What can you do with old socks? A lot actually! After all; socks get worn out easily and develop holes. Most of the times, we throw them away. Old clothes end up in landfills and strain them further. We also end up increasing the garbage in our homes thanks to bundles of mismatched and missing socks. The good news is: you can recycle (or up-cycle) old socks easily into useful products. Here are some easy ways to get rid of old socks in an ecofriendly manner:
1. Use old socks for multipurpose cleaning
Most socks are made with absorbent materials like wool or nylon. As a result, they make excellent rags for wiping and mopping. Use old socks or mismatched socks to wipe kitchen counters, floors, bathroom tiles, tubs etc. This is a great way to get rid of old socks instead of throwing them away.
2. Turn old socks into pain-relieving compresses
This old socks hack is wonderful for treating aches and pains at home. You need to use an old sock without any holes in it. Fill up the sock with a cup of rice or other grains like wheat, millets etc. Seal the open end of the sock using a simple knot. Microwave the sock compress on high for a few seconds. You are now ready to use the compress to soothe away menstrual cramps, sprains and strains.
3. Get creative with sock puppets
The easiest way to reuse old socks is to make them into puppets. Kids love this easy craft activity and you do not need much other than some glue, the old socks of course and some buttons. Puppets have been around for years and you can easily put up a cool puppet show with old socks. Kermit the frog is the most famous and popular puppet character and most kids know him. However, you can also make other sock puppet characters that look like you, your friends!
Here are some socks ideas to make puppets:
- To make a sock puppet, use a sock large enough to cover your forearm. Try using socks that have lost their matching partner but ensure they do not have holes in them.
- You can cut out basic shapes from the socks such as the trunk of an elephant, ears of a monkey, nose of a dog etc.
- Sometimes, you will need to machine stitch the socks together but most sock puppets can be made with simple hand stitching. Running stitch is the easiest but kids must seek help from adults when using needles, scissors and sharp items.
To learn how to make sock puppets, please see the video here.
4. Create a simple sock doll
You can make a cute sock doll to reuse several torn old socks with holes in them.
- Take a large sock in good condition.
- Stuff older, smaller, hole-filled socks inside the larger sock.
- Sew the end of the large sock to prevent other socks from coming out.
- Now sew on two larger buttons for the eyes.
- For the mouth, sew on smaller buttons in line or a curve under the eyes.
- For the hair, sew on some pieces of yarn or wool on top of the head.
Have fun with your sock doll!
5. Use old socks as cup/mug/bottle warmers
This is the simplest hack to reuse old socks. However, make sure you use thick, woolen or fuzzy socks for this project. All you need is a pair of scissors and the sock to get started. Place the mug of your choice inside the sock. Cut the extra sock at the bottom and also the part of the sock covering the mug’s handle. And that is it! You are done. You can of course choose to stitch the sock hole at the bottom. However, a snug fitting sock can be left as is around the mug without any stitches. This is a fantastic no-sew project you can make with kids and also reuse baby socks.
6. Make a stress ball with old socks
This reuse old sock idea needs a sock without holes. You’d also need some marker pens to decorate the sock. Preferably use a light colored or plain white sock. Next, you need some pins to seal the stress ball. Finally, you will need some grain (rice, millets etc) to fill inside the stress ball.
- Start by adding a cup of grain in the sock.
- Twist the longer part of the sock and seal it with a knot.
- Bring the open edge down on the ball-portion of the filled sock.
- You can also use pins to seal the open edge of the sock.
- Decorate the stress ball with marker pens.
7. Create cool mittens
In winters, these mitts will keep your hands warm while leaving your fingers free to grasp objects. This is a no-sew project to get rid of old socks you are bored with. Make sure you have a matching pair of socks for the project:
- Cut the tip off from both socks.
- Next, cut a small slit in the sock where the heel is. This is the slit for the thumb.
And that’s that! You can use this no-sew method to make several pairs of fingerless mitts to look great on different dresses! Watch the video here to get an exact idea. In case you want to make a classy pair of gloves to match your elegant black dress, you can do the project with old black socks. Sew some old brooches, pearls or other embellishments on the socks and you are done!
8. Make awesome DIY old sock rug/doormat
This is a beautiful and easy project to get rid of old socks. You can reuse mismatched socks and even socks with holes in them for these easy old sock hacks.
- Gather all old socks. You need at least 15-20 old socks for this project.
- Start cutting each sock into strips of about 1 inch width.
- Take each strip and make it into a ring by placing it around your fingers. Weave two strips together as shown in this video. Use all the strips in similar manner and curl the joint strip braids as you go about utilizing the socks strips.
- Sew the braid tightly as you curl the sock strips in concentric circles.
You can use the same method to make a larger quilt or a blanket from old socks. Naturally, you’d need more socks for this project. This is a wonderful way to get rid of old socks. It is best to machine stitch the braids you create with old sock strips when designing them into a rug/quilt/blanket.
Use these cool socks ideas to get rid of old socks and convert them into something useful.