Bringing New Life Into Old Cross Country Skis

by Melanie
7 Materials
1 Day

Growing up in Northern Ontario Canada it seemed it was a right of passage to learn to cross country ski, among other winter activities. I learned at a young age and my whole family enjoyed the sport throughout the years. Cross country skis have come a long way since the 70s. My own family now has taken up cross country skiing, but the skis of my childhood have remained up in the rafters in my mom's basement all these years. So I decided to give them new life.

Prepping the Skis

So here are the skis. As I mentioned, they have been up in the rafters for many years so they needed a good cleaning. I washed them down using soap and water.

Removing Bindings

Next step was to remove the bindings from the skis and clean any rust and dirt from underneath.


I lightly sanded the skis to help the paint adhere to them. Wipe off with damp cloth.

Gluing Together

Using E 6000 and a clamp I crossed the skis over each other to form an"X". I applied the glue where the skis crossed and using a clamp secured in place. Let dry.

Painting Time

I wanted to paint my skis using Candy Apple red spray paint.


Laying the skis on the ground I lightly sprayed them. They required 3 coats of paint. Letting dry in between. Word of caution if you have to spray outdoors don't do it when it is windy. I ended up with red hair to go with my red skis!! Lol. It did wash out thankfully.

Painting Complete!

Here are the skis glued and painted.

Add Greenery

On my trip up north I cut a variety of different boughs, pine, cedar, and spruce. I gathered a few branches and arranged in opposite directions and secured in the middle with a light wire.

Here is a picture of the boughs secured.

Adding some red berries

Normally I would cut real red berries but there wasn't any this year so I had to use artificial. I bought these at Michaels.

Place in Boughs

Determine where you want your berries and slide in boughs.

Bow Time

Next it's time to make a bow. I found this ribbon at Michaels on sale.

Bow Making

Take your ribbon and make a bow cinching in the middle, do this step 2 more times. Using fine wire secure in middle. Once secure cut a long piece of ribbon and secure in middle of bow. Curl ribbon on either side by twisting ribbon.

Bow Complete

Here is what your bow should look like.

Attach to Skis

Using wire attach the bow to the boughs in the middle. Next attach the boughs to the middle of the skis where they cross with wire. I added a snowflake to the middle of my bow.

Alternate Design

Here is my second set of skis. For this one I attached a welcome sign. These two sets are gifts for my mom and sister who I shared many winters skiing with.

I love how these turned out. You can find old skis at thrift stores and tree lots are great places to get boughs for free where they cut off the excess from Christmas trees.

DIY Christmas Decor Ideas

For more festive decor projects, discover Hometalk's best DIY outdoor Christmas decorations.

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