Here’s a quick project that will pretty up any set of handlebars, whether they belong to a little girl or one who’s all grown up. The petals on these flowers are super-reflective, so you might also want to plaster them all over the bag you ride with too.
Here’s a picture taken at dusk using my flash.
The petals are super reflective thanks to a secret ingredient: contractor grade retroreflective beads, which I ordered from Cole Safety. More on this below.
a silk flower of your choice (daises are fun, so are roses)
white acrylic paint and sponge brush
the secret ingredient, retroreflective glass beads
a button for the center of the flower, I chose to make a fabric-covered button
soft, sewable velcro for strapping the flower to your handlebars
you may also need ironing starch if you’ve chosen a flower that isn’t very stiff
A little more about the secret ingredient: Retroreflective glass beads are the same thing contractors use on street signs and highway traffic lines, layered on paint to make it reflective. They reflect light back to the source it came from without scattering or wasting much. I ordered mine here in a small, 8 oz. bag. They are great as long as nothing is layered over them. So if you decide to add these anywhere else on your bike, be sure not to add a clear coat on top or you’ll compromise their reflective super powers.
Remove the center of the silk flower. TIP: If you’ve chosen a floppy flower, starch and iron it first. It will keep the petals from bending over when the tips get heavier from the paint.
Start by pouring the beads onto a plate to get them ready for dipping. Paint the parts of your flower that you want to be reflective a few at a time. Acrylic paint dries quickly and you want the paint to still be wet when you press it into the beads.
Gently press the painted area into the beads. Continue painting and dipping until you’ve covered all the areas you want to be reflective.
If you’re using fabric-covered buttons, prepare them now according to the package directions. If you’ve never made these buttons before, you need to try them. They are super simple and require no sewing or special equipment. Just fabric and the buttons.
Reassemble the flowers and put the button loop through the holes in the center of the flower.
Overlap two pieces of opposing velcro, one facing up and the other facing down. Tack the center together where they overlap either by handstiching or with a sewing machine. Then sew the center of the velcro to the button loop poking out from the back of the flower.You’re finished. All that’s left to do is find a bike or bag and strap it on.