Posted on January 5, 2012 by
In an unrelated series of events, I recently decided to purge my sock drawer of any and all socks that I just don’t wear. Either because of color, fit, or fabric, I would wager many of us have socks that just aren’t our favorites and, as a result, get worn very little.
But what do you do with used, but not used up, socks?
Although technically still wearable, I doubt there is much of a market for used socks. And if they aren’t yet worn out, I hate to see them thrown out or, at best, relegated to a textile recycling center, especially when they could still work for a reuse project.
So after some google searches, I found a recommendation to make socks into reusable swiffer pads- perfect! Although we gave up buying disposable swiffer pads years ago, we still have the sweeper around and the convenience of the thing is still very appealing. Only problem was, I could find the suggestion of making socks into a reusable swiffer pad, but I was having far less luck finding actual tutorials for such a project. The fact that etsy has these cool crocheted swiffer socks wasn’t helping my search, either.
So I came up with my own solution.
For better or worse, most of the socks I needed to repurpose were of the ankle sock variety so that is what I am showing here. However, with a little imagination, I’m confident this technique can be modified for socks of other sizes, too.
First, find a pair of socks (or mismatched pair) that you want to repurpose and cut off the heal perpendicular to the toes, and then perpendicular to the opening:
Turn one of the socks inside out:
And then insert the right-side-out sock into the inside-out sock:
(the outside sock should be inside-out and the “outsides” of the sock should face eachother)
Then simply sew (or serge) the two socks together along your cut line:
Flip your socks so they are right-side-out and you should have something similar to this:
Use the sock opening to pull the sock over the sweeper surface:
Then continue to pull it over the handle so the other side can be pulled on as well:
Ta Da! The sock opening should now allow the handle to pivot freely:
And the sweeper surface is covered with a reusable sweeper sock!:
And what do you do with those small pieces of heal we cut off in step one? If your socks are cotton or another natural fiber (wool, bamboo, etc), the scraps can always be composted. Or, for those of you who like camping, keep a small bag of natural fabric scraps with you for use as tinder- I actually think fabric is a better fire starter than kindling or newspaper since it lights as easily as newspaper but burns slower.
So once your socks have lived out their days as a sweeper, maybe then it will be time to take them to rag recycling.
Do you have any other suggestions for reusing old socks?