Shorter days and colder weather means more time inside. If you miss the game, have a friend or family member who is a die-hard fan or just need something to keep yourself occupied until spring, these DIY projects will make the time fly.
Here are nine quick and easy ideas to make the holidays just a bit more magical. Most of these activities have all-ages appropriate tasks so get the whole family in on the fun!
Supplies: Flat Washer, Key Ring, Colored string, lacquer-based paint, red and black markers
Total project time: 1 Hour
1) Paint the washer, both sides, white, crème or neon yellow/green
2) Using the black marker draw two semi circle lines to create the base for the seam
3) Using the red marker draw on the red laces
4) Tie one end of the string around the top of the washer hole. The other end should be attached to the key ring
Optional: You can make the string longer and include beads with letters or symbols that create a person’s name, favorite team or other personalized messages.
Variation: Using the same supplies, you can create necklaces or bracelets with the player name, position or number painted onto the washer. Bakery box string works great for creating a white/color pattern.
Wood Paper Weight
Supplies: Decoupage glue or varnish, a dry, clean sponge, a block of wood (painted or natural), a team or individual photo (on photo paper or printer paper)
Total Project Time: 1 Hour
1) Cut a block of wood that is ¼ inch larger than the size of your photo on all sides
2) Finish the wood by sanding the edges and applying either a clear coat or paint
3) Using the decoupage glue or varnish, apply the photo to the block of wood
Optional: You can paint a decorative edging around the photo as well as personal touches over the photo including the player’s name, jersey number, stats and position.
Glass Change Bowl
Supplies: Round glass bowl (small fish bowls work great), glass etching crème and brush, stencil film or painter’s tape, scissors and protective gloves
Total Project Time: 1 Hour
1) Wash and dry the bowl and wipe down with rubbing alcohol
2) Cut a long, ¼ inch wide strip of stencil film or painter’s tape
3) Make several arrow head shapes from the tape. Vinyl tape can make the task easier because it has a protective backing. This allows you to fold the tape in half and cut upward at an angle from both sides. Unfold and you’ll have an arrowhead. You’ll need to cut between 60-75 of these depending on the size of your bowl.
NOTE: Don’t worry if they are not all perfect duplicates of one another. These are the stitches so the variance will add to the authenticity of the look.
4) Using at a real ball as your model, or perhaps even placing it into the bowl if the opening is wide enough, match the arrowheads you’ve just created into the stitching pattern on either side of the glass. The stitching should be like two circles on either side of the glass that won’t completely close – just like the ball appears when laid narrow seam-side down on a table.
5) Wearing the gloves, apply the crème around the entire bowl, top to bottom. NOTE: It may be helpful to have an empty plastic bottle or other makeshift stand nearby to allow the glass to dry upside down otherwise you’ll need to do the crème application in two steps.
6) After at least 15 minutes, rinse the glass and dry
7) Remove tape from seams
Optional: You can use white or neon glass paints as well for a less subtle finish
Total Project Time: 1 ½ Hours
Supplies: Wood coat rack OR 1 piece of 2x4, cut to size preference and wood pegs, 5-10 old base/softballs (equal to number of pegs), drill, paint or stain, wood glue
Project Time: Using finished rack: 1 Hour (includes dry time) Creating rack from scratch 3 Hours (including dry times)
1) Using either a pre-created wood-pegged coat rack or creating one from scratch, paint or stain to desired finish
2) Drill holes in each base/softball that are large enough to allow them to fit snuggly over each wood peg in your rack
3) Using wood glue, affix the balls to each peg
4) Allow to dry
Supplies: old base/softballs, wire circle (recommend double loop for holding more than three balls), wood glue, drill, ornamental features
Project Time: 2-4 hours depending on enhancements used and preparation process for each.
1) Determine the objects and spacing for your wreath to ensure you have the proper number of each item and to help determine how you will finish the wreath.
2) Drill holes into each ball that are wide enough for the wire to go completely through.
3) Thread the balls onto the wire in order according to the other items you are adding to the wreath.
4) Once in their proper place on the wreath, add glue into the holes to help adhere the balls to the wire into their permanent position.
Optional: Add wood plaques with sayings, ribbon, string, paint and other items as you desire to personalize your wreath.
Home Plate Ball Holder
Supplies: Wood, stain, countersinking drill bit, wall mount
Project Time: 3 Hours
1) Cut wood according to diagram above (may need to adjust sizing for softballs)
2) Stain and sand pieces
3) Using the countersinking drill bit, drill base for each ball to sit in. This step is crucial to avoid flattening out the base/top of each ball
4) Attach wall mount to back
5) Place balls inside dry holder. Will hold up to 12 baseballs
Options: Create a plexiglass cover that hinges to the front to keep balls from collecting dust while on display.
Baseball Tree Lights
Supplies: String of white indoor tree lights, white or yellow ping pong balls, red marker or paint and brush, tool to make a hole in balls.
Project Time: Less than 1 Hour (depending on number of balls and whether you use paint or marker for seams)
*Recommendation: Watch this video on how to safely make a hole in a round object before you begin
1) Make holes on the branded side of the ping pong balls
2) Paint the balls with red laces
3) Insert the balls over the top of the lights in a regular pattern depending on the number of lights in your string (every 5th light for example)
Santa Hat Baseball Ornament
Supplies: Styrofoam ball, doll size/ornament santa hat, red ribbon (if hat is not an ornament), red and white paint (neon yellow if doing a softball), glue
Project Time: 1-2 Hours depending on dry time needed to get desired coat on ball
1) Insert a skewer into your styrofoam ball and dunk it in white or yellow paint fully coating all sides. Remove and let dry thoroughly. Depending on foam used, you may have to repeat the process for a solid coating
2) Once dried, paint or draw seams with marker onto the foam ball
3) Glue the hat to whatever side of the ball you decide to make the top
4) If your hat is not already strung, then, using a small hole-punch, create a hole to string your ribbon through and attach to the hat. Knot at the top to create a hook loop for hanging.
Best Friends Ornament
Supplies: Styrofoam ball, empty plastic ornament bulb, exactoknife or box cutter, glue, paint, 2 identical laminated, wallet-sized photos (photo should represent the relationship of the people – a photo of the two of them or their special meeting place for example)
Project Time: 2-3 Hours to accommodate drying times
1) Place the styrofoam ball inside one half of the ornament casing. Using the knife, trace a line around the outside of the ball. Remove ball from casing and cut on line to create two identical halves
2) Place a base/softball inside the ornament casing and close the casing completely around the ball. Trace the seams of the ball onto the casing using paint or marker
3) Remove ball from casing and glue each foam half into the bulb casing
4) Glue one photo into the center of each foam half
5) Use paint and other items as desired to create identical halves of the ornament. For example, write Merry Christmas or Best Friends around the top and bottom of the photo. Let dry
6) Add string or hooks to the top of each half for hanging
7) Once everything is dry, put the ball together and present it as a single ornament to them both. When they are celebrating together the ornament is a ball but, when apart, they each have their own half to remember one another.
Consider this off-season training for your competitive spirit. Send us photos of your work. Include snapshots of the fun you had in the process. Challenge your teammates, and friends you’ve made throughout your league. We’ll post them on social media with your family-friendly messages!