Make This Tennis Garden Art Through Upcycling

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have unique and colorful garden art in your garden. One of my favorite things to do is to hit the local thrift store and just let the surroundings inspire me.

This is what happened with this project. I was working on my book, Project Gardenand I was trying to come up with easy, kid-friendly projects. When I saw the huge section of sports equipment filled with old rackets, I knew I had to do something with them.

This is the perfect garden art just about any kid can master. All you need to rackets and beads, and then the rest comes together on its own.

What You Need:

  • Scissors
  • Tennis or badminton rackets
  • Tweezers or needle-nose pliers (optional)
  • Ribbon, yarn, wire or string
  • Tape (optional)
  • Beads and/or trinkets

Step-by-step Instructions:

1. Prep your racket.

Any racket will do for this project. I like using wooden ones just because I like the look of natural wood. But colors can be really pretty in the garden, too. To start with, use scissors cut the strings out of the racket. Remove all the strings. (You might want to use some tweezers or needle-nose pliers to get at those hard-to-reach spots. They are surprisingly in there really good!)

If you need to do any repair on the racket, now is the time to do that, too. For instance, you might want to tape up the handle of your racket. You might even consider spray painting your racket if you’re going for a bright or interesting color.

2. Cut your ribbon or string.

Measure and cut your ribbon or string to the desired lengths. These will hang down from the top of your racket, and there really is no right or wrong way to do it. My kids and I like to vary our lengths because we like the look of it. You can kind of play around with the different options and lengths to see what works best for you.

Then you’ll want to knot one end of your string so the beads you’re using won’t slip off.

3. Add your beading.

This is the fun part—add your  beads and trinkets. Hav fun with your design. In the two designs you see here, we used wooden beads for one, so the color pattern is pretty similar. Then we used bright and colorful beads for another.

This is a good opportunity to personalize your garden art. Maybe use alphabet beads and spell out a message. Or perhaps keep with a certain color scheme to really make it pop. (This is where it would be cool to color coordinate your design with the color of the racket, too.)

4. Tie ’em on!

Once you’ve strung the ribbons, pull them through the holes of the tennis racket and secure with knots. You can leave the beads hanging freely (like we did for our rainbow/colorful design) or you can tie them from one side to another to create a web.

Another option it to tie them on to hang freely and then string the beads while the ribbon is already in place.

Once you have everything set, it’s time to give your racket a home in your garden. Push the racket handle into the ground, and enjoy! This project would make an awesome garden border, too. You just need enough tennis rackets to line a garden bed.

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