80+ Absolutely Brilliant Uses for Old Socks

These uses for old socks will finally give those lonely orphan socks that you've been accumulating for years a purpose.

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single sock jewelry
Ali Blumenthal/Rd.com

Jewelry case

Use it to hold your jewelry when you travel. The sock will provide cushioning and it will also (hopefully) deter thieves.

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Collection of various glasses on bright background, copy space
Maria Shipakina/Shutterstock

Protect breakables

Use spare socks when you need to pack breakables like glasses or vases or use them as padding in boxes.

Check out these small space storage hacks to declutter your home.

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Midsection of African American woman suffering from knee pain against white background

Knee pads

The next time you garden, put sock cuffs over your knees to protect your clothes and provide a bit of padding.

Make life even easier with these brilliant yard tool hacks.

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Creative Christmas card with golden balls and wrapped present on red background, copy space, minimalistic lay out
Maria Shipakina/Shutterstock

Ornament holder

They’re also great for storing breakable Christmas ornaments.

Here’s how to decorate for the holidays, according to your zodiac.

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Golden and red wrapping paper on bright background.Top view flat lay group objects
Lora liu/Shutterstock

Keep wrapping paper in place

Another holiday tip: Cut off the cuff part of the sock and put it on wrapping paper rolls so the paper won’t slide off.

Don’t miss these clever uses for wrapping paper.

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computer cords
Photo: PreechaB/Shutterstock

Organize cords

You can use the cuff part to wrangle and contain loose electrical cords.

Here are more home organizing hacks you need to try!

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Hairy stem and tendrils of a cucumber plant against dark background.

Guide your plants

Cut a sock into strips to tie your growing plants to stakes.

Add these low-light houseplants to your home!

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The roller for coloring lies in the tray with blue and white paint
Ann Bogdanova/Shutterstock

Protect from paint

When painting, slide larger socks over your sneakers and shoes to shield them from splatter.

Up your DIY game with these interior painting tips.

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metal bed in a hotel room without pillows

Stop the squeaks

Place a sock in your bed frame to stop squeaks.

Read this before buying a new mattress.

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Cozy Living Room with Modern Interior, Grey Sofa and Wooden Flooring Lit By Warm Light out of the Window. Top View Camera Shot.

Prevent floor scratches 

When moving furniture at home, put socks on the feet of your chair or table legs to prevent scratching the floors.

Learn how to clean vinyl floors and protect them from scratches.

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healthy raw sweet corn isolated on color background
Renu Jain_1/Shutterstock

Keep the cold out

Take multiple socks, fill them with a mix of popcorn kernels and quilt/pillow batting, and connect them!

Use these inexpensive ideas to brighten your home in winter.

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Golf ball and club on light blue background, flat lay. Space for text
New Africa/Shutterstock

Golf club protection

Use stray socks to cover your golf clubs.

Don’t miss these money-saving tricks using everyday items.

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Ping Pong balls on the orange background

Ball storage

Keep any stray golf, ping pong, and other small balls together in a sock.

Make your garage work harder with these DIY storage ideas.

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single sock umbrella
Ali Blumenthal/Rd.com

Umbrella holder

Put your wet umbrella in an orphan sock to keep the inside of your car dry.

Don’t toss that broken umbrella in the trash just yet! Check out our favourite umbrella hacks.

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The image of woody litter tray for cats

Stop the fog

Fill socks with silica kitty litter (which is extremely absorbent), and keep them on rear and/or front window ledge to stop windshields from fogging up.

Save money with these $1 solutions you’ll wish you knew sooner.

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Driving with unfastened seat belt

Prevent burns

On a hot, sunny day, place a sock over the metal parts of seat belts so they don’t burn people’s skin.

Check out these brilliant uses for tennis balls.

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New car wipers blades, vehicle spare parts

Prolong wipers

In the winter, put them over windshield wipers after you park your car to prevent wipers from freezing and sticking to the glass.

Find out how to change wiper blades with this step-by-step guide.

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single sock dog toy
Ali Blumenthal/Rd.com

Roll out muscle knots

Place a tennis ball inside a sock, knot it, and use this to roll out knots in your back or legs.

Check out more household items that are fitness equipment in disguise!

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High Angle View Of Young Woman Suffering From Stomach Ache At Home

Get rid of cramps

Combat aches and cramps with a DIY heating pad. Just fill a clean, dry sock (use one that’s all or mostly cotton or wool, with no embellishments) with white or brown rice (not the instant or quick-cooking kind), dried beans, flaxseed, or barley. Either knot the sock or sew it shut with cotton thread, and microwave it for one minute. If it’s not hot enough, up the time in 15-second increments.

