Many households need a place to put socks. As a mom of five, we have a lot of socks passing through the laundry room on any given week. Most socks come out of the dryer and quickly find their match, but what about those sitting alone for months in the sock bin?
You can repurpose old socks in numerous creative and practical ways. Most socks are still in good condition with a lot of life left in them, but even old, worn-out socks can be repurposed.
From crafting to cleaning and beauty to travel, here are 24 ideas for what to do with old socks.
1. Sock Puppets
If you want a fun activity for kids, try making a sock puppet! You can turn any sock into a puppet with a bit of imagination and little to no sewing skills.
Use basic hand stitching or fabric glue to add details like eyes, a nose, or a mouth. Add yarn to create a funky hairstyle or scraps of felt to make a bow tie.
Men's tube socks make fantastic sock puppets because they are long enough to cover your forearm while using the puppet. Hang a sheet or make a doorway puppet theater for the show.
2. Sock Pumpkins
Make a darling sock pumpkin in less than ten minutes with this step-by-step tutorial. Perfect for fall or Halloween decor.
Stuff a sock with pillow stuffing to your liking and tie it off with string or a rubber band. Add “dimples” using embroidery thread and hot glue a felt stem to each pumpkin. You'll want to make an entire pumpkin patch of sock pumpkins for fall decor this year.
3. Dusting Mitts
An old sock can be transformed into a dusting mitt simply by slipping it onto your hand. Use it to dust surfaces, wipe down furniture, or clean tight corners. The texture of the sock will attract dust and debris and can be cleaned by tossing it into the laundry.
4. Stress Ball
Create a stress ball using an old sock and filling material like lentils, rice, or dried corn. Fill the sock with the desired amount of filling, then tie off the open end. Squeeze and knead the stress ball whenever tension arises.
5. Sock Gnomes
Have an old fuzzy sock that needs a new life? Try making a sock gnome! Sock gnomes can be made using simple supplies like socks, pillow stuffing, rice, and a wood bead for a nose. Follow this step-by-step tutorial to make a sock gnome to sit on your shelf for any holiday.
6. Coin Purse
Transform a toddler sock into a coin purse that fits perfectly into your pocket. You'll need to buy or repurpose a small coin purse metal frame for closure. Hand stitch the frame to each side of the sock opening, and you now have a small coin purse to keep loose change in.
7. Sock Eraser
One of the items on my kids' annual back-to-school supply list is a sock to use as an eraser for a dry-erase board. I always send my kids to the lost sock bin to find one.
Old socks are perfect for cleaning chalkboards, too. When they get too dusty or dirty, toss them in the wash to use again.
8. Car Washing Mitt
Repurpose old socks as a handy car washing mitt. Slip the sock onto your hand to clean the surface, wheels, and hard-to-reach areas. Use it to dust inside the car, wash windows, and wax the exterior.
9. Hand Warmers
During the winter months, repurpose old socks into hand warmers. Fill the sock with uncooked rice, tie off one end with a string, and microwave for 30 seconds or until warm. The warmers can be heated and used multiple times.
If you don't care for the scent of warm rice, you can add a few drops of essential oil to the hand warmers before tying them off.
10. Nail Polish Remover Cloth
Use old socks to remove nail polish instead of cotton balls. Saturate a small area of the sock with nail polish remover, then use it to clean each nail. When finished, store the stock in a jar or bag until you need to use it again.
11. Storage Padding
When packing away seasonal decor and ornaments, use old socks to add padding between the fragile items. You can also store small, breakable items inside of socks or wrap decor with an old sock.
12. Shoe Deodorizer
Create a sock deodorizer by filling an old sock with baking soda and a few drops of essential oil. Secure the open end with a rubber band before placing it inside a shoe. This simple trick will freshen the stinkiest of shoes.
13. Dog Toy
Most dogs love playing with socks, which might be why some of your socks are missing. Tie a few socks together to create a fun tug-of-war toy for your dog.
Alternatively, place an empty disposable water bottle inside of a tube sock and tie off the end. Dogs love the sound of crinkly plastic and will enjoy playing with the sock bottle.
14. Drawer Sachet
Refresh closets and drawers with a sock sachet. Fill a sock with dried lavender or herbs and tie it off with a rubber band or ribbon. Place the sachet in a drawer or on a closet shelf. A potpourri sachet will put off a fresh scent for quite a while and is especially handy in linen closets where sheets and bedding can tend to smell musty over time.
15. Travel Jewelry Case
Tuck a sock filled with a few jewelry items into your suitcase the next time you go on a trip. This handy jewelry case occupies very little space while keeping your things secure and cushioned. Use multiple socks to sort earrings, necklaces, and other small items.
16. Furniture Gliders
Protect your flooring from scratches by placing socks over the legs of furniture while moving tables or sofas into a new place. You can also use socks to stabilize a shaky corner of a bookcase, preferably one in the back you won't see.
17. Ice Pack
Fill a plastic bag with ice, then place the bag inside of a sock for a cooling ice pack. The sock will add a layer of padding between your skin and the freezing ice. An ice pack can relieve minor bumps and bruises and is a cooling relief for a fever or headache.
18. Hair Tie
Did you know you can use a sock cuff as a hair tie? Cut it off and wrap it around a ponytail for a quick, easy hair accessory that'll work in a pinch.
19. Polishing and Staining
Use old socks for a variety of furniture projects. Use an old stock to buff or wax furniture. You can also use a sock to apply stain to wood projects. Once the sock is full of stain and can't be used anymore, you can toss it and use another one.
20. Wrinkle Remover
Want to avoid ironing your clothes? Dampen an old sock and toss it in the dryer with a few items of wrinkled clothing. The moisture from the sock and the heat from the dryer will help remove the wrinkles in about ten minutes.
21. Shoe Covers
Not only do socks protect jewelry when traveling, but they can also protect your shoes. Slip a shoe into an old sock to prevent it from getting scratched in your suitcase. It also protects the other items in your luggage from anything on the shoe's sole.
22. Glasses Holder
Protect your glasses, sunglasses, and safety goggles from getting scratched or dirty in your handbag by placing them safely inside a sock.
23. Sock Bun
How do ballerinas get giant hair buns even with thin hair? Socks! Cut the toe section off a sock and roll it down until it resembles a donut. Pull your hair into a ponytail and secure it with a hair elastic. Slide the end of the ponytail through the sock donut, then roll the sock donut down, tucking the hair as you go. There are lots of online tutorials showing exactly how to do this.
24. Hand and Sock Mitts
If you have dry hands or feet, apply a moisturizer such as lotion or cream before bed, then place socks over your hands and feet. The socks will help the moisturizer to better soak into the skin and protect your bedding from getting greasy from the lotion.
In conclusion, the next time you walk past your lost sock bin, think twice before throwing them away. These 24 ideas only sample the numerous uses for old socks. There are many practical, creative ways to reduce waste and save money by giving old socks a new life.
Brandy is the creator and owner of www.gluesticksblog.com and shares simple crafts and recipes made with simple supplies and ingredients. She is the author of Sew With Me, and her content has been featured in Family Fun, Apartment Therapy, All You, Taste of Home, and Woman's Day. When given a choice between a good book or making something, she will always choose to create.