8 Reuses For Unmatched Socks

Sock Singles Party on Our Floor. Photo © Liesl Clark

We all know about sock-hungry dryers. Well, I believe drawers are sock-eaters, too. Somehow socks go into dresser drawers in pairs but come out as singles, forever abandoning the sacred union. We started a special box of single socks a few months ago and decided it was high time we searched the house for all socks to take a full tally of the situation.

Sorting Socks is Sorta Fun. Photo © Liesl Clark

Sorting Socks is Sorta Fun. Photo © Liesl Clark

It was the perfect task for a 7 year old, searching through every drawer in the house and coming up with nearly 100 single socks! The laundry room coughed up a few more. Then, we got to work with our matching game. Thirty pair were reunited! But sadly, about 40 odd socks now have no mate. What to do?

Reunited Socks After Nearly a Year. Photo © Liesl Clark

I’m vowing to have a moratorium on sock-buying for at least a year, or until our dryer and drawers have consumed them all. This family has way too many socks. In the meantime here’s a list of what we’re doing with our 40 odd socks:

1) A few special unions have been created, and we look forward to showing them off at school as soon as possible.

Do you approve of this union. Speak now or forever hold your peace. Hey, mismatched socks are in! Photo © Liesl Clark

2) I put one in the freezer to use over our ice pack. It’ll protect a child’s skin against that cold pack.

Single sock turned ice pack cover. This penguin motif seemed appropriate. Photo © Liesl Clark

3) The 7-year-old, has her sights set on a few sock creatures, like this adorable sock hippo named “Emma” that she made the other day.

Sock + Rubber Bands + Bits & Bobs = Sock Hippo. Photo © Liesl Clark

4) I invented a new type of yarn, like T-shirt yarn, but it’s….Sock Yarn! This stuff is easy and kinda cool to make.

My new favorite "ribbon." Sock Yarn. Photo © Liesl Clark

First, find a single sock and cut strips into it without fully reaching the edge. A great photo that explains it in a tutorial for T-shirt yarn is here. You’ll then cut diagonally, linking the strips together in a spiral cut. It’s easy!

Cut strips into your sock but not all the way to the edge. Photo © Liesl Clark

Then stretch your sock yarn out so it curls in on itself:

Stretch Your Sock Yarn to Let It Curl. Photo © Liesl Clark

You might attract a feline in the process. Sock yarn makes an excellent cat play toy.

Kitties live for soft sock yarn. Photo © Liesl Clark

Willa. Ready to Wear Her Sock Yarn. Photo © Liesl Clark

Roll your yarn into a ball and you’re done!

Sock Yarn. Try It. Photo © Liesl Clark

Sock Yarn. Try It. Photo © Liesl Clark

5) A travel utensil holder is a sock reuse I’ve been meaning to do. Now it’s done.

Sock Travel Utensil Holder. Photo © Liesl Clark

Just use a piece of your sock yarn to tie it shut.

Sock Ribbon to Tie Up Your Sock Utensil Holder. Photo © Liesl Clark

Socks make excellent pencil holders too, just use an extra thick sock.

6) I saved a few socks for our rag basket, for dusting and other fine-rubbing I might need to do on furniture or countertops.

7) Cut the toe section out and use your sock tube as a travel coffee mug cozy.


My Favorite Sock Reuse: Travel Coffee Mug Cozy © Liesl Clark

8) The rest went back into the super duper sock box under the bed in waiting for sock sorting day next year when I vow yet again to never buy new socks and then learn how to darn the odd ones that remain. Actually, each week on laundry day we take the single socks and open up the box to see if the missing mates are inside. I have the box sorted by color, darks to lights, so the task goes quickly:


Can you believe how many unmatched socks we have?

Do you combine unmatched socks, in an effort to stave off buying yet another pair? Or is there a special reuse you’d love to share? We have a few hundred more you might want to check out at our Trash Backwards app.

Click Through for Sock Reuses at Trash Backwards.