Here’s how to make a DIY face mask—no sewing required!

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Ice pack on purple background, top view. Space for text
New Africa/Shutterstock

DIY ice pack

For pains and itches that require a cold touch, fill a plastic bag with ice and place it inside of a sock to make a softer ice pack.

Don’t miss these awesome furniture hacks!

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Top view laptop computer notebook and wireless mouse isolated on blue background
Sorapop Udomsri/Shutterstock

Wrist rest

For an ergonomic wrist rest for your computer, take a sock, stuff it with filling, and sew it closed. Whether it resembles a ferret, cat, another mammal, or no animal at all is up to you and your preferences and skill.

Don’t miss these tricks to make your computer run faster.

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Close-up profile side view portrait of nice adorable well-groomed attractive stunning lovable fascinating magnificent winsome content cheerful cheery wavy-haired girl isolated over violet background
Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock

Hair tie

In a pinch, cut off the cuff and use it as a scrunchie in your hair.

Here are 10 indoor DIY projects you’ve been putting off too long.

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attractive young woman biting her nails while thinking and looking up on the isolated white background. close up side view photo. copy space

Sock bun

Follow these steps to create a chic sock bun (don’t worry: you’ll be the only one to know a sock is in there).

Discover these genius uses for dryer sheets that will change your life.

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Beautiful brunette woman with long curly hair. Female fashion model with wavy hairstyle against grey background.
Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

Overnight curls

Curl your hair while you sleep by tying up hair with singleton socks. In the morning, you’ll have mermaid waves.

Did you know about these absolutely brilliant uses for hand sanitizer?

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Cosmetic products creamy pink texture smudge nude background

Relieve dry skin

When dry hands and feet need extra attention, slather lotion on your extremities, cover them with socks, and go to sleep. Wake up to baby skin.

Here are clever uses for paper towels.

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single sock pan
Ali Blumenthal/Rd.com

Pan handle cover

Stash socks in the kitchen where they’re surprisingly useful. For starters, when cooking on the stove, slip one over the handle of your saucepan or frying pan; this will not only shield your hand from the heat but also prevent the handle from getting sticky.

Here are the things you shouldn’t store on your kitchen countertop.

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lid for jars and jar on green background
Hazal Ak/Shutterstock

Open jars

Use a spare sock as a grip to help open stubborn jars.

Want to slash your consumption of single use plastics? These clever new uses for Mason jars are a great way to “green up” your act.

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Dipper with honey in woman hand. Space for text or design.

Sticky jar cover

Keep your cupboard and refrigerator clean by deploying single socks to cover the bottoms of bottles or jars containing messy, sticky, drippy stuff like syrup, honey, molasses, and barbecue sauce.

Avoid these organizing mistakes that are making your kitchen look messy.

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yellow dumbbells and white socks on a pink background


The cuff can also serve as an armband to hold your phone while working out.

This viral trick will make your pots look brand new.

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single sock glasses
Ali Blumenthal/Rd.com

Eyeglass storage

Store your eyeglasses in a sock.

Discover these smart sandpaper uses you’ll wish you knew sooner.

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four pairs of different colored socks on a pink background


Cut off the cuff of a sock and use it as a wristband.

Check out these clever uses for plastic produce bags.

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knitting women's gloves mittens without fingers from gray wool yarn, auxiliary needle, braided pattern

Fingerless gloves

Or, make fingerless gloves. If you want a matched pair, use an extra long knee sock.

Look no further for 20 clever things to do with toothpaste.

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front view of smiling kid in hat and scarf isolated on red
LightField Studios/Shutterstock

Colourful scarf

By using 10 or more socks with complementary colours and patterns, you can even sew together a scarf.

We answer the age-old question: is it better to steam or iron your clothes?

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Night sleep concept with moon, clouds, stars toys and blindfold on yellow background top view
9dream studio/Shutterstock

Sleep mask

Fashion a sleep mask with an old sock, some flat backing fabric, and an elastic band.

Learn about the ways you’re shortening the life of your washer and dryer.

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warm knitted women's clothing in brown, white and beige colors in the drawer of the chest of drawers on the background of the wooden floor, top view
Elena Mitusova/Shutterstock

Drawer fragrance

Put potpourri or dried flowers and herbs inside a sock, knot it, and stash in drawers to make them smell nice.

This easy ice cube hack will remove all the wrinkles from your clothes.

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white chest of drawers in white interior
Vlasov Yevhenii/Shutterstock

Keep moths away

Fill a sock with mothballs and stow in a drawer, chest, or closet to ward off moths.

