Crafts using bowling balls and pins

Written by laurie meekis
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Crafts using bowling balls and pins
Turn old bowling balls and pins into crafted creations. (vintage bowling image by de_martin from

Recycle old bowling balls into works of art suitable for garden display. Use paints to create seasonal, themed or whimsical characters out of recycled bowling pins to display in any room of the house. With a few craft supplies and a bit of imagination, you can make bowling pins and balls into functional art.

Garden art

Make a gazing ball out of an old bowling ball to put in your garden or house for an old-world touch of decor. Be sure to sand the ball to prep it for painting to help the paint adhere. Use paint designed to use on plastic. You can try gold, copper, bronze or silver paint colours in a shiny or matt finish. Or, instead of paint, use sanded grout to attach cut pieces of silver or coloured mirror to the ball to make a mirrored ball that will catch and reflect the sunlight. Do not forget to clean the grout residue off as you work. Perhaps you may wish to create a creature to put in the garden. Paint the ball to look like a giant frog, ladybird, snail or rabbit. Finish it with polyurethane to protect the painting outdoors.

Door stops

You can create an unusual door stop or bric-a-brac by gluing pieces of colourful broken pottery, china or small bathroom tiles on a bowling ball or pin. Another idea is to glue yarn in striped patterns to cover a bowling pin. Keep each row of yarn pressed tightly against the preceding ones as you cover the ball. If you're interested in science fiction, you can create a steampunk bowling pin by gluing pieces of industrial or mechanical technology to the pin. Cut pieces of aluminium foil and attach them to the bowling pin as the background, or leave it black. Experiment with the look by using items such as bolts, nuts, springs or wires. Be sure to use strong glue that bonds metal to plastic.

Pin people

Use acrylic craft paints to paint characters or people on the bowling pins for indoor displays. Turn a group of bowling pins into a family of people, favourite athletic team members, storybook characters, cartoons or seasonal characters. Ideas include Santa, a leprechaun or Easter bunny to display as seasonal decor. Try using photocopied pictures of family members. Cut out the face and glue it to the top part of the bowling ball. Paint the body in a theme representing each family member’s personality, hobbies or interests. Turn dad into a sports fan dressed in gear from his favourite teams. Make mum a business woman, gardener or supermum with a cape.

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