Make Your Cargo Bike Into a Swedish House




Introduction: Make Your Cargo Bike Into a Swedish House

This project started because we're about to embark on the (hopefully) wonderful journey of parenthood. We're figured this would be a good time to fix our broken cargo bike. And why not make make into a small house for the kid, now we're at it.

You'll need:

  • An old worn out Cargo bike
  • Weatherproof paint
  • Molding plywood for bottom
  • Sinding plywood for sides
  • PLA for 3D-print
  • Mouldings for top of the frame
  • Wood glue
  • Optional: Steel pipe for rain roof
  • Optional: Plastic for rain roof


  • Wrench
  • Screw driver
  • Paint Brush
  • Drill
  • Jigsaw
  • 3D-printer
  • Hammer

We started out the project during late summer, hoping the duration would not exceed a couple of weeks. Regretfully, there we're lots of bumps in the road, and now, more than 2 months after initiation, it is still not finished (BTW she is now 1 week past due date *GULP*). Hopefully it will be finished within the next couple of days, but no promises can be made - since I don't know when she's gonna pop :)

Step 1: Scrapped Cargo Bike

This was how we found the bike, a year ago. No wheels, worn out carrier box, but the frame was in OK condition. (Attaching wheels is not included in this instructable)

Step 2: Removing Old Cabinet

  • Remove the old sides and bottom.

Easily and quickly done by removing the nuts and bolts. Quite easy when the carrier was as worn out as the one I had.

Step 3: Painting the Frame

  • Paint the frame, in the desired color. Make sure that paint is suited for outside use.

I had to remove the 2 front wheels to access the bottom-section. I only painted the part of the frame, which is a part of the "house-structure". This was done to make the "house-structure" stand out.

Step 4: Choose Material for Bottom and Sides

  • Bottom

The bottom part should be a material very resistant of moist. I used molding plywood, which is a the typical choice for the Copenhagen-based cargo bike company, Christiania-cykler. It's pricey, but it will do the job. An alternative could be a sort of metal.

  • Sides

The sides really needed to imitate the Swedish style, so the first to actually place a number of wooden planks. on top of eachother. But when my local hardware store suggested siding plywood, it seemed like the easier choice :)

The sides were sawn in the right angle (My carrier had a 5cm drop from the back to the front of the carrier. (Unfortunately I forgot to document this, so no photos)


To When you drill, make sure to pre-drill with a small, and then drill from both sides. This will avoid nasty cracks, and leave you with a nice clean hole.

I used a Brad Point Bit for wood, and as soon as I made it through, I drilled it from the other side.

Step 5: Paint the Sides

  • Paint the sides to the colour you desire.

If the sides consist of a material prone to weather deterioration, then make sure the paint will impregnate properly.

My local hardware store actually had a paint, labeled "Swedish House Red". This was my obvious choice.

Step 6: Print Windows

(You can choose to make you windows in other ways if you prefer. I just recently got access to a 3D-printer, so I thought it would be fun to try)

  • Print your own 3D-modelled Window Frames

Download the 3D-files for the windows If you'd like:

Swedish Window front - STL

Swedish Window back - STL

Use PLA. I tried using ABS, but it warped way to much, so the prints couldn't be used. The couldn't even finish printing.

  • Locate and measure the outline of the window
  • Drill holes in the 4 corners

(be conservative, don't go to big, especially if you already printed the windows)

  • Use a jigsaw to make the desired cut

Step 7: Add Wooden Mouldings

  • Buy a molding that fits your sides

(My sides were 12mm thick, so the moulding had a 12mm wide groove

  • Saw it into fitting lengths

I had to cut it into 2 x 600mm and 2 x 400mm

  • Paint them into a desired colour

Again remember the paint she protect the wood from rain similar

  • Cut away the edges, the will interfere with the transverse side
  • Disperse sufficient wooden glue
  • Mount the mouldings onto the sides.

(I used a hammer along with a magazine not to break the paint)

Step 8: Optional Rainroof - Gables (in Progress)

  • First make the measurements of the dimensions of the roof

I had to take into account that it could fit a grown person, so it couldn't resemble a traditionel triangular roof, which was my first thought. The practicality taken into consideration, this was an OK solution, but it's a pity it doesn't look like the house envisioned.

  • Buy pipe

I bought 4m of Ø22 stainless steel, which was quite expensive. You could do with normal steel and the add some paint the prevent rust/corrision

  • Saw it angularly

You need to do some calculations in the intersections between the pipes. It's a good idea to draw it properly, after/when doing the calculations. This will help you not make any mistakes.

  • Weld it

I used a Mig Welder to retain the stainless properties of the steel pipes.

  • Adjust it to make it fit

It was extremely hard to weld at the exact degrees necessary to make it fit (this is probably because this was one of the first time ever I welded). Therefore it was necessary to bend the welded gable structures to counter my welding/sawing mistakes. This was gently done by hammering at the right spots.

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    5 Discussions

    Wonderful conversion - I am sure you will have years of bicycling fun with your new baby!

    Aeon Junophor

    Hi kristiansidelmann

    I love the way you made it!!

    Great job ;-))

    Greet Aeon Junophor


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice.

    I'm intrigued and curious about the story behind this! Making it just for fun, or is there a special purpose in mind?


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for pointing that out. There is indeed a nice little story behind it, I'll make sure to add that today :)