Outside of the kitchen, learn about the clever uses for club soda all around the house.

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Symmetrical tennis balls on a blue background. Sports background.
sergei kochetov/Shutterstock

Soften laundry

To soften laundry without using fabric softener or dryer balls, take a couple of socks, put a tennis ball inside each, knot them, and throw into the dryer before running your next load of laundry.

This product will whiten your laundry without bleach.

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violet lavender flowers arranged on bright blue background. Top view, flat lay. Minimal concept. Dry flower floral composition. Pastel colors.
sun ok/Shutterstock

Dryer sachet

Create an easy dryer sachet by filling a sock with a mix of lavender and flax seed, closing it, and using it with a dryer load.

Use these enhancements to boost your laundry detergent.

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Sexy bra with hanger on yellow background. Top view
Vladimir Sukhachev/Shutterstock

Delicates wash bag

A larger sock can make an improvised wash bag to hold delicates like lingerie or stuffed animals.

Find out the things you never knew your dryer could do.

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Wooden clothes pegs on pink background. Zero waste
Bas Nastassia/Shutterstock

Laundry room board

Decorate your laundry room AND help reunite your missing socks by starting a “Clean, Single & Looking” clothespin board.

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Black shoes with a brown sole on a black background
Bondar Illia/Shutterstock

Polish shoes

Use as a mitt to polish shoes.

Learn the best ways to clean white sneakers.

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Suitcase, shoes and tropical leaf on color background. Travel concept

Cover shoes before packing them

Place your shoes inside spare socks next time you’re packing your suitcase.

Memorize these other genius packing tips before your next trip.

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Select the best ideal coffee beans lay out on a bright orange background that emphasizes the beauty of coffee beans and perfectly blends in colors.
Galina Pavelchak/Shutterstock

Deodorize shoes

Fill two spare socks with baking soda or coffee grounds, and leave in shoes overnight to deodorize them.

Use these other tricks to keep your shoes stink-free.

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Pair of stylish shoes on pink background, top view
New Africa/Shutterstock

Make shoes last longer

Stuff a sock into another sock, then put the whole ball inside your shoes when you’re not wearing them. This will help them retain their shape (and looks) longer.

Check out more things you should be cleaning with a toothbrush.

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Close up of beautiful, stylish leather boots.
Page Light Studios/Shutterstock

Boot stands

Take two tall socks, fill with newspaper or paper, and place the stuffed socks into boots to keep them from falling over.

Keep your leftovers fresh and more with these 25 plastic wrap uses you’ll wish you knew sooner.

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Luxury winter boots with high heels made from genuine black suede leather on a white wooden background
Semenova Jenny/Shutterstock

Boot cuffs

Take a tall sock, and make boot cuffs—these can add a pop of colour and design and stop chafing.

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single sock chalk
Ali Blumenthal/Rd.com

Clear chalkboards

Use to wipe off dry-erase boards or chalkboards.

You’ll wish you knew these uses for magic erasers sooner!

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Wood blinds or curtain by the window.

Clean the nooks and crannies 

Put a sock on your hand, wet it, and clean hard-to-reach places, like between blinds, along moldings, and in corners.

These are the everyday items you don’t wash nearly enough.

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folding rule - metering measurement tool to cave out
Andre Helbig/Shutterstock

Dust high places

To dust extra-tall (e.g., on ceilings) or extra-narrow (under appliances or radiators) spots, fasten a sock to the end of a yardstick or a broom, dampen, and clean.

Watch out for these mistakes you keep making with bleach.

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Hugo Mauricio Lopez V/Shutterstock

Swiffer cover

Employ a sock as an eco-friendly, reusable swiffer cover by stretching it to go over the swiffer bottom (chenille socks are especially good at picking up dust).

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houseplant Kalanchoe in a decorative pot on a lilac background.

Clean houseplants

Put your hand in a sock, dampen it, and use it as a mitt to clean houseplants of dust and other debris.

Add these NASA-approved air-cleaning plants to your home!

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single sock pincushion
Ali Blumenthal/Rd.com


Construct a pincushion by stuffing with toy filling (you can find at craft stores) and sew it into a ball. Bonus points for fashioning into a pleasing shape (like this mushroom!).

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Potted plastic plants and flowers for decorations. Container made of aluminium, plastic, ceramic as well as clay. Plants include Cactus, cacti, beautiful green leaves and red flowers.

Flower pot cover

Reserve your more attractive single socks to serve as colourful covers for flower pots or vases.

