(Up)Cycling: Use leftover bike parts to make a DIY Spirograph

For many of us, bicycling is a great way to reduce one's carbon footprint and to live a “greener” lifestyle. However, when parts do need replacing, what can be done with old components like chains and chainrings? Sure, you could recycle, but why not upcycle?

Enter the bicycle Spirograph.

You may recall Spirograph as a small plastic toy used for making designs when you were a kid. Many a-doodle was transformed by these plastic discs that created a flurry of spirals and loops depending on the size of the “cog” you placed in your Spirograph.

Using plywood, chains and chainrings, the Cascade AmeriCorps have upcycled old bicycle parts to create super-sized versions of the old toy.

These DIY Spirographs are a great way to engage and educate people of all ages with a hands-on, bicycle-inspired activity. Most recently, the students at Shoreline’s Echo Lake Elementary school were able to test out these Spirographs at their Science Night. Using different sized chainrings to create impressive designs within the bicycle chain circle, the kids were able to play with bike components and produce art at the same time.

If the idea of the bicycle Spirograph has your wheels spinning, stop by the Cascade booth at Bike Expo to try your hand at this psychedelic simple machine and see what you can crank out. 

Looking for more cool ideas (and cat pictures)? Follow @CascadeAmericps on Twitter.