Baseball (and softball) was an integral part of my childhood. No matter how much my mother wanted us to be nerds (and she tried really hard to make that happen… maybe someday I will tell you about having to do workbook pages all summer long instead of getting to go play with the rest of the kids in our neighborhood), my dad made sure that each of us held a special place in our hearts for his favorite sport and arguably the best franchise in baseball, The New York Yankees. I was a bit of a rebel in the mid ’80’s and pretended to be a Mets fan, but my true Yankee nature won out in the end. For the last several years, we have been making an annual pilgrimage to George M. Steinbrenner Field in Florida for a week of Yankee Spring Training ball, but I just couldn’t do it this year. I was terrified that I’d spend the entire time in tears, because my dad wasn’t with us, so I chose to spend Spring Training imagining him sitting with “The Boss” in the stands critiquing the current roster and recalling or rehashing all of the legendary moves of the past. However, I couldn’t forsake the anticipation of the season completely, so I decided to pay homage to it with a welcoming symbol right on our front door. I got the idea for a great wreath on Pinterest:
The pin connected to a giveaway that has long since expired, so I decided to try and make my own version. I gathered my materials: I found wire I thought would work to form the wreath, 12 old baseballs (I got mine at a local flea market last fall), ribbon to give it some personality, and a drill with a 5/8″ bit.
Once I had all of my supplies, I headed out to the garage to drill holes in the individual baseballs. This is harder than you might think, there’s some mighty strange stuff inside a baseball, and it varies depending on the brand of the ball. I secured each individual ball in a bench vise and used my cordless hand drill to make my holes, but you could also use a drill press if you happen to have access to one.
Once all 12 balls had a hole, I cleaned up the mess and brought everything inside. When I got inside, I started stringing the balls on the wire. I tried coaxial cable first, but the wire was too thick, so I switched to thermostat wire from Home Depot. I though that was going to work perfectly, but we’ll get to that later. I started by threading one ball onto the wire and making a loop out of the wire at the base of the ball.
Then I added the rest of the balls to the wire. When I got to the end, I threaded the end of the wire through the loop I made earlier to close the wreath. I left the end open, so I could add the bow and create a hanger to secure it to my door.
Next I made the bow for the wreath. This is a skill I’m going to have to work on, because I have to admit that my bows are a bit sad. I used 2″ wide navy ride and 1″ white ribbon and tied loopy bows out of each. I made the navy one larger than the white one, and placed them one on top of the other. Then I took a 4″ piece of 1/2″ wide navy ribbon and wrapped it around the center of the stacked bows. I then threaded the bows onto the wire I left sticking up before, and knotted the 1/2″ ribbon around it to secure everything together.
Now that the bow was on the wreath, I made a final loop out of the wire to hang the entire thing on the door. I made a circle and wound the wire around itself to make it secure to hang.
Now it was ready to hang on the door!
Then I actually hung it up, and it turned into an oval instead of a circle. Grumble… Next year, I’m going to have to change the wire to something that will hold it’s shape better.