Tutorial: DIY handlebar bag (& craft demos at the Seattle Bike Expo)

by Jessie Kwak

Hey folks!

I have an exciting announcement this morning–I’m going to be doing a monthly DIY post over on Cascade Bicycle Club’s blog. My first post is a DIY handlebar bag.

DIY handlebar bag - Bicitoro

From my post:

Months ago, I promised a friend that I’d make her a handlebar bag for her bike. The project has been simmering for a while, mostly because I never felt like I had time to tackle drafting and sewing a bag from scratch. I made a few sketches, but that was about it.

That is, until crafty bike blogger @ibikeubike mentioned her awesome idea: just sew some Velcro loops on the back of a pre-made purse. Genius.

I modified her method a bit to include D rings for adjustability. What we’ve got here is a super-simple DIY craft that’s a good way to add some style to your bike. Use a bag you already own, or go pick up something fun at Goodwill—it works just as well for a guy or gal, depending on what type of bag you find.

Go read the rest over at Cascade’s blog.

If you’re digging the crafty bike thing and want to get your hands dirty in person, stop by the Seattle Bike Expo and I’ll teach you how to make reflective zipper pulls/key chains/what-have-you out of recycled inner tubes.

Reflective key chain - Bicitoro

I’ll have all the supplies, so bring your creativity by Cascade’s booth on the second floor and let’s have some fun.

My session will be from 2-3 on both Saturday and Sunday. See you there?


Bike crafting link love: leather edition

by Jessie Kwak

Unless you live in the Northwest, you might be wondering where I’ve wandered off to lately. If you live in the Northwest, however, you probably don’t care. You haven’t checked my blog in weeks because you, like me, are outside enjoying our brief window of summer.

Needless to say, I haven’t been wasting precious Vitamin D cooped up inside my sewing studio or blogging. But I was inspired by my little foray into leathercraft last week, and started nosing around the Interwebs for some project inspiration.

Part of my interest stems from my desire to do a full overhaul on my Kona, to turn it from a scrappy sticker-covered bike to something with a bit more style and class. It’ll involve repainting my frame, so if anyone has any thoughts to share on that subject, I’m all ears.

I have a thrifted black suede duster hanging in my closet, just waiting to be turned into bike accessories. There’s enough material there to make a few items—maybe a top tube cover, a saddlebag, a handlebar bag, grips…. Don’t worry: the transformation will be fully documented.

This very cool handlebar bag was designed for a motorcycle, but I think it would work very well on a bicycle. I don’t think the suede I have on hand would have enough stiffness to make such a structured bag, but it’s excellent inspiration.

Here’s a cool personalized touch from The Velo Hobo: an engraved leather head badge.

From Chic Cyclist: personalized leather mudguards will be quite nice once the weather starts to turn back toward rain and mud.

Make your own leather saddle by reupholstering an old saddle with scrap leather. Be sure to scroll down the page to see other people’s examples, including a fun denim one made from a pair of old jeans.

That’s all for now. Enjoy the sunshine, folks!