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What to do with Old Bowling Balls: 15 Genius Ways to Reuse Old Bowling Balls (You Won’t Believe #8!)

  • Reading time:17 mins read

If you’re like many people, you might have an old bowling ball or two lying around your garage, basement, or storage unit. Whether you used to be an avid bowler or simply inherited a ball from a friend or family member, it can be tricky to know what to do with these bulky, heavy spheres once they’ve served their original purpose.

Rather than letting those old bowling balls take up valuable space, why not give them new life through clever repurposing and upcycling projects? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore 15 fun and practical ways you can breathe new life into your unused bowling equipment.

From decorative garden accents to functional home furnishings, the humble bowling ball is surprisingly versatile. With a little creativity, you can transform these round relics into unique conversation pieces that add personality to your indoor and outdoor spaces.

So if you’re ready to get crafty and give your old bowling balls a new purpose, read on for 15 inspiring ideas to try.

1. Lawn or Garden Decor

One of the most popular ways to repurpose old bowling balls is to use them as unique, eye-catching lawn and garden decor. Their round, smooth shape lends itself well to creating visually interesting arrangements and vignettes in your outdoor spaces.

Start by giving the bowling balls a fresh coat of paint in a vibrant color or pattern that complements your garden’s aesthetic. Bright, cheerful hues like yellow, turquoise, or fuchsia can make the balls pop, while more muted tones like sage green or smoky blue help them blend in seamlessly.

You can then arrange the painted balls in groupings, lines, or scattered formations across your lawn, flower beds, or along garden paths. For added interest, try mixing different ball sizes or pairing them with other spherical objects like gazing balls or stone orbs.

Another clever idea is to partially bury the bowling balls in the soil, leaving just the top portion exposed. This creates the illusion of bowling balls emerging from the earth, adding a whimsical, sculptural element to your garden.

2. Birdbath or Fountain

If you want to create a functional outdoor feature from your old bowling balls, consider transforming them into a birdbath or tabletop fountain.

To make a birdbath, start by drilling a hole through the center of the ball. You can then mount it upright on a pedestal or short plinth to elevate it. Fill the bowl with water, and you’ve got a charming, one-of-a-kind birding station that will attract feathered friends to your yard.

For a tabletop fountain, invert the bowling ball and hollow out the inside, leaving just a shallow bowl shape. Place the ball upside down on a pedestal or plinth, then add a small, submersible water pump and some decorative stones or pebbles. The gentle flow of water cascading over the sides of the bowling ball creates a soothing, meditative ambiance.

You can also experiment with lighting effects by adding LED lights or solar-powered fixtures to your bowling ball birdbath or fountain. This transforms them into captivating garden features that shine bright during the evenings.

3. Planter or Terrarium

Bowling balls make surprisingly clever and creative plant holders. By drilling a few drainage holes in the bottom, you can transform them into unique planters for succulents, herbs, small flowers, and even miniature indoor gardens.

For a planter, choose a bowling ball in a color that complements your plant’s foliage or flowers. Sleek black or white balls provide a modern, minimalist look, while vintage-inspired hues like turquoise or mustard yellow add a retro, bohemian vibe.

To create a one-of-a-kind terrarium, carefully saw the bowling ball in half to form two hemispherical planters. Fill them with potting soil, add small plants like air plants, moss, or miniature succulents, and arrange them together on a tabletop or shelf. The transparent glass-like material of the bowling ball halves allows you to admire the lush, contained ecosystems within.

Bowling ball planters and terrariums make fantastic conversation pieces, whether displayed indoors or out. Their rounded shapes and unconventional nature add a playful, unexpected touch to any space.

4. Backyard Bowling Game

If you have multiple old bowling balls lying around, why not set up your own DIY backyard bowling alley? This is a fun, nostalgic way to breathe new life into your unused sports equipment.

Start by painting numbered targets on the ground in your yard, using the bowling balls to knock them down. You can get creative with the layout, arranging the targets in a traditional linear formation or scattering them randomly for a more challenging game.

For an extra touch of authenticity, consider painting the bowling balls in classic colors like deep blue, vibrant red, or shiny chrome. You can even add personalized designs or your initials to make them your own.

Not only is this a great way to repurpose your old bowling gear, but it also provides a fun outdoor activity for family and friends. Whether you’re looking to relive your glory days on the lanes or simply want to add some playful flair to your backyard, a DIY bowling game is sure to delight.

5. Succulent Holder

Succulents’ sculptural shapes and low-maintenance needs make them the perfect plant pairing for repurposed bowling balls. By converting the balls into unique planters, you can create eye-catching displays that add natural greenery to any space.

To make a succulent bowling ball planter, start by drilling a few small drainage holes in the bottom of the ball. You can then fill it with well-draining cactus or succulent potting mix and arrange an assortment of your favorite compact, rosette-forming succulents.

For a seamless look, choose a bowling ball in a neutral color like white or gray, which allows the vibrant, textured succulents to take center stage. Alternatively, you can paint the ball in a bold, contrasting shade to make the planter itself a standout feature.

