New Life for Old Socks

This striped sock had holes in its toe; now it’s a coffee cup cozy. Photo by Liesl Clark

It’s Old Sock Week at Trash Backwards, and we’re hoping you’ll all join the fun…

Old Sock Week?!

Yes, that’s right. We’ve been having a great time with our Pinterest boards, and we’ve just started a new one called My Trash, Backwards. Each week we’ll be announcing a new upcycling challenge focused on one item. We’ll include the best offerings here to create a crowdsourced Trash Backwards Do It Yourself upcycling resource for each item.

Catherine W’s students use old socks as whiteboard erasers for their individual boards. Photo by Rebecca Rockefeller

This week, our item is old socks. Why socks? Because almost everyone has at least one lone sock, or one that’s worn beyond foot comfort, and because old socks are versatile when it comes to reuse. Here are a few online lists of ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

Kim S-O sent us this 2-in-1 reuse idea: Turn a jar into a tea cup with the addition of a sock cozy to keep your tea hot and your hands comfortable. Photo used with permission.

30 ways to reuse socks from wikiHow

12 thrifty sock reuse options from Frugal Families

7 ways to use old socks from Eco Child’s Play

Chrissyks and Family Fun will teach you to weave old socks into a jump rope

Soap in a sock, hanging by the spigot to wash gardening hands outside. Photo used with permission from Molly OHara.

We’ll be adding more projects to this post over the next week, so check back to see what’s new. There are a few ways to share your tips, photos, or tutorials to reuse old socks:

If you have a Pinterest account, start your own “My Trash, Backwards” board and upload your photo to a new pin there – We’ll find it and repin to our board.

You can upload a photo directly to our Trash Backwards Facebook wall here.

You can email your photo(s) to

Kim wrapped jar of fig jam in a sock cozy then shipped it to a friend who was just as excited about the cozy as the delicious jam. Photo by Kim Scott-Olson

However you share your original photos with us, please include the name we should credit, any blog or website URL we can direct people to, and remember to send only those images you own.

Join Old Sock Week – The more, the merrier, and the fewer old socks we’ll see in our landfills when they could be doing great things.

Clean old socks and tights make great small bags for treats from bulk bins. Stitch across one open end to put the legs to good use this way. Photo by Rebecca Rockefeller

If you’re looking for more ideas, please visit our web app for many many more sock reuse ideas!

Sock Reuse Ideas at

And if you have a sock reuse to add, please let us know in the comments below or on our crowd-source page.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Categories: DIY, Repurpose and Reuse, Trash Pile - All Our Stuff, Upcycle


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3 Comments on “New Life for Old Socks”

  1. March 28, 2012 at 9:33 am #

    My Danish great-grandmother told me that they used to knit their socks themselves when she was a girl. Her job was to knit the heel of a sock everyday when she came home from school. She would probablyhave been happy to turn an old sock into a coffee cup cozy. Love this idea.

  2. March 28, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    Sometimes I’m amazed at the creative ways people will reuse things. I love seeing it all, and it’s such an inspiration!


  1. Trash Hacker: The Instant Hot Lunch Thermos Alternative « Trash Backwards - February 6, 2013

    […] Fill it with hot water and put a sock cozy around it for added […]

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