Introduction: Steampunk Texan Cow Skull Wall Decoration Using Bicycle Parts

About: Engineer by education, part artist, loves efficient processes and well oiled machines (will contribute willingly to bring them to that stage). I love to take broken things apart to understand what went wrong,…

Bikes have been around for a very long time, and they can usually be repaired. When I moved to the Netherlands, I took as a hobby to rescue abandoned biked from a certain one-way trip to the landfill and repair them. A side effect of this activity is that a corner of my garage is full of spare parts, that "can come in handy some day" ;-). Sometimes, that day seems so far out in the future that creating something different with them seems a better alternative. This is how I started making horned skulled wall decoration (the word decoration might be taken loosely here). I have been gravitating more toward cows and water buffalos, but have been thinking about mountain goats, gazelles, elks, and also (why not), narvals, unicorns, and walruses.


Anything coming from a bike with a curvy shape, if possible in symmetrical pair (for the horns).

Something with a somewhat triangular shape for the skull (saddles and saddle frames are great).

Optional (for fastening): tie wraps, strings, metal wire, welder, hot glue gun.

Step 1: Localize Your Source of Parts

In my case, it is in a corner of the garage and in a couple of boxes (usually sorted by material).

Step 2: Find Symmetrical Parts for the Horns

Rummage through your pile of spare parts (I prefer to use all metal parts) to find pieces with an interesting shape, resembling horns, if possible in symmetrical pairs.

In the second illustration you can see a lot of such parts, most of them coming from cantilever brakes.

Step 3: Find Something Somewhat Triangular for the Skull

Saddle / bike-seat hardware is great (especially since you can press the horns in the springs to hold them in place.

Step 4: Position the Horns on the Skull

Often the pressure of the springs is enough to keep the parts in position (in this case brake levers).

But you can or course wind some metal wire around, use tie-wrap, glue or weld parts together.

Step 5: Hang It

You can then hang it (a nail or screw centered in between the horns is usually enough) on your trophy wall or at the entrance of your "ranch" (although, to be honest, in my case they have to stay in the garage because I am being told "this is not the style of the house" ;-) )

I hope you enjoy these instructions and I am looking forward to seeing your creations.

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