HOW TO: Recycle Baby Socks Into Bunnies, Chicks and Eggs!

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If you live with babies and small kids, you may also live with heaps of outgrown clothing, slated for hand-me-downs. With spring cleaning and re-organization underway in most households, why not revisit those old clothes and give them new life as recycled crafting materials? As a new mom with twins under a year old, I have approximately eleventeen zillion pairs of wee socks waiting to be repurposed (or at least moved out of our basement).

We are all familiar with cute sock puppets and sock monkeys, but what about tiny bunnies, chicks, and eggs? I have yet to come across a good reuse project for baby socks, so I put this DIY tutorial together with simple materials found around the home. Buried in the mountains of baby clothes, were also several adorable but too-small hats. With this crafty project, however, a hand knit hat finds new life as a nest for upcycled peeps.

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You will need just a few simple materials to get started with this DIY holiday recycling project. So sit back, put some music on, and get out your sewing kit for a few hours of relaxation and crafting satisfaction. We all know that the babies will sleep through to the end!

DIY craft materials:

-Socks and/or booties, 2-3 per project
-Sewing needles and thread (or embroidery floss, if you have it)
-Rubber bands (for eggs only)
-Assorted notions (buttons for eyes, ribbons to tie around the neck, etc.–optional) Only use if these are for an older child or will be used just for decoration.

To make a ‘recycled sock rabbit’:

1. Start with a sock or bootie.
2. Thread needle with eye-colored thread (I chose brown.) Run needle into the opening of the bootie, pushing the needle through the bootie where you’d like the eye to be, and pull thread taut. Push the needle back into the bootie, leaving a stitch of thread as wide as one eye. Continue five or so times, making lines of thread back and forth until you get the desired eye shape. Repeat for other eye. Knot thread inside bootie.
3. Repeat with nose/mouth-colored thread (I chose pink) and pull the thread out where you want the x for the nose/mouth. Sew the x and knot the thread inside the bootie.
4. Sew ear shapes at the top of the head to define the pink part of the ears, using short, overlapping stitches.
5. Stuff the rabbit body with one or two socks to reach the desired fullness. Put one sock inside the other first to give your rabbit a smoother shape.
6. Using thread the color of your bootie, poke your needle through the back of the rabbit to create the bottom of the ears. Pull the thread through the rabbit to the front, then over the rabbit, from front to back, keeping the thread taut to help define the ears. Poke the needle into the rabbit to grab a little material, then tie a knot and trim the thread.
7. Gather the opening of the bootie into a cottontail shape, then use small rabbit-colored stitches to sew it closed.

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To make a ‘recycled sock chick’:

1. Start with a sock or bootie.
2. Thread needle with eye-colored thread (I chose blue.) Run needle into the opening of the bootie, pushing the needle through the bootie where you’d like the eye to be, and pull thread taut. Push the needle back into the bootie, leaving a stitch of thread as wide as one eye. Continue five or so times, making lines of thread back and forth until you get the desired eye shape. Repeat for other eye. Knot thread inside bootie.
3. Repeat with nose/mouth-colored thread (I chose brown) and pull the thread out where you want the beak to be. Make a diamond shape, then add two more stitches to make the bottom of the beak, then knot the thread inside the bootie. Repeat with contrasting thread to create a tongue.
4. Stuff the chick body with one or two socks to reach the desired fullness. Put one sock inside the other first to give your chick a smoother shape.
5. Roll up the bottom of the sock a little to reveal the fuzzy inside.
6. Take chick-colored thread and sew up the bottom with a small whip stitch, then knot off.

To make a ‘recycled sock egg’:

1. Start with a sock; turn it inside out.
2. Gather the toe-end of the sock and bunch it together, then wrap it with a rubber band to hold the shape in place.
3. Turn the sock right-side out.
4. Stuff the sock with one or two socks. Put one sock inside the other first to give your egg a smoother shape.
5. Turn the opening of the sock into itself, then sew up the bottom with a small whip stitch and knot off.

Have fun crafting and Happy Spring to all Inhabitots readers!

+ Heather Donohue crafts blog

+ Heather Donohue etsy shop

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3 Responses to “HOW TO: Recycle Baby Socks Into Bunnies, Chicks and Eggs!”

  1. Abigail Doan says:

    Finally, a great use for all those little socks that my twins outgrow and shed every month.

    Now what to do with their shoes?

    http://www.ehow.com/how_4586939_donate-kids-shoes-clothes.html

    Thanks for the inspiring ideas, Heather!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I would greatly appreciate the knitting pattern for the colourful childrens socks.
    Thank you.
    Trudytippner@hotmail.com

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