20 Crazy Uses for Old Sports Equipment
Every year a reported 850 million golf balls are produced. Were that bounty divided equally among people living in the U.S., every resident—from sea to shining sea—would receive 2.7 golf balls. Heck, the Octomom household alone would get 40.5 balls.
So far this year, more than 63 million bicycles have been produced (check out the real-time ticker).
All of these staggering numbers are for one year, folks. Imagine the stuff that's already out there in the world. In garages and storage facilities and athletic sheds. In the bottoms of closets. In schoolyards and backyards and junkyards. In gutters and sewer drains.
No sense it letting it all go to waste. Pull your smock over your head, pop on your wacky cap and get to repurposing.
Click on for some zany ideas of what you might do with all that old gear.
B-Ball Bird Digs
The old Spalding worn thin? Lost its bounce? Why not give that little finch in your backyard a new crib.
You'll feel better, finchy will be stylin' and you get to go out and buy yourself a brand new ball.
Just think of the bajillion pairs of skis that have been discarded since snowboarding emerged as the "it" snow sport.
Pictured here, a shaved ice stand puts some of the forgotten relics to good use.
Golf Club Bottle Openers
Sure you can crack open that Corona with your cigarette lighter or the edge of a table, but won't it taste just a touch sweeter if you unleash its fizzy, malty goodness with a golf club opener?
Tennis Ball Man
Not the arts and craftsy type? Everything on this list seem too ambitious for you to take on by your lonesome? Well here's one even a kindergartener can take on. Just glue on the old googly eyes, cut a mouth and your multi-purpose tennis ball man is ready to help out around the house.
Baseball Mitt Wallet
That's some fine leather in your old mitt there—made all the softer by the ten thousand catches you made. Discover your inner Salvatore Ferragamo and fashion one of these beauties to replace that nylon and Velcro monstrosity you've been stuffing in your back pocket.
What's more American than an American flag? Why, an American flag made of baseball bats, of course. Eat a slice of apple pie beneath it while listening to Jack and Diane. Just be careful your heart doesn't burst from the patriotism welling up inside you.
Handball Court Dryland Facility
Greg Dohler/The Gazette
Handball not so popular in your area? Why let those courts get all cracked and graffiti-soaked? Take a lesson from Montgomery County, Maryland. The county converted underused handball courts into dryland facilities so that aspiring divers could practice their flips and twists outside of the water.
Bat and Ball Lamp
Slightly phallic, perhaps. But "indescribably beautiful." (Keep it in the man cave and you'll be fine.)
Fencing Mask Sconces
At one time, they protected your face from the tip of an epee. And now they protect the local flies from smoldering tungsten filaments.
Tennis Ball Dog Bed
It's made from a pooch's object of fascination. This is the equivalent of a dude's bed made from Maxim covers.
Sleep tight, sweet dog. Sleep tight.
Now if there were only a way to make a golf cart into a toilet...
What more honorable fate for a trusted old basketball that served you well, then to spend its twilight years in a state of suspended hang time.
Cricket Bat Stool
French-born London-based designer Pierre Ospina came up with this butt-rest concept for the 2011 London Design festival. He set up a whole bunch of the cricket stool benches and called the spot "Rest Area For The Brits."
Golf Tee Food Markers
Credit: John Lawton
Nothing worse than biting into a cranberry muffin when you thought you'd selected a blueberry one. Eliminate the chance of any such future unpleasantness with that big ol' bag of golf tees that's been sitting in the front pocket of your golf bag since 2003.
Billiard Ball Bling
Who needs all that flashy gold and platinum when there's phenolic resin to be donned?
But if you plan to propose with one of these, you don't go with the 8-ball.
Stadium Seat Bus Stop
Bicycle Riding Lawnmower
The bane of a suburban existence: mowing the lawn. Well, no longer. Just take one part rusty Schwinn and one part aging Toro and make yourself a pedal-powered blade-lopping locomotive.
You'll exercise, you'll landscape, and you'll make that sexy gal from across the street swoon all at once.
Sports Trophy Coat Rack
When you were seven years old those Little League trophies were a source of pride. But when you were about 12, it dawned on you that they were really just a load of gimcrackery that the neighborhood dads picked up at a local sporting goods shop and gave to pretty much every kid on every team.
So clear some shelf space, and make yourself a perfectly functional coat rack all at once.
Photo: Sandy Su
Paradigm shifts in the trade of fencing:
1. In 160,000 BC, an early homo sapien named Ooogah Oomph stacked some stones atop each other and told his neighbor Goog Gmuff to keep to the other side of the pile.
2. In 1874 one Joseph F. Glidden of Dekalb, Illinois invented barbed wire.
3. In the early 2000s, an aging Gen X hipster crowd traded their bikes for BMWs (they kept the skinny jeans, though) and a new approach to fencing was born.
Hey, you're an uncle or an aunt for the first time. Congrats. Got to give that little niece a special welcome-to-the-word gift. Your big brother, the new dad, pleads with you, "No more Teddy bears. We're drowning in the things!"
That works for you, especially because you only have about 78 cents to your name.
Rummage through the closet and see what old shoes and gloves you have. With a little creative cutting, twisting and gluing, you can come up with a unique plush toy. Durable. Adorable. And only slightly stinky.