Game, Set, Cross Stitch: Vintage Wooden Tennis Racket Needlework

Game, Set, Cross Stitch: Vintage Wooden Tennis Racket Needlework

I don’t know about you, but I just love all of the oversized cross-stitch project ideas scattered across Pinterest. Whether it’s on a large peg board or on a cane back chair, they just look amazing- and I’ve wanted to try my hand at it for a while now.

But I was plagued- how would I do this and be unique? You know me- I gotta be different!

I was bemoaning this very thing to my gal pal while we were out junkin’ one day. And like a beacon from the upcycling deities, my eyes fell upon a beat-up vintage wooden tennis racket.

Vintage wood tennis racket for upcycle repurpose cross stitch needlework by Sadie Seasongoods

And the repurposing angels began to sing…

This! I could cross-stitch on the racket head! And it was cheap… less-than-a-bottle-of-water-at-the-gas-station cheap!

And when I needed more rackets, Down South Vintage hooked me up! Now I was set. This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience.

Vintage old wooden tennis rackets for upcycle repurpose craft cross stitch by Sadie Seasongoods

Who’s up for some doubles? STITCHING, THAT IS!

Since the tennis racket reminded me of oval picture frames, I decided to lop off the handles. Thankfully, I know a gal with a full wood shop, and she let me use her miter saw to cut them off. (We’ve since purchased our own since I fell in love with it!)

Cutting handles off vintage tennis rackets for cross stitch by Sadie Seasongoods

Hello, chop saw- nice to meet you!

Vintage wood tennis rackets for upcycle repurpose DIY cross stitch craft by Sadie Seasongoods

And yes, I’ve saved the handles for another project!

So I was ready to cross-stitch, but I had no patterns. I’m a complete novice when it comes to this kind of needlework, and I had no idea how to design my own pattern- particularly on my large-scale tennis grid. What’s a girl to do? Well, I turned to one of my blogging “Sheroes”, Bev from Flamingo Toes.Flamingo-Toes-Button-2014

Talk about coming to my rescue…she created four different patterns for me to use, including this snowflake and Christmas tree. (Want to download the other two patterns? Head over to her blog post to get them!)

Oversized Cross Stitch Pattern – Snowflake

Oversized Cross Stitch Pattern – Christmas Tree

NOW I could get my cross-stitch on! First, I painted one of my racket heads midnight blue, and purchased some chunky yarn.

Vintage wooden tennis racket for cross stitch by Sadie Seasongoods

My cross-stitch canvas…

Using thick yarn for oversize cross stitch on tennis racket head by Sadie Seasongoods

Thick yarn to the rescue!

I used painter’s tape (like this kind!) on one end of the yarn (like an aglet on a shoelace) to help ease the yarn through the strings, and it worked like a charm!

Repurpose vintage tennis racket for oversize cross stitch by Sadie Seasongoods

Ta-da….cross stitch!

Upcycled antique tennis racket for large cross stitch by Sadie Seasongoods

A little close up of my stitchin’ action.

I followed Bev’s awesome pattern and cross-stitched along. I stopped and started new yarn periodically so that there were no long stretches across the back (which could be seen through the strings). That kept it clean-looking, and I would weave the tails carefully through the back stitches (or use a dab of hot glue to keep it in place).

Oversize Christmas cross-stitch on an old wood tennis racket by Sadie Seasongoods

Half-baked snowflake…

And then I was done with the snowflake- how FANTASTIC is that?? Super easy, super amazing, and I love that the racket acts like its own frame.

Oversized cross stitch on a vintage wood tennis racquet by Sadie Seasongoods


I went ahead and made a couple of others, including the tree I told you about earlier and a Poinsettia (one of the patterns on her page!).

using old wood tennis rackets for large cross stitch using thick yarn by Sadie Seasongoods

Look at that fierce cuteness!

Then it was time to display them! I cut the racket handles with that little “nub” on purpose- in case I wanted to add a D-ring or sawtooth picture hanger to the back. But for now, they’re just resting on our quirky-weird Christmas mantle.

Sadie Seasongoods: Upcycled Repurposed thrift store vintage tennis rackets for oversize cross stitch with Flamingo Toes pattern

The ultimate reveal!

Sadie Seasongoods: Upcycled Repurposed thrift store vintage tennis rackets for oversize cross stitch with Flamingo Toes pattern

So quirky, so easy, and so affordable…LOVE!

