I work at a bicycle shop and occasionally we have to replace bar tape. Most of the time the tape is still in pretty good condition it has just started to unravel a little bit and so people want to replace it completely. Well the last time I was doing it I was thinking about the uses I had for the old tape so it wouldn't just get thrown away. I came up with a few ideas mostly just padding other stuff or using to for a non-slide foot on the bottom of some object, but making a flower out of it just sort of happened. This instructable will show you how to make a flower out of old bicycle bar tape! Most or all of the things required for this project will come free or dirt cheap from your local bike shop ( that is if you use old bar tape new tape is kind of expensive! ).
Step 1: Things You Need.
You will need bar tape. One handle bar tape will make one flower, so one bike will make two flowers.
1 spoke, per flower ( these are like 99cents new but you can find old ones easily for free!)
tape ( i prefer electrical tape because it's black like my bar tape but really any adhesive will work.)
Step 2: Getting the Bar Tape.
Alright i am not going to go into great detail on how to take the bar tape off... it's pretty simple just unravel it... but anyways you can either take it off of your bike or go to your local bike shop and see if they have any laying around, if they don't have any right then ask them to save you some they will most likely have some soon! Like i said before i wouldn't recommend buying the tape right out because of its price, but if you absolutely have to have some go for it. Once you have your tape off your bars you will have a mess that looks like this:
Step 3: What to Do With the Mess
Alright firstly i apologize for the crappy photos i took them with my isight camera and was in a hurry! If they are too hard to follow i will fix it in the future. But this project is very easy so i'm sure you can follow just fine.
Alright take your pointer finger and thumb and grip the end of the one side of the tape and start to wrap the tape around your thumb. ( keeping it flat not folding it or anything.) Depending on how you want the inside of your flower to look depends on how tight you wind it. I kept mine fairly tight but not cutting off circulation in your thumb tight. I wanted the inside of the flower to be more open than scrunched together. it should look like this:
Step 4: Now Pull!
Alright on this one you are going to grab the hole where you had your thumb and pull down on it, while pulling down you can also push up on the out side ring of the flower. How far you pull with change the height of your flowers bud and also the rings on the inside so you just play around a little bit until you got the look you like. This is what mine looked like:
Step 5: Fluff and Repeat.
Okay this step is all about the look of the thing. After you have a good form that you like you are going to pull on the rings to bend them out a little to give the flower more open look. You can also crunch the flower in your hand ( dont worry it'll go back to shape) to give it ruffles around the edges then once you have ruffed it up a bit pull on it again to get it tight and also to get the perfect shape.
once you have that shape push the inner rings up close to the top of the flower. Leaving just two or three large outer rings for the outside shape of the flower and the inner rings for the inner flower design. Again this is all about personal preference you may like the tightly wound look or the really open look its just a matter of shaping now.
Mine looked like this:
Step 6: Insert the Spoke ( or Whatever You Want As a Stem)
Keeping in with the reused bicycle parts i decided to use an old black spoke for the stem. I think its neat to keep it in with the bike theme but feel free to use whatever it is you want. no this is going to be the most difficult part of the build ( which isn't really hard but compared to rolling grip tape anything is more difficult! ) You are going to take out the electrical tap and tape down the out ring end so it doesn't unravel then you are going to tape the bottom of the flower up making sort of a cup with the tape but leaving a tiny hole in the tape for the spoke to slide through.
Once you have it taped up take your spoke (the side with the bent end) and put it through the little hole then tape around the bottom of the flower and the spoke so that they are stuck together.
I also added a couple little tape leaves they are easy enough just two triangles of tape wrapped around the stem.
also another thing that looks neat is if you have some bar ends ( those little plugs in the ends of handle bars ) you can one of those down in the center of the flower to give it a little extra flare.
Step 7: Give It to Your Sweetheart
After you are done give it to someone who will enjoy it and appreciate it... Its a quick little present that will definitely bring a smile to someones face.
Step 8: After Thoughts
After writing this instructable i think to give it some more strength you could ( after you have the final shape) hot glue the individual rings together and also hot glue the spoke into the bottom. But go out and make your own and good luck!
again sorry for the crappy photos and if anything is confusing then let me know and i will do my best to clarify.