Once upon a time long ago, ( when I didn’t know better ) I repainted my original old Speedwell bike that had become very rusty from living near the sea. To help do this I removed the “S” insignia head badge so I could paint underneath it, but sadly my efforts at reaffixing it were a failure and it was lost on the road somewhere in my misspent youth …
Since then I’ve missed having it there and the steering head has looked kind of empty after refurbishing “old faithful” for the umpteenth time. So, just for fun, I tried a cheap and cheerful solution, and I don’t mean trawling ebay for an obscure bike badge. I had a roll of thin Aldi aluminium tape on hand plus some strong double sided sticky that I use for shellacking ( btw, how come shellac doesn’t have a “k” in it ? ).
I took a pencil rubbing off my Speedwell ladies’ popular and transferred it by tracing to the aluminium, cutting out with an Olfa cutter and scissors. The final touch was to use a concave nail punch head and thickish gold paint to simulate the rivets.
Sure it’s only cheap embellishment, and professional restorers may chuckle, but it has at least given back a bit of nostalgic identity to my old childhood bike and I don’t see the point in spending on Speedwell repro. decals when this bike is so non-original anyway.
The tape will need clear coating to help preserve it as it’s quite flimsy. The badge could be coated with amber shellac to give a bit of rustic visual warmth if so desired.
Actually all this experimenting started when I tried to make an original head badge for the “empty headed” generic Pink Mixte that I’m refurbishing. Using the same process I cut out a “PM” badge – coincidentally my initials also …
This frame will have the lugs lined and some more detailing and coating yet, but you get the idea….
Depending on your patience, this process could be used to DIY decorate other parts of your restored bike provided it’s not done in a vulnerable location where a scrape is likely.
Also, shiny soft aluminium pet food containers could be cut up and recycled in lieu of the alu tape. Thin copper craft sheets also come to mind for head badges.
Happy Decorating !