Wooden Pendant Necklace from Old Tennis Rackets

Wooden Pendant Necklace from Old Tennis Rackets

I didn’t set out to make a wooden pendant necklace when I lopped the heads off of some old tennis rackets for my Christmas cross stitch project. But, crafting kismet took over right from the start. Here, allow me to explain and show you what I mean.

It all started when an acquaintance of mine helped me slice some vintage tennis rackets in half, separating the head from the handle.

Rigid miter saw to cut wooden tennis rackets

I *thought* all I wanted were the tennis racket heads for this Christmas cross stitch project

Christmas cross stitch on the heads of vintage tennis rackets

And I assumed that the handles of the vintage tennis rackets would be discarded. Or at least hoarded until a fresh upcycling idea came to mind.

But as it turned out, there was something else to be discovered.

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Originally published on January 9, 2016, this post has been recently updated with additional details.

Crafting with Old Tennis Rackets

Four different handles from four different tennis rackets. They couldn’t be more plain and uninspiring if they tried, right? 

Handles of vintage tennis rackets to make some unisex necklaces


The insides of each handle revealed striated, intricate patterns of layered wood. Inevitably, this was done on purpose to build a strong, hard-to-break or bend handle.

But, they reminded me of those gorgeous cutting boards and clipboards you see at artisan shows, the ones striped with different wood and are seamlessly put together.

Wood pattern in the handle of a vintage tennis racket

That’s when I realized that the handles were definitely NOT to be discarded, and that we could do something with them. Something that would showcase their interior.

In a word: Jewelry. Specifically, wooden necklace pendants! So, I headed back to the miter saw.

First, I sliced off small segments from each vintage tennis racket. Each one was approximately ¼” to ⅜” thick.

Wooden pendants for unisex necklaces from vintage tennis rackets

These would make LOVELY wooden pendant necklaces. Perfect for unisex necklaces or DIY boho jewelry.

Next, I gave each wooden pendant a little sanding and applied wood conditioning oil (this was my favorite). The wood conditioner breathed new life into the dry wood from the vintage tennis rackets.

Then, I used a pin vise (a little hand drill; like this one here) to “drill” a tiny hole into the top of each wooden pendant. From there, I inserted a dainty eye screw.

Wooden pendant necklace from the handle of an old tennis racket

All that was left was to add a chain of some sort and my wooden pendant necklace would be done!

Wooden Pendant Necklace from Old Tennis Rackets

I mean, seriously. Even if wooden pendants aren’t your style of jewelry, isn’t it amazing that this came from a vintage tennis racket?

DIY boho jewelry from a vintage tennis racket

100% wild, 100% true. Their awesomeness is…hard to handle… if I do say so myself.

For several years, I made many of these wooden pendant necklaces for my (now closed) Etsy shop.

wooden pendant necklace from old tennis rackets

Either way, discovery about the inside of the handle from a vintage tennis racket is proof that you just never know where the upcycling road will lead you!

wooden pendant necklace from a vintage tennis racket

If you enjoyed this upcycling idea for DIY jewelry from unexpected craft supplies, then you may also be interested in this idea for coin jewelry!

Button jewelry or boho bracelet from upcycling the metal buttons into pirate coins for gypsy jewelry

And if you’re looking for more upcycled jewelry project ideas, please check out this collection here!

upcycled jewelry

Craft on!


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crafting with old tennis rackets

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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. Now those are just tooo cool!!!! And I love the cross stitch on the top part of the racket….How so very cleaver…will have to keep watch for some rackets!

  2. AMAZING!!!!!
    You truly do come up with some outstanding saves!!! LOVE THESE!!!

  3. Wow – had no idea that’s what the inside of these racquet handles looked like. What a great use for them too!

  4. chris aka monkey says

    golly these are wild and crazy i didn’t have any idea the handles looked so awesome great use of the old noodle here sarah xx

  5. Sarah, another great salvage project. That wood is beautiful!

  6. Fonda Rush says

    I love the discovery! And, the wood bits are great! They could also be used for key fobs. I’m sure you can think of other projects for them! Wonderful!

  7. Oh my goodness, these are lovely and sooo smart and creative! Thanks for linking up to The Talk of the Town party!

  8. I can’t believe that’s what the cross section of a wood tennis racket looks like. How cool is this?

  9. WoW- how creative. Never knew the inside of the rackets had such a beautiful design. I LOVE tennis & love both your tennis racket projects. 😉

  10. Who knew! Wow, you just never know what you can uncover when you start playing with a miter saw. These are amazing works of art. Thanks for bringing them to Talk of the Town.