Position your succulent-filled bowling ball on a table, shelf, or plant stand, either on its own or clustered with other unique planters. The rounded shape and unexpected nature of this DIY project are sure to delight anyone who sees it.

6. Pet Bowl or Feeder

If you have a furry friend at home, you can repurpose an old bowling ball into a one-of-a-kind pet bowl or feeder. This is a clever way to give new life to your unused sports equipment while also providing your pet with a practical, stylish place to eat or drink.

To create a pet bowl, simply flip the bowling ball over and secure it in place, either on the floor or on a raised platform or stand. You can leave the ball as-is for a minimalist look, or jazz it up with a coat of paint in your pet’s favorite color.

For a pet feeder, you’ll need to drill a hole in the side of the ball large enough for your animal’s head to fit through comfortably. Fill the interior with dry food or water, and your pet can access their meal or refreshment through the opening.

Bowling ball pet bowls and feeders make fantastic functional decor pieces that add personality to your home. They’re also a thoughtful way to repurpose old sports equipment into something your furry family members can enjoy.

7. Outdoor Lighting

With a little bit of DIY elbow grease, you can transform old bowling balls into charming outdoor lighting fixtures that illuminate your backyard or garden.

One simple approach is to cut the bowling ball in half, creating two hemispherical shapes. You can then add a small solar-powered light or battery-operated LED fixture inside each half, turning them into glowing orbs that cast a warm, ambient glow.

Arrange the bowling ball lights along pathways, in flower beds, or clustered on a patio or deck for a whimsical, enchanting effect. You can also experiment with different paint colors or finishes to complement your outdoor decor.

For a more integrated lighting solution, consider mounting the bowling ball halves onto a pedestal or freestanding base. This creates a unique, sculptural lamp that casts light downward, providing both ambiance and illumination.

Bowling ball lights make fantastic additions to any backyard oasis, blending function and creativity to transform your outdoor living spaces after dark.

8. Sculpture or Art Piece

If you’re feeling particularly artistic, you can use old bowling balls as the foundation for one-of-a-kind sculptures and creative art projects. Their round, minimalist shape lends itself well to all sorts of experimental embellishments and transformations.

Start by painting the bowling balls in bold, vibrant colors or patterns that catch the eye. You can then use them as the base for mosaics, decoupage, or other mixed-media applications. Glue on found objects, fabric scraps, beads, or other textural elements to create unique, eye-catching pieces.

Another approach is to stack, group, or arrange multiple bowling balls in visually interesting ways. Play with height, color, and balance to create abstract sculptural installations that add a playful, modern touch to your indoor or outdoor spaces.

For a more whimsical project, consider carving or drilling into the bowling balls to create faces, animal shapes, or other fanciful forms. The smooth, spherical surface provides a versatile canvas for all sorts of imaginative sculpting and carving techniques.

Whether you display your bowling ball art indoors or out, these repurposed creations are sure to spark conversation and delight anyone who sees them.

9. Holiday or Seasonal Decor

Don’t limit your bowling ball repurposing projects to year-round use – these versatile spheres can also be transformed into festive, seasonally-appropriate decor.

For the holidays, consider painting bowling balls to resemble ornaments, snowballs, or other Christmas-themed designs. You can even turn them into quirky Snowman bodies when stacked and accessorized with scarves, hats, and other decorative elements.

The bowling ball’s round shape also lends itself well to Halloween and fall-inspired projects. Use them as the base for painted jack-o’-lantern faces, witches’ balls, or autumn-themed motifs like acorns or pumpkins.

Spring and summer provide additional opportunities to get creative. Dress up bowling balls as Easter eggs, garden spheres, or tropical-inspired decorations. The possibilities are endless when you approach these repurposed objects with a seasonal mindset.

Integrating bowling ball decor into your holiday and seasonal displays is a fun, unexpected way to breathe new life into your unused sports equipment. Plus, these one-of-a-kind accents are sure to delight and surprise your guests.

10. Tabletop Water Feature

For a soothing, meditative indoor accent, consider transforming an old bowling ball into a compact, tabletop water feature. This simple DIY project adds a calming, zen-like ambiance to any room.

Start by cutting the bowling ball in half to create two hemispheres. Hollow out the inside of one half, leaving a shallow basin shape. Place this piece upside down on a pedestal or stand, then add a small submersible water pump.

As the pump circulates the water, it will cascade gently over the edges of the bowling ball, creating a mesmerizing flow. You can enhance the look by adding decorative river rocks, pebbles, or LED lights around the base.

This bowling ball water feature makes a lovely centerpiece for a coffee table, side table, or office desk. The gentle sound of flowing water promotes relaxation and mindfulness, making it a perfect addition to meditation spaces or quiet reading nooks.

For an extra personal touch, consider painting the bowling ball in a soothing, nature-inspired hue like soft blue, sage green, or earthy terracotta. This helps the water feature blend seamlessly into your existing decor.

