SC Johnson Family Economics Blog
Thursday, April 15, 2010

Socks Re-Purposed | Family Economics

By Cathe

Lots of fun can be had with the simplest of things -- like socks. New or old, there are lots of crafty ideas for re-purposing socks into many different practical items with little effort.

And now that spring has arrived, you may easily find long winter socks at a discount. Look for colorful, striped, argyle or patterned pairs to stock up on for multiple projects.

Depending on the project, when looking for socks to re-purpose, you may want to choose large adult socks or more narrow and long, colorful children’s knee socks. Used socks, like the ones that have been mysteriously split from their partner, also make great material for household uses.

Here are a few crafty sock ideas:

New socks:

• Wine Bottle Cover: Cut the foot section off of a narrow decorative sock and slip over a wine bottle for gifting. Cinch at the neck of the bottle with a ribbon bow.

• Hot Drink Cozies: For hot drinks, cut the leg area of the sock into shorter sections and keep them in your glove box for reuse.

• Heating Pads: For an instant microwavable heating pad, fill a sock with rice or buckwheat about half way. Tie off at the opening and again at the ankle. Cut off the foot section. Heat in the microwave oven in one minute increments until warm enough to use on sore muscles.

• Lamp Cover: With foot section removed from a colorful patterned sock, slip over the base of a table lamp to add punch a teenager’s bedroom.

• Dress Up Your Dog: A narrow sock tube with foot section removed can be slipped over a dog’s collar for a dressy day out on the town. Or for a tiny dog, cut two leg holes one third of the way down and create a slip-over sweater.

• Colorful Beanbags: Make beanbags for family games by cutting sections from the sock, sewing one end closed then fill with beans or rice before sewing the open end closed. Most individual socks can make two bean bags.

• Spruce Up a Vase: Dress up a plain vase with a narrow striped sock leg section. Roll down the top and roll up the bottom just a bit creating a rounded edging.

• Kids Wrist Cuffs: Kids can make wacky wrist cuffs by cutting off the foot section and rolling the sock from the inside out into a donut form. Create various patterned sock cuffs to share or stack.

Single reused socks:

• Nursing Injuries: Place a Ziploc® brand bag of ice into the sock for use on an injury or sore muscle.

• Dog Toys: Tuck sock within sock within sock and finish by knotting the final sock and you’ve made the best play toy a dog could ask for.

• Handy Cleaning Mate: Keep with your cleaning supplies as the perfect hand dusters and dry mop head covers. Mark with permanent marker before using so they don’t get mistaken for a good sock coming out of the washer.

• Erasers: Socks make the best dry erase board erasers.

• Outdoor Ropes: Rainy day ropes for kid-play can be made by looping 1" bands cut from socks together.

What are your ideas for re-purposing socks?

12 Comments so far

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On Friday, January 6, 2012, Carol wrote

One day, I was searching in vain for a hair tie or scrunchie. I happened upon a few unmatched socks and cut the top bands off. Now I use them all the time!

On Thursday, August 12, 2010, Diana from California wrote

I use socks to polish leaves on my indoor houseplants/trees.

On Monday, April 19, 2010, Pat from little town Iowa wrote

I was stuck in bed sick for almost two years and started playing with grew into this:">  I make brain cells out of them

On Sunday, April 18, 2010, Wendy from Wisconsin wrote

Use an old and not too pretty sock for a dryer sheet. I pour about a 1/2 teaspoon of liquid laundry fabric softer on the sock, squeeze it to make sure it is distributed through the sock and throw it in the dryer with the wet clothes. Works like a dream, saves big buck, and I get to use the natural fabric softeners that are difficult (if even made) to find that I love sooo much.

On Saturday, April 17, 2010, Diane @ InMyOwnStyle wrote

Hi Cathe- I like the idea of using a sock as a heating pad, great idea. I like to use my husband's old athletic socks to clean with. I put them on my feet and spray cleaner on my floors and clean the floor by swishing and dancing around the floor. I I love finding ways to repurpose - thanks for the great ideas.

On Saturday, April 17, 2010, Artsy Fartsy Cheryl wrote

I've posted on my blog a how to tutorial on making socks into baby leg warmers-->">  ~Cheryl

On Friday, April 16, 2010, Chrystal wrote

Legwarmers and Armwarmers! Cut the foot off and hem the bottom.

On Friday, April 16, 2010, Amy G wrote

Cathe, you are always so clever! Nice ideas. Thanks.

On Friday, April 16, 2010, Moonshadow from wrote

One I've read but haven't yet tried... cut them so you have loops and use them to make hot pads with weaving frame. I've also used them as arm covers on chairs.

On Friday, April 16, 2010, Saucy Chick Sherry wrote

Wow this is a lot of uses for a simple sock. I think you have some great ideas here. Happy creating...

On Friday, April 16, 2010, Colleen from Utah wrote

These are great - and, whodathunk? Now I won't mind that my washer "eats" socks:-) Thanks!

On Friday, April 16, 2010, Sue wrote

Some really great ideas here - I'm sure I'll use several of them! Thanks so much!


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