Bike Makeover | DIY

A while ago I wrote this post about the vintage luxury ladies bike that I picked up from Castle Collectables. The makeover has finally been finished thanks to my very helpful partner (who did pretty much everything!) I am so happy with the results (considering we have never attempted to makeover a bike before!)


Before the makeover - in good condition but quite rusted
To remove the rust, we used a combination of coke and aluminuim foil! Weird I know but it really works as the pictures below show. See this video for a run down of the process.


Once the rust was removed, we used a crome polish on the rims & other crome parts to make them stand out.

Before & After

My partner then had to remove all of the paint from the frame of the bike. For this step he used Selly's Kwik Strip which is a metal paint stripper. Gloves and being in a well ventilated area are a must for this product. You apply the product with a paint brush and once it starts to blister / bubble, you remove the paint and the product with a rough sponge / scrubber. This step took a while as he had to keep going over it a few times (especially where the stickers were.)


Paint Stripper at work


To paint the bike, we used a spray gun which my lovely dad got for me! (I am beyond excited about this and have so many projects lined up using this already!) If you are painting a bike you seriously need one of these. It made the whole process so much easier! We used a primer firat and then applied a gloss top coat in an off white colour. You need to leave the gloss paint to dry for at least a couple of days - after this it will be pretty scratch resistant.

Putting it back together!
It took me a while to find the perfect basket for this bike - I ended up getting one from Super Elliots Cycles in Rundle Street (for those of you who live in South Australia!)

We were able to keep around 70 - 80% of the original bike. Some of the screws had to be replaced as they were rusted quite badly. I also purchased a new seat, new wheels and new handle bar grips. We were planning on keeping the wheels but unfortunately they fell apart when we put air in them. I managed to get the bell and the stand from my sisters old bike which Mum and Dad still had in the shed!

I am so happy with the end result - but I don't think we will be "upcycling" another bike anytime soon :)

- J x

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Advice | Colouring Your Hair for the First Time

I finally took the plunge and coloured my hair. Yes - I made it into my 20's with my natural hair colour! I have never been interested in colouring my hair as I really like the colour of it! It is slightly darker in winter which is great and in summer I get slight blond / red streaks in my hair.

For a while now, I have been wanting something different with my hair. I have the thickest hair and I cannot cut it because I will look like a triangle head (picture Grug on my head! And if you have never heard of Grug then shame on you!) I really like the sublte ombre look so I headed to Pinterest to find some inspiration.

image from pinterest

image from pinterest (cannot find the link sorry)
I really liked both of these looks but it is a bit too much blond for what I was after.
Then I found this one and loved it! It is subtle enough not to be too blonde, but gives the hair a little bit of colour and definition.
subtle brunette ombre. I always say I wouldn't color my hair unless it was the slightest subtlest ombre. Not blonde just a lighter brown
Image from Pinterest
Here is my hair during and after!

My hairdresser used a "mocha" coloured brown on the ends because it was a much warmer tone than blonde and blended nicely with my original colour. One of the things I really loved was that because I had not coloured my hair previously, she was able to use a toner and not bleach! 
Below are a few of my tips on colouring your hair for the first time.
1. Find a few pictures of colour / looks you like. 
It is better to have a few as one may not be perfect for your hair. Make sure you show them to your hairdresser so that you are both on the same page.
2. Less is more.
My hairdresser agreed that the above colour was a good idea as it is not too much colour for a first timer, and because it is not near the roots I can grow it out easily. It is also more manageable as I will not have to tend to the colour as often.

3. Talk to your hairdresser. 
As step 2 shows, they will know what will look good and what won't on your hair. 

4. Trust your hairdresser.
I think this is one of the most important things when it comes to doing something different with your hair. If you are not sure your hairdresser will do the greatest job, or that they won't be honest with their opinions (see step 3), I suggest you look elsewhere. I fully trust my hairdresser (I have been going to her since the early 2000s) and knew she would do what is best for my hair and make it look great. 

Do you colour your hair or is it still natural? I was so scared to take the step of colouring my hair but I am so glad I did! 

- J x

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On Trend | Upcycling


Over the weekend I read a great article in the Sunday Mail Home lift out titled "Move On Up" which talks about the trend towards upcycling furniture. If you have been reading this blog for long enough, you will have noticed my love for upcycling items and reusing them (a few items include: serving tray, side tables, and my bike - post finally up this week!)

The article talks about a few of the reasons why furniture upcycling is such a great idea. This includes the fact that it is eco friendly and the furniture is usually built tougher than the furniture we buy today (hence why it has been around long enough to "upcycle") It also give you a few tips when it comes to upcycling furniture.

One of the main reasons I love upcycling (apart from those listed above) is the satisfaction from taking an object that may or may not have been used for a few years or is no longer wanted, and turning it into an item that is loved once again!

I thought I would also leave you with a few of my own tips I have found along the way when it comes to upcycling.

1 | Check the condition of the item
When I purchased my bike for example, I really wanted to make sure that most of the bike was working and that I could keep and reuse most of the parts. The point is not to rebuild the item from scratch (you might as well build a new one yourself or buy a new one!) Obviously as you will see in my blog post about my bike makeover, I did have to buy a few new parts, but we managed to keep 70 - 80% of the bike itself.

2 | Have a vision
I think it is really important to have a vision of what you want to do with the object before you buy it or start working on it. I get a lot of my inspiration from Pinterest. Usually I find a few different pictures and decide what I could do to my chosen object (such as the photo above for my bike). I believe it is important to also follow this process before you buy an item so that it isn't left sitting in your shed waiting for you to decide what on earth you are going to do with it!

3 | Consider the use of the item
Do you only want the item as a decorative piece or are you wanting to use the item once you have upcycled it? This is a really important question to ask as it can affect how you finish off the piece. If you are wanting to use an item, the finish of the piece is really important as you are going to want it to last! For my bike, I knew I wanted to use it a lot after we were finished so we used a primer before we painted the bike and a tough gloss paint so that the paint would not scratch of easily.

Once you have considered the above - you are ready to upcycle! I have so many upcycling projects I want to do which I promise I will share on the blog!

Have you jumped on the upcycling bandwagon? Where do you love to shop or where do you find your items? I am currently loving Castle Collectables (for those of you who live in South Australia) I have mentioned them on the blog before!

Ps. Please excuse the pun of using my bicycle as my example of "upcycling" (get it!)

- J x

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