Frugal and Creative Uses for Old Tennis Balls

Are you an avid tennis player?  Wondering what to do with old tennis balls?  There are dozens of ways to recycle, upcycle and reuse them!  Find fun things to do with them for your kids like learning how to turn a tennis ball into a Pokeball.  Or, find tennis ball recycling facilities if you aren’t crafty.  From eliminating garden slugs to protecting hardwood floors, here are some creative uses for old tennis balls around your home.  

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pile of used tennis balls with text overlay 'New Uses For old tennis balls'

How many times can you use tennis balls?

My husband and son have been playing on a tennis team and taking lessons for years. As a result, we spend a lot of money on tennis balls!

Serious tennis players will only play one match with a can of balls. They lose pressure and don’t bounce quite the same after they have been used for a while. This means that I am always looking for creative uses for old tennis balls since we have so darn many of them!

 I thought I would share a few ideas on how to reuse tennis balls in case you have as many of them as I do. From tennis ball crafts to creative life hacks with old tennis balls, you won’t throw away another one after reading this post!

  basket of old tennis balls with text overlay 'creative uses for old tennis balls'

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Are used tennis balls really a problem? YES!

According to Wikipedia, each year approximately 300 million tennis balls are produced. That contributes roughly 20,000 metric tons of waste in the form of rubber that is not easily biodegradable. Basically, our landfills are FULL of tennis balls!

So, what can we do with them other than give them to the dog or toss them in the trash? Here are a few ways to reuse tennis balls that I have come across over the last few years. Of course, if you have a dog, you may not need to find any other ways to reuse old tennis balls. If you DO have a dog, consider getting a tennis ball launcher for dogs and give them a real workout!
dog laying in grass with used tennis balls

How to Reuse Tennis Balls

Wondering how to reuse tennis balls that have lost their bounce? Try one of these ideas!

Put them in the laundry

Fluff up down-filled comforters and clothing. Toss a couple of tennis balls into the dryer with down vests, jackets, pillows and comforters to break up clumps of down and restore their ‘fluffiness’. I like to add a few drops of lavender essential oil to the tennis balls before tossing them in with the laundry. Makes everything come out smelling wonderful!

Float them in the pool

Float two or three tennis balls in the pool to absorb swimmers’ body oils. Replace the balls every two weeks.

Make a tennis ball gym safe

Create a “gym safe.” Make a two-inch slit along the seam of a tennis ball and insert valuables in it while working out at the gym. Keep the ball in the gym bag with other sporting gear.

Great for bikers

Prevent a bicycle kickstand from sinking into the grass or mud. Make a slit in a tennis ball and put it over the end of the kickstand.

Tennis ball uses in the garden

If they are split or worn out, cut them in half and create slug collectors. Leave them in strategic locations in the garden and then collect the slugs. After a good rain, the ball will stay damp for quite a while and you will be amazed at how many garden pests will end up on them. This will also help get rid of snails in the garden as well. 

close up of tennis racket and tennis balls on tennis court

Where can you donate old tennis balls?

If you can’t reuse tennis balls yourself, donate them to a school to put on the bottoms of chairs and table legs. Makes things MUCH quieter in the classroom! You can also donate them to a local nursing home for use on residents’ walkers. They make the walkers easier to push around for people who aren’t strong enough to lift them.

Make tennis ball crafts

Looking for fun things to do with tennis balls?  They come in really handy for an assortment of kids’ crafts. Check out these tennis ball crafts on Pinterest for some inspiration. You can make them into everything from lamps to picture frames or use them for children’s crafts like puppets and snowmen.

Use them in the garage

Hang a tennis ball from the ceiling in the garage to know when to stop the car. No more bumping into the shelves!

For your next BBQ

This is one of my favorite uses for old tennis balls, especially if you are throwing a sports-themed birthday party. Use old tennis balls as anchors. Fill old tennis balls with small stones and tie up your balloons and umbrellas.

Add an old tennis ball to your broom handle

Use them to remove scuffs on floors. Many janitors use this trick by placing a tennis ball on the end of a wooden-handled broom so it’s always handy.

old tennis ball, spray paint and old tin cans for crafts

Fun Tennis Ball Crafts

 Wondering how to reuse tennis balls in crafts and DIY projects? Old tennis balls are a FREE craft supply to keep in your art box! Here are a few that I found on Pinterest that you might want to try.

Want to try your hand at tennis ball crafts? Make a Pokeball from a tennis ball! If you are looking for uses for old tennis balls that your kids will LOVE, this is it!

Can Tennis Balls Be Recycled?

Looking for more uses for old tennis balls? Head over to You can also check out a site called that will actually take your used tennis balls and re-pressurize them!

You can also buy discounted re-pressurized balls from them and save yourself some money while you reduce your carbon footprint! Do you have any other tips on how to reuse tennis balls?

Want more recycling tips?  Check out these posts

Our homes are often filled with clutter.  Rather than throwing it all away, find new uses for old things.  Here are a few ways to get rid of unwanted items in your home while keeping your carbon footprint low.  

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1 thought on “Frugal and Creative Uses for Old Tennis Balls”

  1. Oh wow…these are really great ideas! When I was in childbirth class they said to bring them to the hospital on the big day and use them for massage for mamma’s back. I never did bring any but thought it was a great idea!


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