bicycle planter built for two

When we moved last summer, we came upon an old tandem bike hanging in the back of the barn.

It was rusted and clearly had seen better days. Hubs thought he could fix it up and get it working for us, but after a good faith effort, we discovered this bike’s days of riding and cruising the town were over. It’s okay, though. I had another plan for the bike.


Here is how it started out.


I had already attached the front basket when I remembered to take a before picture. The baskets were some that we had at the house that had been hanging on our balcony. We didn’t really like them blocking the view from the balcony and since that side of the house is 100% in the shade, there aren’t many nice plants that grow in them. I took two of the extra baskets to use for the bike planter.


Zip ties are a DIYer’s best friend.



I kind of wanted to leave the bike in it’s junky state, but because we had original and new parts on it, I decided to spray paint the bike. I didn’t even prep the bike for the paint. I brushed off the worst of the dirt, but that’s about it.


Nearly five cans of spray paint later, I had a new planter.


To be clear, I’m not advocating doing a crappy job. What I’m saying is that I wouldn’t mind some naturally distressing on the bike that will most likely occur because I didn’t take my time with it. The back tire on the bike isn’t even inflated, which is also okay since it helps the bike stay in place.


I wasn’t wanting to spend a lot of money on this project and I was having a hard time finding a store that sold the coconut liners for the baskets. I used some burlap at first, but it wasn’t enough protection for the plants. This area of my house in nearly in full sun all day. The poor plants dry out very quickly.

Also, fun little note, see that “plant” behind the front pedals? Turns out, that wasn’t flowers, despite my transplanting efforts and nourishing the giant weed back to life. Sadly, the actual flowers under the back pedals isn’t faring as well as the weed.

At any rate, I finally bought the basket liners and some new lobelia (purple flowers). Lesson learned. Plants must be watered every day. They are bouncing back and in another week or so should be looking lovely. I’m waiting for the sweet potato vine and lobelia to spill over the edges of the basket.


I also decided to add my collection of doors to this area. Once upon a time, there was a deck in this area, which hid the cinderblock foundation. The doors make a fun screen for all the utility issues in this area.


I plan to paint the doors, but for now, I wanted to get a feel of what they looked like in the area.


I also plan to spray the glass with some Looking Glass spray paint to make them more like mirrors. I’m thinking the louvered doors will be white and perhaps mustard yellow and royal blue for the other doors. We’ll see. I’m also debating aqua blue and lime green, but frankly, I’ve got enough green in all the trees around me. I need some other colors.

Oh, one other thing. This area was mostly weeds when we moved it. I got all the plants this spring from a friend at church who was changing up her flower beds. All it cost me was some work to dig up the flowers.

It’s a work in progress as I figure out how big everything will get. I may need to make some adjustments. I’m also trying to get some more grass to grow in this area. We haven’t had much rain this spring/summer, so everything is really drying out. I may need to invest in a sprinkler.


I really like my Tandem Bike Planter. I think it’s darling and I can’t wait for my flowers to fill in more.

Cost Breakdown:

  • Tandem Bike – Free
  • Baskets – Free
  • Spray Paint – $9 (I had 1.5 cans on hand)
  • Zip Ties – Stash on hand
  • Coconut liners – $10
  • Plants/Potting Soil – $20

Total Project Cost: $39

Total Project Time – About 3 hours (mostly waiting time for paint)


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