Monday, 22 August 2016

DIY: Balance Bike

For my daughter's 2nd birthday, we made a wood striding bike.
No, seriously!

Luckily, I am a designer (and have CAD at home), so I quickly drew up a set of plans for a bike, using the standard dimensions of a child on a bike, and the actual dimensions of our toddler.

Then, after some back and forth with my husband and a few tweaks here and there, it just needed to be printed full size and cut out.
Cutting the parts out of wood was a breeze at that point.
Hubby took the lead on this part, which is new for me. He did a great job!

We got a $5 used toddler bike and used the wheels as our starting point.
All we really had to do was put it together at that point.
Our only area of concern was the hinge; the one we wanted could not be found easily, so we used a door hinge - a trick we've seen used on other DIY bikes.
A few modifications on the fly, and we had a workable design.

The next consideration was the seat. I used some packing foam, and cut out many layers to create a comfy seat.

I layered each piece on with spray adhesive, until I achieved the desired thickness, then wrapped the whole seat in a larger piece.

Using a couple vinyl samples that were laying around at work, I began to fold over and cover the padding.

Not perfect, but it will keep the moisture out and the bum bruises at bay.

Hubby sanded off all of the rough and/or sharp edges make it toddler safe.

Then a quick stain to protect the wood a little.

Finally, I cut out 2 sizes of stars and used some left over paint from my dresser project.

In retrospect, it now looks like a Russian tank, but hey, gotta use what is on hand.
Total cost: less than $30
Aaaaand, hubby and I didn't get divorced in the process. #Winning.

Millie was a fan, before it was even finished.

And before it even had a padded seat, and in swim trunks, no less.


  1. Beautiful!!! You should put up the CAD file as a PDF so that others can piggy back on your brilliance. ;)

    Also, your husband looks like a handsome fellow and I approve of his use of work gloves.

  2. Whoa--a DIY balance bike! I am all kinds of impressed! (and it's way cuter than my son's not at all DIY balance bike from Amazon)

    1. Hey, thanks!!
      It had a pretty steep learning curve, but I think we figured it out pretty well. If we had to do it again, it would be extremely easy. So glad we did it.


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