I’ve seen this done before, and for a while I’ve reeeeeally wanted to try it for myself– the hardest part was finding the right vintage badminton racquet. There was a pair on Etsy that had been on my radar for a while, but when I FINALLY gave in and decided to order them, they had been sold the day before. Ugghhhhhh. I guess that’s what I get for being the opposite of an impulse buyer. Then I came across this one last week at an antique mall. I wish I could say I spotted it all on my own, amongst a pile of dusty treasures, but the credit actually goes to P. Yes, my 21 month old is an expert vintage treasure hunter. Actually, she pointed at it, right under the very spot I was standing, and said “ball”, which is currently her main obsession (along with “choo choo’s”, which to her is anything that has wheels and makes a loud noise), but the point being– it was perfect for my project, and yes, it is generally intended for hitting a ball. Way to go, P! On another note, yay for me for maybe, possibly using the word “amongst” properly in a sentence.
If you find yourself on the market for one of the said rackets, here’s some options I came across for you– go for the ones with the wooden handles:
On Etsy: a set of 4, if you and some crafty buddies want to tackle this project together and split the set (and the price tag); and a really rustic round racquet that would be verrrry pretty.
On Ebay: most were extremely over priced, but if the tape was removed this one would be cute.
Once I found the right racquet the rest came together fairly quickly; color selection took place at Hobby Lobby where I snatched up 4 colors from the Sullivans brand; the Red (#45219) Pink (#45138) Gray (#45091) and Light Blue (#45578) and 4 from the DMC brand; the Brown (#975), the Yellow (#972), the Aqua (#959) and the Green (#166). One factor that went into choosing colors, for me, was that they were not shiny. I wanted a matte palate to work with; just a personal preference.
If you want to try this on your own, here’s how I did it, with a little help from G (“what are you making?” “that doesn’t look like a heart!” “you should do pink next” “can I cut the pink one?”):
Take a look at a cross stitch pattern so you have an idea of what this is going to take. Decide your middle row. Wrap your chosen color around with 6 spaces being covered by the floss. Make sure to pull the floss just snug enough to not have any slack, but don’t pull too tightly or you will make the strings of the racquet wonky. (yep, that’s a word!) You will only need to wrap the floss through the spaces 6-8 times to fill the space; make sure that each loop lays flat, right next to the previous “stitch”. Once the space is filled, tie a knot on the back and move to your next color.
On each side of the middle row, wrap another 6 spaces, but start one row higher and end one row shorter than the middle row. On each side of those, do the same thing- 6 rows starting a space higher and ending a space shorter. On each side after that, wrap 5 spaces, this time starting at the same height and ending a space shorter than the previous row. The next row is the last one, on each side wrap 3 spaces, starting a space lower and ending a space shorter than the previous row. Use the pattern as a guide if you need, or find your own if you prefer a different shape. The color possibilities are endless, (in fact, I keep thinking I might switch the brown and aqua in mine…) and for less than $20 and 30 minutes of crafting, you have a one of a kind piece of art. It would look just as good in all one color, and you could probably get by using just one pack of embroidery floss. If you try this project on your own, leave a comment! I’d love to know.