What About Upcycling Socks?

I’m sure you’ll heave a sigh of relief to know that this is—as far as I know right now—my last Mending Post. But I really do think it’s important to find creative ways to keep stuff from clogging up landfills, and although I don’t go as far as making lamps out of plastic soda bottles (although I’m sure there are some amazingly fabulous ones out there!), I do try to figure out how to keep garments from ever going near the dump. Unless they’re just visiting, of course.


So what about socks? you ask, now that you’re totally on board with this rescue mission. We’ve all got a bunch of worn socks, single socks, socks whose mate got sucked into the black hole that lies somewhere inside the clothes dryer. My husband will wear socks until they’re just threads bound together by a single strand of worn-out elastic. To keep this from driving me nuts, since I don’t know how to darn socks and feel disinclined to learn, I had to figure out something to do with those socks before they reach unusability. And since, as I said last time, my hands are always cold, well: fingerless gloves! Perfect.


Now, if you’re expecting some well-crafted, polished project here, maybe one with a pattern and instructions, please leave now. Go here and browse the books, or go here and watch some videos. But don’t look at the photo below because it will make you whimper. Seriously. While I love these funky gloves, they are definitely not for everyone. You, in fact, might want to take the worn-out socks in your own house and make gloves that *do* involve a pattern and, you know, actual planning and stuff.

Freeman-Zachery socks 1

I dye all our clothes, so the socks in our house are pink and purple and orange and acid green, which makes them perfect for making into other stuff. Since they were worn pretty thin, I used two pair and cut them off right above where the heel part begins. I cut a hole for my thumb, put both socks over my hand and lined them up, put in a couple pins, and then too them off and stitched around the thumb hole to secure them. I put them back on and pinned the wool felt circles and then stitched those—the appliqués and the thumb openings and the top of the cuff part are the only places where these are sewn together.

Freeman-Zachery socks 2


I didn’t measure, and I didn’t trim the edges neatly or worry about stitches or anything. I wanted funky, and that’s exactly what I got. If you like this look, you could make a pair of these in probably half an hour. If you wanted something more polished, it would be easy to do that, too, although it might take a little longer.


Go, dig through your closet, and find stuff you don’t wear that you can make fabulous. You don’t have to know how to sew The Right Way, and when you wear your newly-gussified stuff out in public, we’ll be able to spot you and come up and introduce ourselves.


P.S.: We’ll be the ones with the polka-dot hats.


Canvas Remix_160To make more embellished and colorful mixed-media accessories, check out Canvas Remix by Alisa Burke (on sale for $4.60!).






Ricë is the author of Living the Creative Life, Creative Time and Space, and Destination Creativity. She also blogs at The Voodoo Cafe.


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