Posts tagged "socks"

How can I reuse or upcycle trainer socks/glove socks/foot socks?

About seven or eight years ago now, I had a bit of a thing for trainer socks/glove socks/foot socks — those socks that stop before your ankle so they almost disappear in trainers/sneakers — and bought quite a few pairs to wear for work.

Now seven or eight years later, arrgh, I hate them. They always slip down so my trainers rub the back of my ankle, and they’re useless in walking boot style shoes where you need the protection further up as well. It’s not even a “hide-the-unsightly-cuff” issue any more because my jeans are always way too long so you can barely see my shoes, let alone a gap between the hem & the shoe, and on the very, very rare occasion I wear a skirt or shorts, I’ll be more than likely wearing them with nice no-sock shoes or flip-flop/sandals anyway.

After slowly growing to despise them over the last couple of years, I decided to evict them from my sock drawer last night. I counted 24 pairs. Yes, I clearly had a big thing for them seven or eight years ago.

Anyway, now I have 24 pairs of ankle-cuff-less foot socks which need reusing or upcycling. They’ve all been well used so aren’t really in a position to be passed along – but equally, have a bit more life in them than to just become cleaning rags — so I’m looking for upcycling ideas really.

Some ideas I’ve had so far: attached two pairs together to make above-ankle socks; Alice’s moth-repellent idea; stuff with cat nip to make a cat toy; use them to make sock monsters (although they’re mostly plain so might be dull).

Any other ideas?

How can I make a cat toy reusing and recycling stuff?

Boron and some stringA bit of a no-brainer this one since a piece of string is a cat toy but I’m currently getting major head rubs from one of our cats (Boron) so have cats on the brain (literally).

Ok, so we’ve got the piece of string. Or the piece of ribbon you get on new clothes (that holds it on the hanger in the shop but isn’t needed on drawer-dwelling clothes once you get them home) – we’ve got those tied to every door handle about the place wanting to distract a passing cat. Ours also LOVE a piece of ball chain I got with a name badge once upon a time – if Sili hears us moving that anywhere in the house, she’s there in a second.

On a similar level, my mum and dad’s cat Holly goes nuts for little chocolate wrappers and the aforementioned Sili loves the idea of receipts (but quickly gets bored of them as soon as she has them).

A little (but not much) more involved, I often stuffed one old sock with another torn-up old stock, thrown in some cat nip and added a few stringy things on it to be legs/tails, et voila! a mouse/octo-mouse.

So what are your favourite recycled/reused things to make cat toys from?

(Photo of a manic eyed Boron, some string and a whole lot of movement)

How can I make a pair of slippers/house shoes using recycled stuff?

slippersWe’ve had an email from Kate:

i want to make a pair of slippers for my boyfriend for his birthday. he’s really into green stuff and i’m broke (back at uni!) so i thought i’d make them but don’t know where to start. any ideas?!

After making booties for our niece Mia a few years ago, I got excited about making supersized booties for us but never got around to it, and that’s more knitting than recycling anyway (unless you’ve reclaimed the wool). (On that topic, I also have this “dorm boots” pattern in my “growing and eating and making” bookmarks folder from when I was looking for a pattern for Mia.)

Away from knitting, you can make them out of towels or misc woollen fabric (like a blanket or an old jumper).

John also made himself some “outside slippers” from a pair of old comfortable but battered trainers – we wear socks around the house but he needed something he could slip-on for running out to the bin or going into the sometimes-damp cellar. He just chopped the back out of the shoes to make mules and sewed up the rough edge.

Any other suggestions? Or hints on how to get started?

(Photo by prototype7)

How can I reuse or recycle old socks?

Old socks by John LeachJohn’s socks have a tendency to

a) stretch to about seven foot in length
b) go hard and strangely crunchy
c) go missing

Mine hole at the heel and toe, lose all elasticity around the ankle then drain of colour.

When they’ve gone past the not-even-on-washing-day-when-every-other-sock-is-dirty stage, we usually just throw them in the dirty rag bag for using when something gross needs cleaning up. But even with all the gross (feline-related) things that happen in our house, we still have a huge stack of odd and broken socks.


Best Suggestions

  • Reduce: If you can afford them, buy good quality socks to start with – they’ll last a lot longer – keeping their shape and colour – and save money/resources over all. Fix small holes when they appear too – it’s a lot easier and neater to fix smaller ones than big ones.
  • Reuse: Socks are perfect for cleaning rags – slip a old sock over your hand and use it as a duster.
  • Recycle: If they’re clean, they can be shredded and used as stuffing in toys and draft excluders.
  • See the comments below for more suggestions and ideas