Amazing, right? And super bonus- you can usually find vintage wooden tennis rackets at your local Goodwill or other thrift store. I won’t lie to you, I’m quite tickled at how they turned out. There were moments of worry and self-doubt, but Bev bolstered my spirit and kept me going. Thank goodness for bloggy friends!

Merry Christmas and Craft On!



Oversized Christmas Cross Stitch Holiday Decor on a Repurposed and Upcycled Vintage Wooden Tennis Racket Racquet by Sadie Seasongoods /


  1. Oh my goodness, Sarah. These are the best! This is a post waiting to go viral. If it’s not already on HT, it should be!

    • says:

      From your lips…, Rita!! It’s on Hometalk, too- I was actually loading it on there when you commented!! 😀

  2. I saw these on Flamingo Toes. I think they are amazing ! I love oversized cross stitch. Thanks for the inspiration and Merry Christmas

  3. Great idea!

  4. girlfromwva says:

    A W E S O M E!!! love them so much. (can’t wait to see what the handles become)

  5. You have given me an awesome idea! My nephew plays Tennis….so I started imagining his name or a term from tennis on a tennis racket. But….yarn didn’t seem to be the right thing……I’m wondering if I can use bungee cord? Of course, now comes the part about how to map that out. Thanks… the idea!

  6. Sarah, these repurposed tennis rackets are super cool!! Love the idea of turning them into cross stitch wall art!! Beautiful job!! 🙂

  7. Oh my gosh, I can’t wait to try this. Thanks!

  8. You so SMAHT! Dayum! I woulda never thought of that, but it’s amazing! Hmmmm, now where in the barn did I stash those ol’ rackets….*wanders off muttering to self like the crazy ol’ cat lady I am….

  9. So different, unique and vintage! Love the old racket look with an old stitching pastime of mine. Yours came out perfect!

  10. Sarah! This was so much fun and I love how the rackets turned out! Merry Christmas!

  11. What a fabulous and very unusual idea!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  12. You, my dear, are a GENIUS.

  13. I love these! I am an avid cross-stitcher and am always looking for new project ideas. These turned out incredible and very unique. I came across your post at the VIP on Knick of Time. 🙂

  14. I love this vintage look. Super fun

  15. Beautiful! And totally surprising project!!! You never disappoint with your creativity! Thank you for linking this up to Welcome Home Wednesday!

  16. What an great idea! Love this!

  17. I absolutely love your creativity and this project just blew me away.. Thank you for sharing with OMHGWW Party and I am so happy to have you as my feature this week! Happy Holidays!

  18. This is such a neat idea!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J! Happy 2016!

  19. I love this idea! Very, very cute.

  20. This is a fantastic idea! These would make a great gift for my mom next year! Thanks for sharing.

  21. Oh goodness!! These are absolutely fabulous! So unique!!

  22. Sarah, another great project. You always come up with the best ideas. I have a few wooden tennis rackets hanging around so I might just give this a try. Thank you for sharing your project and tutorial with us at Vintage Charm. sb

  23. I LOVE these! So clever!!

  24. Amanda Kolb says:

    Cute idea! I am crushing on all of the cross stitch projects I see on Pinterest too. What a creative spin on those! Thank you for sharing at Merry Monday!

  25. This project is beyond cute – and amazing – and clever. I’m speechless!

  26. You freak me out a little – in a totally good way lol – I just can’t believe the things you come up with – you’re pretty incredible !!!

    • says:

      LOL- I love it! Thank you SO MUCH- I can’t tell you how much it means to me to hear that from you. Seriously. You made my day. 🙂

  27. What a cute repurpose! I think I’d even like them with the handle. Thanks for bringing this by to Throwback Thursday! I’ll be pinning to our board.

  28. Oh my goodness, these are so adorable! What a great project! Thank you for sharing with us at Create • Share • Inspire, we hope to see you back this week!

  29. What a fun idea!! Thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY party!

  30. Love the idea and look

  31. Fantastic idea…………….we like it very much!!

    Natalia & Sergio

  32. Wow…what a neat idea! 🙂

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks:

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!


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  4. […] I know it’s January now, but let’s roll back our calendars a few weeks and revisit my favorite Christmas project from 2015. Remember my oversized cross-stitch on those vintage tennis racket heads? […]

  5. […] knew I could try my hand at some needlework on it. At first, I thought I’d do some cross-stitch (like this crazy-cool project). But, due to the shape of the mesh, my stitches would be more “t’s” than “x’s” and I […]

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  7. […] really fit with the theme of our life so I didn’t buy it.  Here is a great tutorial for Cross stitching on old Tennis Rackets. I think I would have left the handles on but how amazing do they […]

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