Learn the best ways to preserve a bouquet.

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Barefoot on carpet. Two feet standing. Gray carpet. Fluffy carpet. Top view.

Braided bath mat

For those of you with a large number of spare socks and a high level of crafty-ness, cut socks into strips and braid them together into a bath mat or even a rug.

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New Year decoration stuffed toys

Christmas decor

You can create a variety of cute stuffed Christmas decorations—from the tabletop (like these snowpeople) to the hanging-from-a-tree variety.

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Different knitted socks on violet background, flat lay. Winter clothes
New Africa/Shutterstock

Sock wreath

Combine socks with a variety of hues and patterns to craft a fabric wreath—make one for Christmas or year-round.

Get crafty with these DIY Christmas decorations anyone can make.

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Colorful Easter eggs background
Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Easter Egg cozies

For Easter morning breakfast, dress up hard- or soft-boiled eggs with adorable egg cozies. For this, you decorate baby socks with felt, eyes, and feathers.

Check out these household vinegar uses you never knew about.

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Cat and dog friends.

Stop shedding

When shedding season arrives and you can’t find a brush, put a sock on your hand, wet it, and use to remove excess hair from your cat or dog.

We’ve rounded up the dog breeds that don’t shed that much.

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Flat lay composition with accessories for dog and cat on wooden background. Pet care
New Africa/Shutterstock

Cat toy

Fill it with catnip and knot it to create a cat toy.

These are the cat breeds with the friendliest personalities.

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sock tennis ball
Shutterstock (2)

Pull toy

Put a tennis ball or chew bone inside a sock, knot it, and you’ve got a pull toy for a dog.

Did you know that these are the most popular dog breeds in Canada?

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Cute sitting Yorkshire Terrier puppy dog in a Christmas - Isolated on a white background. A small dog in a sweater.
Mikhail Bezdenezhnykh/Shutterstock

Puppy outfit

If you can sew and have a miniature or teacup dog, you can actually make a fetching sweater and cap ensemble from just one sock.

Check out more amazing costumes for dogs!

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Adorable grey kitten with yellow green eyes laying in a blue bed, paws over side looking longingly at viewer. Mustard yellow background.
Sheila Fitzgerald/Shutterstock

Pet bed

You can also make a pet bed for a small dog or cat. Construct a stuffed snake, coil it, and sew it into an oval.

Here are the best hypoallergenic dog breeds for people with allergies.

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hamster muzzle in sleeve closeup isolated on white
Oleg Kozlov/Shutterstock

Hamster sleeping bag

Hamster owners: there’s a craft for you, too. You can make a sleeping bag for your wee one.

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single sock flask
Ali Blumenthal/Rd.com

Flask jacket

Use the next five uses for old socks for your drinks. Use a bigger, prettier sock to make a jacket for a flask.

Don’t miss these extraordinary household uses for onions.

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Metal purse on the female palm isolate on a light background.

Change purse

If you can sew, construct a change purse or cell phone case.

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Aluminum can with straw on pink background. Minimalism concept
5 second Studio/Shutterstock

Can coozie

Use the cuff as a soda or beer can coozie to keep your hands dry and your beverage cold.

Here’s how to steep the perfect cup of tea every time.

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Plastic bottles with pure water and ice on yellow background top view space for text
279photo Studio/Shutterstock

Prolong cold water

When you go on a hike or day trip on a hot day, pack a frozen water bottle and put a sock over it to keep the water cold longer.

Try these genius tricks to guarantee you’ll drink enough water.

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Paper cup of coffee to go on pink trendy pastel background from above, flat lay
Efetova Anna/Shutterstock

Coffee sleeve

Use a sock cuff as an eco-friendly alternative to cardboard coffee sleeves. Or, use it at home to hold hot mugs.

Read on for the facts that will make you stop using plastic.

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single sock wine
Ali Blumenthal/Rd.com

Wine holder

Next time you give someone a bottle of wine, wrap it in a cute sock (not a white athletic sock) to dress it up and cushion it.

Here are the do’s and don’ts of storing wine at home.

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Cute sock puppet on blue background
Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Sock toys

Socks can be turned into a chestful of soft toys for your kids. The most easiest and most basic is the sock puppet.

Learn about these childhood toys that are now worth thousands.

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Easter decoration, two cute bunny rabbits, made of textile gray socks with ribbons and eyes. Wooden and light background. Handmade decoration, children joy and activity at home. Easter concept.
Miglena Pencheva/Shutterstock

Sock animals

By taking a sock, stuffing it, and sewing it, you can turn it into a zoo’s worth of animals, both real (monkeys, rabbits, chickens, owls, sheep, lions, octopi, bears) and imaginary/extinct (dinosaurs, monsters, dragons).

