Sock it to me, eco-crafters!
January 15, 2009 10:51 AM   Subscribe

What can be done with worn, outgrown or single socks? Well, if you want to wear those favourite socks awhile longer, you can darn them. If your baby’s feet are no longer so tiny, make a baby sock purse or sachet, baby sock reindeer, or baby sock corsage or bouquet decorations for a friend’s baby shower. You can make a hat out of your child’s outgrown socks, or your kids can make Barbie clothes. You can use single socks to make a foot massager, potholders, slippers, a dog rug, a snowman, sock puppets or cute critters. Or sock art installations. See these articles for more pedestrian ways to use socks.
posted by orange swan (18 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I can do all of these things with old, used bricks...
posted by HuronBob at 10:54 AM on January 15, 2009

I keep my 37 orphaned socks as food for thought, sealed in a small, cardboard box marked "WTF?"
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:16 AM on January 15, 2009

Metafilter answer, meet Metafilter question.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 11:19 AM on January 15, 2009

Dear HuronBob,

Please stop throwing "sock hats" through my windows. I am sorry I was petitioning you to end your cruel and unusual treatment of fish, and I will not mention your heathen ways again.

filthy light thief.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:24 AM on January 15, 2009

Oops, stupidsexyFlanders, I had seen that question and meant to link to it in my FPP, but forgot.
posted by orange swan at 11:24 AM on January 15, 2009

For those who wish to buy a book on making sock monsters, see here. This is the first product that had a good gallery of user-submitted images. For a comic based on the wacky antics of a sock monster, see here.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:27 AM on January 15, 2009

"I been shot, stabbed, hit with a sock."

Great post as usual Swan.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:37 AM on January 15, 2009

Ha! I was going to ask if you did requests, orange swan, and socks was at the top of my list of requests.
posted by queensissy at 11:44 AM on January 15, 2009

Also, like old t-shirts, old cotton socks can make excellent cleaning/polishing rags.

Thanks again Orange Swan!
posted by eclectist at 11:51 AM on January 15, 2009

Oh my gosh! I just knit a single baby sock, realized I didn't have enough yarn for the second one, and thought "great. What could a person possibly do with a single baby sock?" And now I have answers! You saved me from having wasted like three hours!
posted by craichead at 12:05 PM on January 15, 2009

While waiting to find a mate or be used in some project, my single socks get put into Sock Jail.

Sock Jail can be just about any container; in my case it's a divider in my top drawer. It corrals the loner socks and gives them a chance of being paired up. If they hang out in Sock Jail for too long, they get paroled to the rag bag.

If I can't match a sock while folding laundry, I enjoy picking it up and saying in my best evil voice "It's into the clink with you!"

Then my dog looks at me funny.
posted by annaramma at 12:20 PM on January 15, 2009

I was raised to believe that socks were the larval form of wire coat hangers; when an odd number of socks were retrieved from the dryer, that just meant another wire coat hanger had emerged in the upstairs closet.

We, uh...didn't get out much in my family...
posted by mosk at 12:42 PM on January 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

There's a perfectly good use for unmatched socks that probably every male discovered when he turned 12 or 13. Duh.
posted by Hachijuhachi at 12:57 PM on January 15, 2009

A girl posted this to the LJ community craftgrrl. I don't know whether it was more astounding what she made or how well it turned out.
posted by rubah at 1:22 PM on January 15, 2009

Baby socks make great covers for music stand feet. Keeps them from scratching up wood floors.
posted by cabingirl at 2:59 PM on January 15, 2009

When I was in high school my friend Dave and I liked to play Frisbee. I can't remember what led to this idea, but we decided to modify our tossing game with something else. I think we used 2 or 3 old socks, "nested" within each other, with the end of the one on the inside filled with sand. We tied an overhand knot to retain the sand.

We called our game "bag man". Neither of us smoked pot, but we had heard a friend of ours had been offered a "bag, man?" at a concert. With no other description of the contents of the bag in question, Dave and I thought this was funny. For a week or so, the term "bag man" was our catch-phrase, so we dubbed our sand-in-sock throwing toy the "bag, man".

I think I even asked my father what a "bag man" was, but his linguistic context was from a different time and place, as he taught law at the University of Montana. His answer was that a "bag man" was a slang term for a numbers runner.

Anyway, Dave and I were both surprised to discover how much fun this improvised toy was! It was easier to throw it long distances than, say, a baseball, as the socks increased the effective "throwing arm" length. If you caught it by the heavy end, the sand would deform a bit, and wouldn't sting like catching a baseball without a glove. If you were really good, you could time it just right and catch it by the trailing socks. Despite many bags not caught, the "bag man" lasted a surprisingly long time, without a terminally fatal rupture.

Like fly fishing, we quickly realized that there was genuine release technique involved, like when to let go, with what trajectory, and where exactly along the length of the quickly stretched-out socks to grip. I'm pretty sure we tried both overhand and underhand throws.

So this is my used-sock anecdote, and I stand by it.

But that was the 70's, and I don't think a lot of kids do things like that anymore...
posted by Tube at 5:44 PM on January 15, 2009

I put a tablespoon of catnip in the toe of an old sock and then tie it in a knot. One of my cats likes to carry it around the house and find new hiding places for her 'stash' to happily discover later.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:50 AM on January 16, 2009

Just turned two bags of mismatched dress socks and a pair of never-worn thermal underwear into a pair of very nifty draft snakes. They worked like a charm when it hit -12 the other night.
posted by yellowcandy at 12:00 AM on January 19, 2009

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