11. Garden Edging or Pathway Marker

If you have a large number of old bowling balls, consider using them to create unique garden edging or pathway markers around your outdoor living spaces.

Bury the balls partially in the ground, lining them up along flower beds, vegetable gardens, or winding walkways. This creates a fun, whimsical border that adds visual interest and helps to define different areas of your landscape.

For a more cohesive look, paint the bowling balls a uniform color that complements your garden’s palette. Neutral shades like white, gray, or black work well, but you can also experiment with vibrant hues that really make the spheres pop against the greenery.

To take this project a step further, arrange the bowling balls in creative patterns or formations. For example, you could stagger them at varying heights, cluster them in groups, or zigzag them along the edge of a meandering path.

This repurposing idea is not only practical but also adds a playful, sculptural element to your outdoor spaces. Your friends and neighbors are sure to admire your creativity in giving new life to those old bowling balls.

12. Bird Feeder

If you love attracting feathered friends to your backyard, you can transform an old bowling ball into a unique, eye-catching bird feeder.

Start by drilling a hole large enough to accommodate a standard bird seed or suet feeder. You can then suspend the bowling ball from a tree branch, shepherd’s hook, or other sturdy support using a length of chain or rope.

For a more integrated look, consider mounting the bowling ball on a pedestal or stand. This creates a decorative, free-standing feeder that can be placed wherever you’d like to observe your avian visitors.

Get creative with the design by painting the bowling ball in bright, vibrant colors or patterns that complement your outdoor decor. You can even add decorative elements like mosaic tiles, beads, or nature-inspired motifs to give the feeder a one-of-a-kind flair.

Not only does a bowling ball bird feeder make a charming addition to your backyard oasis, but it also provides a unique feeding station that is sure to attract a variety of fascinating bird species. Keep your eyes peeled and your camera ready to capture the winged guests who come to dine.

13. Stepping Stone or Garden Accent

For a practical yet whimsical outdoor project, transform an old bowling ball into a decorative stepping stone or garden accent.

To create a stepping stone, you’ll need to partially bury the ball in the ground, leaving the top portion exposed. This creates a unique, rounded surface that adds visual interest and texture to your garden paths or walkways.

For a more integrated look, you can also embed the bowling ball into a poured concrete or stone slab. This allows you to seamlessly incorporate the sphere into a larger hardscaping feature, like a patio or terrace.

If you’re not quite ready to commit to a permanent installation, consider using the bowling ball as a movable garden accent instead. Position it near flower beds, trailing vines, or other focal points to draw the eye and add a touch of playfulness to your outdoor spaces.

You can enhance the look of your bowling ball stepping stones or accents by painting them in vibrant colors or patterns. Weatherproof finishes like exterior latex paint or sealants will help the balls withstand the elements over time.

Whether used functionally or purely for decorative purposes, these repurposed bowling ball projects bring a unique, whimsical touch to any garden or landscape.

14. Yard Art or Sculpture

For a truly one-of-a-kind outdoor art piece, transform an old bowling ball into a bold, eye-catching yard sculpture or installation.

Start by painting the bowling ball in a high-contrast color that makes it stand out against the surrounding greenery and landscape. Modern monochromatic palettes like stark white or jet black create a sleek, minimalist look, while vibrant hues like sunshine yellow or electric blue lend a playful, energetic vibe.

You can also experiment with intricate patterns, designs, or even three-dimensional elements to turn the bowling ball into a true work of art. Consider incorporating found objects, mosaic tiles, or other textural materials to create a truly unique sculptural piece.

Once you’ve transformed the bowling ball, determine how you want to display it in your yard or garden. Elevate it on a pedestal or plinth to showcase it as a focal point. Partially bury it in the soil to give the illusion of an emerging sphere. Or cluster multiple painted balls together for a dynamic, abstract installation.

These bowling ball sculptures and yard art pieces instantly add visual interest and personality to any outdoor living space. They serve as conversation-starting accents that celebrate your creativity and DIY spirit.

15. Pet Toys and Enrichment

If you have a furry friend at home, your old bowling balls can be repurposed into fun, interactive pet toys and enrichment activities.

For dogs, you can turn the bowling balls into durable, chew-proof toys. Simply paint them in bright, enticing colors and let your pup go to town. The heavy, rounded shape provides a satisfying texture and challenge for canine chompers.

You can also use the bowling balls to create indoor or outdoor mazes and obstacle courses for your canine companion. Place the balls in various arrangements and patterns, then encourage your dog to nudge, nose, and paw their way through the puzzle.

Feline friends can also enjoy playing with repurposed bowling balls. Try placing a few in your cat’s favorite napping spots or along pathways they frequent. The rolling, unpredictable movement of the balls will pique their natural hunting instincts and provide hours of enrichment.

For an extra touch of personalization, consider painting your pet’s name or other whimsical designs on the bowling balls. This adds a fun, customized element to your DIY pet toys and ensures they’re easily identifiable.

By giving new life to your old bowling equipment, you can provide your four-legged family members with engaging, mentally stimulating playtime. It’s a win-win for both you