How to Mend Socks and Ways to Reuse Them When You Can’t

Have you ever looked at your feet and wondered how to mend socks? I can’t sew…my proficiency with a needle and thread ends at putting a button back on a shirt. I find this very sad and one day, when I am graced with much more free time than I have now, I would like to learn how to mend socks.

My grandmother used to make my clothes when I was little in addition to the baby blankets that my children are still using today. She made her own dish rags, and rugs, and was proficient at mending socks as well. Mending socks is a lost art.

Sure, there are a few people out there who still know how to do it but there are a lot more holey socks than there are sock menders! My laundry room alone is filled with socks whose soles have worn out and are now destined for the rag bin.

If you don’t know how to mend socks, either, I will share a few ways to reuse them at the end of my post.

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Mending Socks and Other Lost Skills
Base Photo Courtesy of Morguefile

How to Mend Socks and Other Lost Skills

Our lack of ability in the area of mending socks isn’t the only thing we have forgotten how to do. We no longer fix vacuum cleaners,  glue coffee mug handles back on or find creative uses for broken flower pots. We are a throw-away society.

Generations before us learned how to reduce, reuse, and recycle their old stuff because they had no other choice. New socks cost money….learning how to mend socks only took time and a little bit of thread. We used to have more time than money.

Not anymore. Now we have money and our holey socks get tossed out in the next day’s trash.

How to Mend Socks and Other Lost Skills

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Here is a random piece of trivia for you:   In the United States, approximately 150,000,000 socks are sold each year. Where do the vast majority of these socks come from? China. (Yiwu, China is actually known as “sock town” and produced over three billion pairs of socks for Wal-Mart, Pringle, and Disney last year.)  Where do all the holey ones go? Right to the dump.

Mending socks and other lost skilles

While learning how to mend socks is a useful skill, I really want you to start thinking about the broader concept of our throwaway society. If every person chose to fix just one broken item instead of tossing it aside to buy new we would be well on our way to easing the burden on our landfills. Can you imagine how high a pile of 150 million socks would be? That’s a lot of socks!

If you are feeling ambitious and DO want to learn about mending socks, here is a video from YouTube on how to do it:

Uses for Old Socks That Can’t Be Repaired

Not up for mending socks any time soon but don’t want to throw away your holey foot coverings? Here are a few ways to reuse old socks instead of tossing them into the trash can:

  • Use as a dust cloth:  Obvious but very useful if your house gathers as much dust as mine does.
  • Cut off the ribbing and use as a can or glass cozy to absorb condensation.
  • Stuff with catnip and voila, instant cat toy.
  •  Use a sock over your hand as a bath mitt to wash your small child.
  • Keep one in your car to use as an umbrella sock. It will absorb the rainwater and keep it off your floors and seats.
  • Fill with ice and use as an icepack for a skinned knee or bruised elbow.
  • Fill with rice or dried beans and sew the end shut. Microwave for a minute or so and you have a nice, heavy heating pad.
  • Use a bean or rice-filled sock as a draft blocker under doors or windows.
  • Give them to your children to use as art supplies. They make wonderful puppets!
  • Cut them into long strips and use them to tie your plants to posts in the garden.

Have any other ways to reuse old socks? I have a laundry room full of them just waiting for a job to do! I

f you have some free time, maybe you could consider learning how to mend socks but at least reconsider just tossing them in the trash because of one small hole. If you want to give this a try, check out this sock mending tool kit and get started! Have you ever tried mending socks?

4 thoughts on “How to Mend Socks and Ways to Reuse Them When You Can’t”

  1. I don’t know how to mend socks, unfortunately. We have used old socks as hand puppets, though. That’s a good idea to keep in your car as a place to put the end of your wet umbrella.


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