Getting crafty with old gear

Welcome, kiddies, to Eenie Meanie’s Craft Corner! Today, we’ll be turning our old helmets and skates into something beautiful and maybe a little useful.

I don’t know about you, but I push my gear to the limit. When I retire a helmet or a pair of skates, it’s because they darn well need to stop being used. My old skates get stripped for parts that go into my emergency skate kit. But what do you do with the rest of it?

These aren't my skates, but they looked similar.

These aren’t my skates, but they looked similar.

The very first pair of skates I bought for derby cost $4 at a garage sale. They didn’t last long, but when I retired them, I turned them into planters, which certainly brightened up the front porch.

You can do all sorts of things with old skates. Spray paint them, fill them with bags of sand and use them as door stops. Knot the laces and drape them over a rafter. Let your imagination go wild!

My derby wife’s boyfriend is planning to put an old pair of skates in a shadow box with a few other derby-related things.

Helmets can also be turned into functional pieces or works of art. Are you a book lover? Use your old helmet as a bookend. If you’re artistic, you can always paint something neat on them or make a collage of your derby memories with that helmet.

Since I love going to conventions (anime, horror, comic, etc.), I take my helmets to get signed. Celebrities get asked to sign some weird things, but I guarantee they don’t get asked to sign a derby helmet often. Not only does it give your helmet new life, it’s also a conversation starter with whoever is signing your helmet.

This past weekend, I went to Comicpalooza here in Houston. Peter Mayhew, Ian McNeice, Rikki Simons, and Richard Horvitz’s signatures have been added to my first helmet. I have some fun new stories about them, and they have a story about a crazy derby girl who asked them to sign her helmet. (Also, I hugged Chewbacca!!!!)

Your old gear still has some life in it. Figure out what it is.

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2 thoughts on “Getting crafty with old gear

    • Usually pads get really gross and tattered by the time you retire them. I only keep mine as backups in case I lose a wrist guard, or I donate them to my league. But I suppose you could use them in a shadow box.

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