One of the great things about getting older is getting be to young again.
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.
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.
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.
I set up my cutting settings for Vinyl, and sent that to the Silhouette to cut.
I was super careful in weeding so that I could save the outside part for another project.
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.
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.
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!