10 Genius Ways to Upcycle Your Old Sports Equipment

MVP-worthy tips for transforming your athletic gear.

By: Ryan Reed
Related To:

Growing up, I played pretty much every sport you can imagine. From basketball to baseball to badminton, there wasn’t an athletic activity I didn’t participate in. Over the years though, I accumulated enough equipment to make any sporting goods shop jealous.

Hands hold out a 94Fifty smart sensor basketball from InfoMotion Sports. It is a digital coach that tracks everything and sends it to your phone with instant results and ways to improve.

Recently, I was cleaning out my garage and stumbled upon gear that was clearly past its prime. Instead of throwing out the chipped hockey stick and weathered baseball glove, I began to think of ways to upcycle them. Athletic equipment is often made out of high quality materials (leather, wood, titanium) and it seemed like a no-brainer to use them for household décor.

As it turns out, I’m not the only one who has had this idea. Over the years, DIY Network has featured reimagined sports equipment as well as a number of additional creatives on Pinterest and other sites. I’ve sorted through the treasure trove of great ideas and highlighted some of my favorites below.

Bowling Bag Planter



Photo by: Susan Teare ©Joanne Palmisano

Susan Teare, Joanne Palmisano

Turning your retro bowling bag into a stylish planter couldn't be any easier. Place a vase inside the bag and pad it with paper to keep it from moving around. Line the bottom to protect from spillage and then simply zip up the sides.

Water Ski Chair



Exterior View of the 2014 Blog Cabin in Winter Haven, FL.

Photo by: Tony Flora/ AP Images ©2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Tony Flora/ AP Images, 2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

No lake house is complete without Adirondack water ski chairs. Follow these step-by-step instructions to make your own at home.

Bike Gear Votive

Gear tabletop candle votive

Gear tabletop candle votive

Gear tabletop candle votive

Photo by: Brian Patrick Flynn ©Scripps Networks, LLC

Brian Patrick Flynn, Scripps Networks, LLC

A quick and simple way to add steampunk style to any room. Get the step-by-step instructions on how to make a bicycle gear votive holder here.

Tennis Racket Chairs

Tennis Racket Chair Swag

Tennis Racket Chair Swag

Tennis Racket Chair Swag

Photo by: Brian Patrick Flynn ©Scripps Networks, LLC

Brian Patrick Flynn, Scripps Networks, LLC

Add an athletic touch to your dining area with wooden tennis rackets and felt lettering. 

Baseball Bat Nightstand

The perfect nightstand for any baseball fan. See how to make the table here.

Tackle Box Planter

Fishing Equipment Garden Containers

Fishing Equipment Garden Containers

Turn a tackle box into a unique container. Display some lures in the upper tray or plant those sections too.

Golf Club Wine Rack

Wooden golf clubs may have fallen out of favor with the pros decades ago but you can still put them to good use.

Tennis Racket Mirrors

Check out this grand slam of an idea to turn an old tennis racket into a wall mirror. If your racket has seen better days, try painting over the original design to a color of your choice.

Ski Wall Design



*After 6 - of Tony Hawk's Mammoth Lakes, California, ski cabin.

Photo by: William Norton

William Norton

This idea comes from the designers who remodeled legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk's mountain retreat. Using old skis, they staggered the placement to mimic the mountains outside the window.

Hockey Stick Coat Rack

Hockey is king in many cold weather climates and what better way to hang up your coat than a rack made from wooden hockey sticks?

Next Up

Upcycle Branches Into Fanciful Decor

Create easy, colorful home decor on the cheap from branches you find outside.

Upcycle Old Toys Into Adorable, Useful Accessories

Create adorable key chains and planters from kids' toys.

How to Make a Watercolor Travel Tin

Repurpose a metal mint tin into a portable art palette when out and about.

12 Feasible DIY Projects Using Shipping Pallets

Upcycle shipping pallets into something useful for your home.

How to Upcycle Holiday Items for Everyday Use

Think about repurposing unused or dated holiday items into your next DIY project.

How to Upcycle Salvaged Tiles Into Pineapple Coasters

Craft some adorable coasters to gift or to keep.

How to Make a DIY Chalkboard

Learn how to make a colorful chalkboard for a kids' room using laminate plywood, paint and primer.

DIY Cold Relief Bath Soak

Battle the common cold with this easy at-home remedy.

Relief Printing 101: Cool Ways to Customize Paper + Textiles

Create customized stamps using inexpensive supplies like...potatoes!

Crafty Cinema: 3 Movies Spotlighting the Maker Spirit

From The Revenant to The Martian, DIY is all over the place at this year's Oscars.