Sunday, April 24, 2011

Baseball Bat Table

Baseball bat table? I know, it definitely sounds weird. I didn’t know what to think when I was skimming through one of my weekly craft emails and saw a link for a baseball bat nightstand, but I had to check it out. When I read this post from the wonderful blog, Love of Home & Family I was super-excited for two reasons: one, I had a baseball bat that I found at a thrift store and had never put to use and two, I had a baby shower coming up for my newest nephew and the theme for his nursery is none other than sports! I just knew it was meant to be and couldn’t wait to get started!
The first thing I had to do was find an old table to use as the base and top. I threw around the idea of buying the wood from Home Depot and cutting it to shape myself, but the price was going to jump way over my budget and the tools required weren’t readily available to me in the short timeline I had to complete the project (about two weeks).
I spent over a week searching Craigslist for possible end tables, nightstands and plant stands to make the project work, but I came up empty-handed… until 3 days before we were leaving for the baby shower in Wichita. The Tuesday before we were leaving for our weekend getaway, I did my usual Craigslist search and couldn’t believe that the perfect table candidate had been posted the day before. I swapped emails with the owner and finally picked up the table on Wednesday over my lunch break.
Once I had the tables (I actually purchased two because they were plant stands that came as a pair) I immediately called my Dad to see if he was free that evening to help me work some power tools (Caton was out of town on business that week and we have decided it’s probably not best for me to use power tools by myself at home without him – hehe) and luckily, he was. After work, I went home to grab my baseball bat and headed over to my parents’ house for a quick dinner and we got to work. I forgot my camera (I was so anxious and excited to get over there and get to work), so I’ll have to show you the finished product. Here is a quick run-down of what we he did: (1) Detach the top and base from the center post of the table. (2) Use a hand saw to cut off a tiny sliver of the base of the bat (where your hands grip the bat) to make it even  (the top of the bat had a bigger surface area and he felt it was smooth enough to fit flush against the top of the table). (3) Take the sander attachment of the Dremel and use it to smooth out the bottom of the bat that had just been sawed off. This step was an afterthought once we realized the cut hadn’t been made perfectly even and the table was going to lean slightly to one side once it was put together. (4) Pre-drill holes into the top and bottom of the bat and then screw the top and base of the table to the bat. And, ta-da, you have this:

I was so excited that it worked! Later that night, once I drove home as slowly as possible so the newly assembled table wouldn’t roll around too much and snap apart, I decided to get it prepped and get a coat of paint on it (since it was already Wednesday evening and we were leaving Friday afternoon). First, I took some wood putty and fill the screw holes (and any other imperfections), let it dry and sand it off for an even finish with the wood.  

Next, I took some old grocery ads from our recycling bin and taped them around the bat since I knew I didn’t want any paint to cover the authentic coloring it already had. Then, I took a can of white primer spray paint (although I could have just as easily used a can of paint and a brush, but I had the spray primer on hand) and coated the top and bottom about 3-4 times.

Once that was dry (it only took about 10 minutes for each coat to dry), I decided to get the baseball seams on the table before I called it a night. I used a suggestion made by Love of Family & Home and got a glass dinner plate to trace each half circle with a pencil, then I drew in all of the seams by hand and traced the whole thing with a red Sharpie (although I could have just as easily used a small brush and some craft paint, but I had the Sharpie on hand and thought a marker would give me more control and precision than a paintbrush). 

The next evening, after everything was 100% dry, I finally talked myself into trying to paint home plate on the base of the table. I used a ruler to draw the straight lines and then outlined the entire thing with a black Sharpie.

Next, I took some brown paint that I picked up on sale at Micheals, poured it on a plate and used a sponge brush to dab the paint all around the plate to look like dirt. What do you think?!

So, at the end of night one (although, I took the picture the following morning), this was the final result.

Even though I went to work on Thursday morning thinking the project was complete, I had been debating back and forth about whether or not to try to antique the baseball portion of the table and was especially nervous since I had never tried to antique anything (yes, antique is being used as a verb here!), but in the end I decided it would look best. So, when I got home from work that evening, I poured out a good pile of the paint I had used for the dirt and soaked up a good amount. After I rubbed it all over a small portion of the table, I took an old rag and wiped it off, leaving behind a small amount of brown that made the baseball look old and used, just how I wanted it to appear. I didn’t take any action shots since I was so nervous I would leave the paint on too long, but here is an after shot.

I just loved it! In fact, I loved it so much that I called it done and decided this was the final product… until I realized how extremely white the home plate looked, especially with the newly-antiqued baseball. And let’s be serious, home plate rarely looks this clean and perfect, expect for the minute before the game actually begins. I had debated back and forth on whether or not I should do the exact same antiquing method I had used for the baseball, or if I should change it up. In the end, I decided to change it up a bit, so I took more brown paint and another (smaller) sponge brush and started putting the paint all over home plate in small, imprecise strokes that made it look good, but not too good and dirty, but not too dirty… sorry I don’t have a technological term for that particular method of painting. Hehe So, in the end, this was my final product and first homemade gift for our newest nephew!

I seriously cannot get enough of it and can’t wait to see what it looks like in his sports-themed nursery! I gave it to Erica and Dan a few weekends ago at their baby shower and it was a huge hit!

Speaking of Erica's baby shower, I want to throw in another quick project that I did for the shower gift. You may remember me mentioning these awesome baseball and basketball frames in this post.

I took out the back and glass, laid them out on some cardboard in the backyard and covered them with silver spray paint that we already had laying around for other projects. What do you think?! It's pretty amazing what a few coats of silver spray paint can do to liven up (and modernize) a few picture frames. Love!

So, there you have it! I could not be more excited to give these super-personlized and made-with-love gifts to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law and know that they will fit so perfectly in their new nursery. Now we just have to wait and see if the little guy is a sports fan!


  1. Saw that I had some traffic coming from your site, so I decided to check it out! LOVE that you tried your hand at making a baseball table of your own!! It turned out fabulous!! Great job!