This brilliant ketchup bottle hack just made breakfast so much easier.

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The row of multicolored hobbyhorses - children toys.
Elena Noeva/Shutterstock

Horse head

Use a stuffed sock as the head for a homespun hobby horse.

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Diy koi carp fish on blue green background. Gift ideas, decor for the Chinese new year. Kid handmade. Carp koi fish of paper, toilet roll, googly eyes. Step by step. Process children crafts. Top view.
Olya Detry/Shutterstock

Stuffed fish

Craft a school of stuffed fish from socks, put magnets in them, make a fishing pole from a wooden dowel from yarn or ribbon and a washer, and presto! You’ve got a sock fishing game. (Note: Please be careful about playing with magnets around young children who could accidentally swallow them).

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Asian newborn baby smile in a bed with fish and animal mobile. for mom, mother, family concept

Fish mobile

Remove the magnets and attach the fish by strings to a frame, and you’ve got a fun mobile.

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rattle, beanbag on a pink background
Dmitriy Shtankov/Shutterstock


Put a bell inside a baby sock, add polyfill stuffing, sew shut, and embellish to make a rattle.

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hacky sack

Hacky sack

Construct a hacky sack by filling a single sock with rice or lentils or sand, shaping into a ball, and sewing it closed.

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used sock isolated on a white background balled up
ben bryant/Shutterstock

Indoor snowballs

Furnish the fixings for an indoor snowball fight by constructing stuffed snowballs from athletic socks.

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Different socks for baby on laundry line against color background
New Africa/Shutterstock

Advent calendar

Put together an adorable, 3-D advent calendar for a child. Use babies’ or children’s socks in attractive colours or patterns, attach numbers, enclose gifts, and pin up.

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Fashion Concept. Crochet grey blouse and powdery pink tulle skirt with fur handbag, jewelry, shoes, magazines, cup of coffee, bouquet of flowers. Hand-made clothes for 11-inch doll.

Doll clothes

With scissors and pins, you can make all kinds of clothes for all kinds of dolls, whether they’re Barbies, American Girls, or others.

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single sock fish
Ali Blumenthal/Rd.com

Soap case

Since soap can be slippery for small hands, put the bar inside a clean sock and knot it to make it easier for kids to use.

Check out these amazing uses for WD-40.

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funny baby boy sitting on white background

Crawl guard

Cut off the toes from a sock and use the cuffs to protect baby’s knees when they’re learning to crawl.

Don’t miss these extraordinary uses for baby wipes you need to try.

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Baby socks on orange background. Top view
Bowonpat Sakaew/Shutterstock

Scratch protector

When your baby has chickenpox or insect bites, put socks over their hands to stop them from scratching themselves.

Learn how to peel garlic in 20 seconds flat.

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Sponge puff, shampoo bottle, purple towel, soap, yellow rubber duck on a blue background. Cosmetics for bathing babies. Flat lay bath products, top view photo. Free space for text, mock up


Cut up spare adult socks to use as baby washcloths.

These instant Rice Krispies treats are almost too easy to make.

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Baby socks with hearts on a pink background

Baby socks

One adult sock can be stitched into a pair of socks for a baby.

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Baby accessories background: small hat and pants for newborn baby, dummy and bear toy over light green background with copy space; top view, flat lay

Baby leggings

You can also sew together two adult knee socks (use colours or patterns that go together) to make leggings for a baby or toddler.

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Children warm sweater on a white isolated background elbow patch
Nadia Cruzova/Shutterstock


Since kids are frequently ripping their clothes, spare socks can provide comfy material for patches. You can also use a spare sock to add pockets to their clothes.

Use this viral hack to make powdered sugar in seconds.

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Pile of socks
Photo: Shutterstock

Sock art

Depending on how many socks you have and how big your imagination is, you could use them to craft a portrait or an art installation.

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Lots of socks on a yellow background. Colorful socks scattered on a yellow background. Clothing in the form of socks. Knitwear and jersey for autumn and winter.

New ideas

Finally, why not use your socks to find the next big business idea? After entrepreneurs Arielle Eckstut, Jason Dorf, and Jonah Staw noticed that teens and tween girls were wearing mismatched socks due to the missing sock problem, the trio founded the company Little MissMatched, which began selling socks in colourful packs of three (each with a different colour or design). They’ve since expanded into clothes and bedding.

Next, check out these clever hacks to make your home smell amazing.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest

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