Sunday, October 11, 2009

Adventures In Spoke Cards

I really love decoupage and I have a healthy supply of Juxtapoz and other art magazines to pull really great images from. So, when Cranksgiving came up, I decided to get my glue stick out and scissors at the ready. I have quite a few friends in Milwaukee who will be doing the alley cat and may want a spoke card, or two, for their wheels.

Now, for those of you who don't know what a spoke care is, it's just a ... well ... CARD, that you put in between the spokes of the bike tire on your bike. They're used by cyclists participating in alley cat races (a race geared for bike messengers where you are given a list of items you must retrieve while racing from point A to point B.) to identify themselves. Traditionally tarot cards were used with the cyclists number written on them, but now days they've become very personalized. Recently, they've also become memorials of fallen cyclists.

Typically they're very card-like. Square or rectangle like this:

But, people do get creative. Like this:

Or even this, haha!:

Really, there is no wrong way to make a spoke card. You just have to make sure you laminate them, so they can stand up to the beating they'll be taking on the streets.

For mine, I found a quote, then a picture that ended up being perfect. "Fuck everything I'm doing at home, I'm going out late at night to have an affair with the streets."

I really love it, but I made a pretty big mistake. I used card stock as the base. It's what I always use for things like this. It gives it strength and really holds up to wet glue, but I didn't even think about having to shove this between the tight spoke wires. Take that thick card stock and pile on a couple layers of magazine grade paper on one side and another layer of paper on the other and you've got a problem. Then I still have to laminate it and then it's only going to be even thicker.

Next time I'll have to use just the magazine paper. I'm nervous, because that paper tends to get wavy when wet with glue and I'm not sure if laminating will fix that. I can experiment with Mod Podge and see if that helps, but I really doubt it.

But, I suppose at the end of the day, as long as it fits in there and people love it, then I'm happy.

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