  11. Sarah, This is totally cool! What a great use of the left over handles! Love it! Thanks for coming over and sharing with us at Brag About It! Pinned and tweeted to share the love!

  12. How cool! I may have to try this myself 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  13. Trina Evans says

    Have you tried slicing them on the diagonal cut? I’ll bet that would look awesome as well.

  14. You find the most creative ways to use things. That wood is gorgeous and makes really nice pendants. I just might have to stop by your shop! Well done.

  15. How lovely! And here I thought your cross stitched rackets was inspired – – this newest project takes the cake!

  16. Wow how unique and beautiful! Who would have thought that a tennis racket could make such a pretty necklace!

  17. FABULOUS. You could sell just those and probably make a living! LOL

  18. Who knew how beautiful the inside of a wooden tennis racket could be. The slices of the racket handles made the most charming necklaces. Thank you for joining us at Vintage Charm.

  19. The pendants are really neat. I like their contemporary look and I bet their smooth surface feels comfortable against the skin.

  20. I just want you to know you are one of my favorite craft bloggers! You are so clever and keep me on my toes! I love this idea for these wood necklaces, so cool. But the over sized cross-stitch is so fun! Thanks for linking up to Merry Monday! Sharing on my Fb page! Have a great week!

  21. Thank you so much for sharing this at our Party in Your PJs link party. This is totally amazing! I’m going to have to dig around to see if I can find our tennis rackets . . . if not, I’m off to the thrift store!

  22. Wow…so cute! I love these!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  23. You are so creative! I’ve been seeing your work on various Link Ups and Blogtalk.

  24. So Amazing! I’m blown away! Thank you so much for sharing at the Create – Share – Inspire link party. We hope you will stop by again tonight.

  25. This is brilliant! I am in love. I never realized how lovely the wood inside was until now. I’ll have to be on the hunt for a few to make my own sometime. Pinned & shared. Thanks for joining the Inspiration Spotlight party.

  26. I am in love with this idea!! I’ve got oodles of old tennis rackets in my basement and I need to try this for sure.

  27. This is a great and beautiful idea! TYFS! What do you do when you get to the leather grip? Do you cut through the leather or remove it? Is there glue residue under the leather?

    • Thanks, Bonnie! We haven’t worked that far down the handle yet…but we’ll figure it out soon enough! 🙂

      • When you begin to work with the leather grip be careful. I tried one today and it is held onto the racket with small nails. Those nails will mess up a saw blade in short order. The racket I did today had a nail on each end of the leather and 4 around the end of the racket. I used a small needle-nose pliers to pull out the nails.Removing the grip did leave a small amount of residue. I haven’t yet decided how I want to deal with it. Either there were small dots of glue in places or the leather had adhered to the wood because of being their so long.The wood under the leather was unfinished so no border like in the pendants you have already done. I haven’t cut into the handle yet. I hope it is pretty like the ones you have done.

        • I have now done 4 handles. Each one is very different. The leather grips are usually held on with up to 5 tacks or staples. All leave a residue which will require cleaning and sanding. All have been raw wood so a stain or paint might be required. Two had large nails running along the length of the handle. Fortunately, removing the grip and cap on the end allows you to see them and get them out so you don’t ruin your saw blade. Some handles are beautiful, like the throat of the racket; some not so. I think for the time being I will work with the throat and save the handles for later as they will require much more work.

  28. They are fantastic, what a great idea!

  29. Oh my gosh, your eyes see things that I would never see! You are so smart and yes….the necklaces look very in!

    Happy Thoughts of Home.

  30. sarah always love your upcycled crafts love it thanks for sharing have a great day

  31. Have racquets and now have inspiration! Thank you!!! Not just the pendants which are fabulous, but the cut off handles themselves. The wheels are turning!

  32. Rich Payne says

    I took an old tennis racket and cut it off at the handle then made it a bottle opener, also took a tennis racket and added a mirror where the strings were. Nice ideas, i will use the other tennis rackets to make some pendants. My source for cheap tennis rackets is the local Goodwill store.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Yes, I have a massive collection of wood rackets from Goodwill- and I can’t wait to cut into them!

  33. Are you kidding me???? These are amazing!!! Are you or did you sell them? You are the repurposing queen! My hat is off to you on this one my friend!

  34. Well, who would of thought the wood inside them would be so pretty. I am positive I have some vintage rackets in my shed somewhere. My mind is now spinning. lol

  35. I would ask, again … how do you know/come up with these amazing ideas. BUT … I’ve given up as I think your talents are just impossible to explain 😀 Did you know that the handles looked like that inside? REALLY nice. I may try to make these for my granddaughters 🙂

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