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Wafflebored Scores Yet Again With DIY Goalie Blocker Tree Ornaments!

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[Editor’s Note: A year ago, the great DIYer Wafflebored created some spectacular DIY tree ornaments shaped like hockey goalie catching gloves, which he sent out as holiday gifts. This year he’s back with ornaments based on his namesake — old-fashioned waffleboard goalie blockers. As always, his work is super-fun and super-inspiring. Enjoy! — PL]

By Wafflebored

When I made a set of leather goalie glove ornaments last year, I designed them to be flat, two-dimensional items so they could easily be sent by mail in a regular envelope.  It was a lot of fun, especially as I was just learning how to work with leather.

This year, I wanted to take things a little further and make a fully three-dimensional piece. It made the most sense to do the classic leather goalie blocker with all of the holes, which is my favorite example of sports equipment aesthetics — I just love the way they look. (I’m lucky that for some reason the design does not trigger trypophobia, which sometimes does affect me.)

One of the biggest design challenges was how to do the holes. On a common blocker like the Cooper models that many pros wore, the holes were all perfectly aligned. I experimented with cardboard templates to guide hole placement, but there was still too much leeway and my early attempts looked terrible. I then realized there is a particular style of blocker that would be perfect for this project.

In the late 1950s through mid ’60s, a number of goalies wore blockers under the Olympic, Lippman’s, and Tool Shop labels. They came out of Detroit, and Red Wings goalies like Terry Sawchuk, Roger Crozier, and many others wore them. Apparently the blocker face was added to existing gloves, such as in this example where the blocker face was added to a CCM glove (I got that info from a YouTuber named CooperGoalie, who has a very interesting channel):

This style was perfect for my project, as the hole placement was not as rigid and was therefore much more forgiving. Also, the face of the blocker and the cuff were one piece, and the cuff wrapped around the back, which made it much easier for me to figure our how to add the glove part but keep everything neat and tidy.

Unlike later designs, these blockers had eyelets around the bottom of the board all the way around, as opposed to just at the top, which added a lot of nice detail to the project. As with last year’s catching gloves, I used tiny eyelets that are normally used for doll clothing.

Here’s a look at an early phase of the project:

I installed the eyelets onto the face of the blocker and ran the waxed thread through them before gluing it to the back of the glove. From there, I made the thumb and fingers and attached them. The cuff conveniently covered the unfinished ends of the fingers and thumb. (Speaking of the thumb, the “WSP” stands for Wafflebored Sports Projects.)

Most of the blockers were dyed tan and aged with a dark brown antiquing gel. Even though these blockers came before matching team colours were popular, I opted to make one in solid red as a nod to the project’s Detroit roots.

For the last one, I came up with the idea of incorporating jersey design elements into the face of the blocker. This light blue one is based on the 1967 Penguins jersey, one of my favorites:

I might play around with this idea more in the future. But for now, the vintage goalie blocker project is complete.


Paul here. Let’s have a standing O for the great Wafflebored, who’s proven once again that he’s the king of the DIYers.

As you no doubt noticed in a couple of the pics, Wafflebored made a Uni Watch blocker as part of this project. It’s even left-handed, because I’m left-handed! He was nice enough to send that one to me, along with a more conventional blocker:

Unfortunately, I don’t have a Christmas tree (and if I did, Waffles and Biscuit would no doubt topple it in no time flat). But I’ll be joining E and her family for tree-trimming festivities at her house on Thursday, so I’ll add a blocker to her tree and share a photo with you on Friday, okay? Okay!


Too Good for the Ticker

As long as we’re talking about Wafflebored, it’s worth noting that he spotted this old tabletop hockey game in the window of an antiques shop. He’d never seen the metal players in this style (they usually look like this), and neither have I. Anyone else?



Raffle Reminder

In case you missed it last Friday, our annual year-end raffle is now up and running. Full details here.



Your Daily(ish) Dose of Kitten

Such buddies! They’re almost always together.



Can of the Day

I love all the typography on this one — the bowtie-shaped “Keystone,” the italic “Penetrating,” the bold “A Light Lubricant and Gum Solvent.” Great color scheme, too.

Comments (16)

    Great job Wafflebored! Amazing work with all that detail.

    So we have the blocker and catcher now. Goalie pads for next year?

    So great that Wafflebored has been able to take his skills from fabric to leather.
    I commented on his Twitter post about the table hockey game. If you look closely the flags along the boards represent the original six teams. Would be great to see close ups if each one.

    WB makes me wish my projects were of the 3-D variety. A true artisan, and a man of letters, to boot!

    What a great job by Wafflebored! Such intricate details and wonderful craftsmanship. All this talk of Lippman’s sporting Goods made me do some research.

    Here’s a night-time b/w photo of the building with its vertical neon signage. link

    Here’s a souvenir booklet when they moved down the street in 1947: link

    And here is a clipping of a 1952 newspaper ad:

    Unfortunately they closed in 1959 and the building is now…a parking lot.

    Great work. Love these!

    I had metallic players for my table hockey set – so they were definately common in the 60’s and 70s in Montreal. I hope that helps.

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