Every bowler needs the right combination of great-fitting bowling shoes, a convenient bowling bag, and a perfectly weighted bowling ball. But after lots of use, those items don’t always work as well as they first did. When walking around a rummage sale, you can guess what happens to those older pieces of bowling equipment. They are practically thrown out. But those shoes and ball that served you so well for so many years do not have to end up in the garbage at all. At your next rummage sale visit, grab an old bowling ball. You might not want to pass up the opportunity to buy it. We’re talking about reusing old projects and creating something new… upcycling!
Upcycling old bowling materials can be the perfect way to give new life to these items… without having to be wasteful. The idea of upcycling actually dates back to the Great Depression. During this time, material was re-purposed out of necessity. Modern upcycling is now a way to add some color to your life. This fun hobby turns old, worn material into something beautiful. Whether you are new to upcycling or a seasoned artisan, below are a number of ideas to consider for your next project.
Do you want a lawn ornament with a little pizzazz? To start, cover an old bowling ball with pennies. Simply gather some pennies and clean them off so they are extra shiny. Then use a weather-proof glue to paste them onto the bowling ball. For full directions and suggestions on material like the kind of glue to use, visit the House of Hawthornes’ blog here.
By far the most popular do-it-yourself project with bowling equipment, upcycling a bowling ball to be a beautiful mosaic piece of art is not as hard as you think. For example, some upcyclers have done a mosaic of all different colors of blue on a single ball to add an accent color to their garden. Some have created patterns like stripes or polka dots to make the ball a little more whimsical. Others have made beautiful landscapes or other scenes to make the piece truly unique.
Whatever your preference, you can find directions on DIY Network’s website here. It also lists several suggestions for material that can be used for your mosaic tiles. Try broken china, mirrors, colored glass, or flat-backed marbles. Each adds a unique texture and color to your piece of art.
Rather not paste pennies or pieces of tile onto a bowling ball? Then paint a design onto a bowling ball! It adds a lot of character to your lawn or garden. And what’s more perfect for the outdoors than cute ladybug bowling balls? Simply invest in some latex paint and possibly some copper wires if you’d like to add the subtle touch of antennae! You’ve got yourself a ladybug bowling ball! Check out Birds & Blooms’ directions here, which includes pictures at each step of the process.
While there are many designs you can paint onto a bowling pin, the bowling pin penguin is one of the cutest! You can find directions and pictures here on HubaDub’s website. If the penguin doesn’t interest you, some other suggestions to try include: Olaf from the movie Frozen, a giraffe, a favorite team’s logo, Santa Claus. Similarly, try a quote from a favorite movie or book for teens and adults. Moreover, the options are limitless, but the fun is not for this upcycling project! Each family member will enjoy designing their own custom pin.
If you’re looking for a more challenging project, look no further. Yearning for a more sophisticated look from upcycled bowling materials? Take a peek at Instructables’ website here. The user gives step-by-step instructions on how to strip the plastic from old bowling pins. What you’re left with is beautiful wood but the same great shape of a pin. Grab one or two and use them as chic decorations on your mantelpiece or unique bookends on a shelf.
The options for upcycling bowling material are vast. We hope our ideas have sparked your curiosity to try one of these projects or challenged you to find a new way to upcycle your old gear. Either way, make no mistake—the next bowling ball you see at a garage sale will be coming home with you! Then let us know what DIY projects you’ve made in the comments!