Upcycle Old Sports Gear: 35 Projects from Used Athletic Equipment

Upcycle Old Sports Equipment

Old sports gear is the worst! Whether it’s an unstrung tennis racket, a dented aluminum bat, or a tennis ball that’s all bounced out, nothing makes you feel like more of a waster than throwing one more piece of junk into the trash.


What if that tennis racket could be upcycled into a butterfly net? That dented aluminum bat could be made into a curtain rod? That bounced-out tennis ball could be turned into your new key keeper? Instead of tossing your used sports equipment, keep it useful by turning into one of these creations below:

1. Badminton racket earring holderKeeping your earrings on display reminds you to wear them!

2. Badminton racket heartWeave through the strings on a badminton or tennis racket to make a lovely design for display.

3. Balance bike: Convert a pedal bicycle into a balance bike.

4. Baseball bat coat rack: A few pieces of hardware are all you need to turn a baseball bat into a coat rack.

5. Baseball bat flagThere’s nothing more American than baseball!

6. Baseball bat lampDon’t buy a new baseball bat to cut up for this lamp, because it’s too easy to find a used one.

7. Baseball bat nightstandOne baseball bat is enough to construct a simple nightstand.

8. Baseball bat side tableThree baseball bats are enough to construct an entire table.

9. Basketball bag: Make an actual bag from an actual basketball.

10. Baseball bracelet: Make this easy braided bracelet from an old softball or baseball.

11. Bicycle hangerWhat better to hang your bike from than… a bike?

12. Bicycle tire pouchUse the tube from a bicycle tire to make a really cool pouch.

13. Bicycle wheel garden spinner: Whip out your stained glass supplies and make this garden spinner from a bicycle tire–it will keep the birds out of your strawberries!

14. Bowling alley table: The reclaimed wood from a bowling alley is a beautiful, eco-friendly wood for this bowling alley table.

15. Bowling ball gazing ballPennies are good for your garden–add them to a bowling ball to make a gazing ball.

16. Bowling ball ladybugIf you’re not into blue hydrangeas, forget the pennies and make a ladybug instead!

17. Bowling pin pretties: You can paint a bowling pin into a LOT of cute things. Here are bowling pin bunnies!

18. Golf ball cuties: You can make as many adorable things out of golf balls as you can out of bowling pins. Here’s a golf ball ladybug!

19. Golf ball paintingAdd a box and some big sheets of paper, and you have the perfect outdoor art activity for the kiddos.

20. Golf tee bobbin organizer: This golf tee bobbin organizer keeps spools of thread and bobbins with the matching color together.

21. Golf tee pumpkin poundingWe use nails for our pumpkin pounding, but old golf tees (don’t buy new ones for this!) are a better option for littler kids.

22. Golf tee target holderUse golf tees and an old board to make a water gun target.

23. Hockey puck bench feetAdd non-scratch feet to your furniture. The secret ingredient? Hockey pucks!

24. Hockey puck drill baseWe’ve talked before about drilling rocks and shells underwater to keep them from cracking. Turns out that a hockey puck makes a great base for that!

25. Lacrosse mesh bracelet: Make a bracelet from the mesh in a lacrosse stick.

26. Soccer ball birdhouseBirds really want to live in your old soccer ball.

27. Softball wreathYour souvenir softballs from memorable games can do much more than just sit on the shelf.

28. Surfboard batikAn old surfboard is your new art canvas.

29. Surfboard chalkboard: A surfboard chalkboard is a large but portable surface to keep family messages.

30. Tennis ball dog toyAdd an old T-shirt to your supplies and make your dog a fun toy!

31. Tennis ball fine motor activity: “Feed the Monster” is terrific for building a little kid’s hand strength and fine motor skills.

32. Tennis ball holderAdd eyes and a mouth and a sense of purpose to an old tennis ball.

33. Tennis racket butterfly net: An unstrung tennis racket is the perfect frame for this kid-sewn butterfly net.

34. Tennis racket mirrorThis project would work best with an antique wooden racket.

35. Tennis racket wreathThis wreath comes with its own stand!

Okay, now it’s your turn–tell me what sport you can’t BELIEVE I missed, and what awesome things you can make with its old gear!

Written by Julie Finn

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.


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  1. You have an awesome list of equips right there. Cool sports gears to craft and use! I’m going to try this out with my son. He loves recycling or upgrading stuff into something that is more useful and cute.

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