite well and the chain did not come off at all.

If you want to make it really strong, you can remove some of the pins that keep the chain together and use nails in those holes. Of course you can also decide to use glue. I only used glue for the eye and for the mouth. It should be a glue suitable for metal and wood.

Step 6: Place the Ear and Sprockets

I used the curved type of nail you see on the photo to attach the wheels of the bike to the wood. (I do not know the English word for this curved type of nail, but I think the photo is clear.)

Then I used one longer nail to make the bike stand upright so it cannot move.

For the sprockets I used 2 nails per sprocket. Those nails are at opposite sides of the holes of the sprockets and slightly push against the sprocket so the sprockets are firmly attached.

Step 7: Drill a Hole

The final step is to drill a hole so it is possible to hang the head on a wall. Mine is hanging in the garage where I work on all my projects.

Bikes Challenge

Participated in the
Bikes Challenge