How can you recycle old socks? Worn out or orphaned socks are ubiquitous and are often simply thrown away. However, they are far too useful for that. Because you can easily recycle old socks into handy sock balls.
Upcycled sock balls can be used in many ways – either as toys or as dryer balls in the tumble dryer, where they help to save energy and provide soft towels without softening.
How to recycle old socks into sock balls
Making sock balls yourself is very easy and takes little time. So children can also tinker with it. All you need is a pair of worn-out socks, such as orphaned socks or the children’s socks that have become too small. Even holey stockings can be used, as only the upper part of the waistband of the sock can be seen later.
Here’s how it’s done:
Roll a small sock into a ball. Insert the rolled sock into another sock, right up to the front of the toe area. Turn the outer sock tightly above the inner sock and turn it outwards.
Repeat this step until the ball is large enough.
Now the sock ball is ready for use. If the outer sock is tight, nothing should normally slip, because the sock cuff keeps the ball in good shape. For a better grip and a nicer look, the opening of the sock ball can be sewn. For this you need tear-resistant sewing thread and a needle.
Here’s how to sew the opening:
Bend the waistband of the sock inwards and sew it in a circular way with a simple quilting stitch until you have arrived at the beginning again. Start and end inside. Gently tighten the thread so that the opening closes. Then knot the thread inside the opening, pierce and cut off outwards.
Ideas for using the sock balls The sock balls can be softer or firmer (for soft or hard sock balls) and can also be individually designed in terms of colour and size and can therefore be used in many different ways. Here are some suggestions for using the homemade sock balls.
Dryer balls for the tumble dryer
In a tumble dryer, so-called dryer balls provide fluffy soft laundry – without chemicals – and can prevent dry rigidity in towels. In addition, dryer balls reduce the drying time, which saves not only time, but also money.
Sock balls as dog or cat toys
Sock balls are particularly suitable as dog toys for apportioning in the apartment. Nothing can break with the soft sock ball, and your four-legged friends still have fun. If your fur nose prefers to smash, try this homemade toy for dogs!
Even cats can have great pleasure with the sock balls. To make the balls also smell interesting, the filling can be supplemented by a teaspoon of dried catnip or valerian herb.
Toys for babies and toddlers
For babies, the simplest things are often the best toys. Homemade sock balls are easy to grab from babies due to their light weight and do little harm when thrown. In addition, the sock ball can quickly be given a new look by simply replacing the outer sock. For older children, the sock ball is suitable for juggling or for playing rabbits and hunters.
Author: Genevieve Dumas is a food, fashion and beauty stylist from New York, who has worked for a range of major magazines.