MINI PENNY: Custom DIY Bike Storage.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Custom DIY Bike Storage.

Geoff and I live in a little tiny apartment. We have two [assembled] bikes and with the shortage of space, we were tired of leaning them against our furniture. After sifting through a few blogs and online shopping for suitable storage, we knew that we only had one option: make our own. See the full how-to after the jump!

So we made a plan. Materials needed: Wood (plaques? We weren't entirely sure until we got to the store), hooks (again, we were winging this), spray paint, book tags, wood stain, drill, stud finder, hammer and nails, level, measuring tape, countersink, and one of my old typewriters.

So since we already had the tools we needed, we only spent a grand total of $38. We made sure to grab the spray paint in matte black to match the hook we had picked up. Oh, the hooks? Yeah, that was a tough decision. We grabbed these guys from Lowe's. They're suppose to slip over a rail that they sell in the same aisle, but considering that we needed to be roughly 7-8" away from the wall, we guessed that we could put the extra half inch or so to good use. And we did.

We marked two holes in the base of each hook and then Geoff and his muscles used the drill right through 'em! After the first hole, we used a larger bit to widen the hole so that it would be easier for us during a later step.

We braved the cold, taped off the rubber-covered hook parts and sprayed the bases and book tags with a matte black spray paint. It only took us about two coats and it dried really quickly... thankfully! Brrr!

While that was happening, I set up my little spot to stain the plaques. We picked up a water-based stain on sale for about five dollars in a nice chestnut color. I'm totally in love with this stain. It only took about fifteen to give these little guys color. The can says to allow it to dry for three hours. Honestly, we gave it about half an hour and got too impatient. It was dry to the touch, so we decided to go ahead and pre-cut holes with the countersink.

Our cat has this obsession with running into the kitchen as fast as possible and sliding across the sink rug. So that's why it's all crumbled in this photo. But don't mind that. Geoff and his knowledge of power tools came in handy and I learned a lot that I otherwise probably wouldn't have picked up. Yay! Pre-drilling!

Math. Math. Math. Okay, so it wasn't anything in depth, but we had to take some pretty specific measurements to ensure that we weren't going to screw this up. The bottom of my top tube to the floor is roughly 29". This measurement gave us a good idea of where to place the first plaque. We finally bought a stud finder and there was a stud exactly where we wanted to hang them all along. The luck, right? So drill 'em in! I'm sure our creepy neighbor was downright annoyed with the drill on our partnering wall, but, uh, he's creepy.

Would this blog post be complete without a photo of me nailing on the book plates? We planned ahead of time to have the book plates and hooks cover our original screws. I used one of my typewriters to create the labels. It definitely added a little something extra to them. And could we get any cheesier/cuter than classy "HIS" and "HERS" labels...?

The final step was drilling in the hooks. The black spray paint ended up looking awesome. We used long enough screws that passed through the wood and into the stud again. We figured that it was better to be safe than sorry!

So here we have it! Before and after! The room feels a lot bigger without these two cycles hanging out against our desks and book shelves. I hope it gives you some ideas on how to make your own bike storage — long live DIY and attractive racks!


  1. Your hooks look awesome! I live in a rental house with a big shed now, but if I were still in an apartment I would totally do this! Great job!

  2. My husband and I really like these bike racks and are planning on making our own. The only problem is we can't find those hooks. Do you, by chance, remember what brand they were? Thanks!

  3. Hey Kinley!

    Sorry it took me a month to get back to you. I had thrown away the packaging, so I was unsure of the brand. After searching Lowe's website for a while (not very organized...), I found it!

    These are the hooks we used:

    Thanks so much!


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