There’s a reason you wait for three hours in the heat of a summer day. For the pro peloton. For the sound of the freewheels buzzing past you in a 30 second blast of excitement. But really, why are you there? You can watch the race much better from the comfort of your couch. Nope, you’re there for the thrill of the . . . souvenirs.
Namely, water bottles chucked from the cages of your favorite riders. Or better yet, musette bags tossed from their shoulders. So maybe you came home with quite the haul–and if you’ve ever waited just a few km from the feed zone, you know what kind of stash I’m talking about.
So you’ve got the stuff. Now what? Well, we stumbled across a pretty sweet DIY display case for those team water bottles you’ve gathered. And the kicker–it takes only a few minutes to build and mount.
If you have a used building materials store in your neighborhood, like Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, you’ll likely be able to pick up the materials you need here for under $10. Here’s what to look for:
- A wooden flourescent light box frame (ours measures 1’x4′)
- Your choice of paint
- Mounting hardware (or in our case, just two big screws 😉 )
- A level and hammer or drill
In essence, you’re creating a shadow box without any effort, and repurposing an old light fixture frame for something much cooler. We found our light box frame at ReStore for $2.00. You might also look at Craig’s List, Yard Sales, or your local big box retailer. Or, you can always just build yourself a rectangle out of a few 1″ x 6″s. But since we really like lazy DIY, we were stoked to reuse the old frame and not do any extra work ourselves. 😉
So once you’ve got all the materials, here’s how to make it:
- Double check your wooden frame to make sure it’s clean and free of any existing hardware/nails/jagged edges. You may want to sand it if it’s in rough shape or has a finish that will be difficult to cover with fresh paint.
- Pick up your brush or spray can, and paint it! We went with basic black.
- Let the paint dry, and maybe give it another coat. If you’re really ambitious, you might also want to hit it with a coat of polyurethane to keep it looking nice.
- Install your mounting hardware. There are a few options you have here, depending on the load you’ll want the shelf to hold. Since we’re only putting empty bottles on ours, and the frame itself wasn’t heavy, we took the aforementioned lazy way out. We found the studs, held up the frame, made sure it was level, marked the inner top two corners, took the frame down, and screwed two decent sized wood screws into it. Et voila. Done. But that’s not necessarily recommended for people who want to feel secure in their ability to keep this on the wall. For those folks, you might like this DIY tutorial on how to hang a shadow box properly using wire and hooks.
- Once you’ve got the thing mounted, fill it up with bottles.
- Stand back and admire what little work this took, and how much cooler you now are.
Of course, you can also modify this by adding hooks to the bottom of the frame and hanging musette bags or jerseys off of it. We fastened a souvenir Cannondale towel to the middle of this one just to break up the look. The coolest thing about this project is that it’s so simple to customize.
Hope it works for you too. But mostly, we hope you are now enjoying a bike ride with all the time you didn’t spend working on this project.