Socks Upcycling

Ever been left with a single sock after washing? What do you do with those lone socks?  There are endless possibilities for reusing and upcycling old socks - from tying them together to make a skipping rope, to putting your hand inside them to use as a car cleaning cloth!
Wiki How has a great list of 31 uses for old socks.

But what about something a little cuter to make from an old pair of socks?  I have found so many cute cuddly creatures that can be made from socks - here are a few.

Have you heard of sock monkeys? They are probably the best known animal to be made out of an old pair of socks.  

I checked up on their history to find where they originated. As with most clothes upcycles, their origins can be found back when people made the most of the resources they had, reusing and upcycling rather than buying new when they needed something - largely due to financial necessity, but it was a way of life then. 
Soft toys were probably made from whatever materials were at hand, old worn clothing included.

The first 'Sock Monkey' is believed to have appeared during the Great Depression in the early 1900s America with old worn out socks being given a new lease of life as Sock Monkey toys for kids.  Why a monkey? One theory is that exotic African animals were popular at that time, and a monkey was a suitable choice as a child's toy as monkeys were 'safe animals' that wouldn't be the kind that would 'eat' children!

There were also a brand of socks produced at that time by Nelson Knitting Mills that had a distinctive red heel (the red heel becoming the monkey's mouth).  Finding that their socks were being used to make sock monkeys with, this company began including Sock Monkey making instructions with each pair of red heeled socks sold!
 I love this idea - companies encouraging upcycling and providing instructions for how to do so when your clothes become worn!

The sock monkey tutorial I have used several times and find very clear is this one from Craft Passion. Here are the monkeys I've made - including a sock lion made using this pattern also from Craftpassion.

I also made a pair of Incredible Hulk Sock Monkeys using the same tutorial.

Then I tried a Sock Kitten,

And finally I produced my own tutorial for these cute Sock Dogs.

I also found a tutorial for Sock Skeletons - perfect for Halloween which is just around the corner!

For other ideas to upcycle old socks...

Here's a nice simple refashion..

For LOTS more cool sock upcycling ideas, you can go to my 
(I have a board for each clothing item). 

Have you ever upcycled a pair of old socks? What have you made them into? I'd love to here any more suggestions and see pictures too!

For over 600 clothes upcycling projects and ideas to upcycle everything from socks to t-shirts and sweaters, head over to the Clothes Upcycling Projects Page
get some upcycling inspiration, and even add your own projects too!


  1. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. socks making process

  2. The flat design is the next step in this process. This is where you can create the pattern for the main part of the sock before you move the design mockup to the template. sock mockup


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