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Reuse: easy holiday craft using old socks

My second grader's class made sock snowmen with help from some fourth graders at her school. All it takes is some white tube socks, string to cinch around the middle, ribbon or fabric scraps to decorate, beads, buttons or googly eyes, and something heavy-ish to fill them with (they used rice). Aren't they adorable?

Each year, one of my traditions is to make a Christmas tree ornament that somehow symbolizes the year. Some years, it's easy to come up with ideas. Some hard. This year, I'll keep it simple on the theme, and just modify this cute sock reuse idea. Because heaven knows we have quite a few orphan white socks hanging around! I'm using baby socks, so that it'll become a tiny, ornament-size snowman, and some 20-year old wild rice that I'm never going to get anyone to eat since I haven't managed it yet. Here's what I've got so far (I'm going to let my kids finish and decorate it when they are home from school):

A few months ago, we received an email from Emily in Montreal looking for ideas on where to donate old socks:

I am writing from Montreal, Canada with a big bag of old socks that I simply can't bear to throw in the rubbish bin just yet... and I read on your website in "Old socks, old stuffies, and old board books" that you may know someone from a GreenGroup who makes rugs and be able to use them. They're clean, brightly-coloured, almost entirely mismatched, and some have holes, but they would be great for rug-making. Or perhaps there are Moms in your Green teams that would like to have the socks for arts and crafts projects for little ones? I'm happy to ship to a community centre, church, or school if needed.

We applaud Emily's efforts to not just throw them away, and can only suggest finding a local school or crafter in Montreal who might want them, which sometimes takes a bit of phone calling or creating a free listing on freecycle or craigslist. Given a little bit of creativity, there's really no limit to what a crafter can do with old socks: sock puppets, sock snowmen, beer cozy! Readers, if you have any other ideas on reusing old socks, please, your suggestions are always most welcome!


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