Bicycle License Plate

Upcycle a bit of plastic to personalize your bike

Personalized bicycle license plates made with the Silhouette Cameo

 

One of the great things about getting older is getting be to young again.

What?

Well, when I was about 10, I had a bicycle, and there was an “S” on the seat, which I was sure was for “Susan” but turns out it was for Schwinn. And I wanted a license plate wth my name on it, but I never had one. Not sure why. My adult guess is that my sister’s name isn’t as common and it wouldn’t have been fair for me to have one and her not.

Fast forward 40-cough-cough-years, and I have a bicycle with an “S” on the post, which I am still sure is for “Susan”, but I bet the guys over at Specialized will disagree. Although they did send me some extra stickers when I asked, so they are still cool.

And when I realized I still wanted a license plate, I made one myself.

I scrounged around at work and found a thick poly binder ready for the trash. Full disclosure – I work at a company that makes binders, so finding one wasn’t all that hard. If you don’t have this luxury, don’t feel confined to using one. The corrugated plastic that yard signs are made out of would work, and if the bike isn’t parked outside, even thin wood would be fine.

Blank plastic ready to become license plates for a bicycle

Mr. SuzerSpace helped me with the power tools to cut the blank back of the binder down into several 2 x 4 pieces that had two 3/16″ holes drilled at the top. I used these measurements because they fit the metal hanger that is under my bike seat. The width was determined by that hanger, and the height was determined by how much space I had before I’d interfere with my rear reflector. The holes were based on the zip ties I had (they come in many sizes).

In Silhouette Studio

I set up my Design Page settings for a 12 x 12 sheet of vinyl, which I normally cut without a mat.

Design page settings for bicycle license plates

In a big bold font, I typed my name, and then kept an eye on the ruler grid until the letters were sized to take up as much of that space on the plastic plate as I could. I don’t want it to cover up the holes, so I aimed for something in the 1 1/2″ height range.

Cut settings for a bicycle license plate

I set up my cutting settings for Vinyl, and sent that to the Silhouette to cut.

Weeded vinyl ready to become a personalized bike license plate

I was super careful in weeding so that I could save the outside part for another project.

Final Assembly

Using transfer tape, I lifted the letters off the vinyl and then positioned them carefully on my plastic plate. I eyeballed it for centering and straightness. The lines on the transfer tape are a good help for this.

Vinyl letters ready to become a personalized bicycle license plate

With my scraper, I scraped and scraped and rubbed and rubbed and then gingerly lifted a corner and kept rubbing as needed to keep the letters on the plate and not on the tape. Once the tape was completely pulled free, I smoothed down the edges with the rounded back end of my hook.

Personalized license plate for a bicycle | suzerspace.com

Two zip ties are all you need to affix it to the back of the bike. The only bummer was right after I set this up, I was at Target looking for something else and spied these (not an affiliate link). I didn’t know they came in rainbow colors!

Personalized bicycle license plates made from a bit of leftover plastic and vinyl letters cut with a Silhouette Cameo | suzerspace.com

 

I was featured at Scraptastic SaturdayI was featured on Craft WeekendsFeatured at Tad Da Thursday

7 thoughts on “Bicycle License Plate”

  1. I’m so pleased that you’ve got that licence plate (or ‘number plate’ as we call it in the UK – even though it’s got no numbers on it! ) for your bike . well worth the wait!

  2. I love this story! Go ahead and claim that “S” initial on your bikes! And congrats on your license plate, it looks great. Thanks so much for sharing at My Busy Beehives #beeparty, I enjoyed the smile as I read this today. Come again!

  3. Love seeing what these machines can do. I have a Brother scan n cut and have yet to do one thing…intimidation. 🙂 What a cute plate and I can imagine all kinds of things I would use that for behind a license plate. Thank you for joining us at TADA! Thursdays this week.

    1. That first project is the hardest! I set my sights really low and just cut my name out of paper that first night. Took me more than hour!

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