Crafting is great therapy. If you ask us, there’s not enough crafting happening in the world. Embarking on creative endeavors as an individual, duet or group can allow for soul searching, bonding, self-expression, communication, improved hand-eye coordination, a feeling of accomplishment, lots of epiphanies, happiness, and some much-needed R&R, to name a few.
Right now, weekly trips to the craft store are much trickier than usual, but you don’t always have to wade through the aisles at Michaels to find some fantastic crafting materials. Chances are you have more craft materials around the house than you see at first glance. For example, ever wonder where socks go when they disappear from your washer or dryer? At which point did they even shuffle off? Do they go to some kind of magical land where mismatched socks become unicorns? It’s an age-old mystery – and you know in your heart of hearts that those wayward socks just aren’t coming back. So, it’s time to dig into that pile of those socks that were left behind and give them a new lease on life.
All the above to say that sock crafts are kind of a twofer in that you get to craft, and you get to minimize the stress pangs that come along with seeing those lonely socks and wondering where their escapee counterparts are. So, this post will go over five fun, and easy sock craft activities picked specifically for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Did you ever watch Happy Feet? We’re kicking off this post with sock penguins because, obviously, every penguin dances like they do in Happy Feet. And, it’s cold where they are, so they’ll likely appreciate the gesture of being immortalized in cozy sock form.
You will need:
- 1 black sock
- 1 stripy or patterned sock
- Yellow felt or yellow sock/scrap of material
- Black felt or another black sock
- White felt or a white sock
- 2 Googly eyes or black pen or paint for eyes
- A bag of rice
- Glue & glue gun, fabric glue or Elmer’s glue
Making penguins is one of the easiest ways to repurpose old socks. You’ll need a black or mostly black sock for this one as well as a patterned sock and a white one, too. Felt is the easiest to use for the details on your penguin, but just about any fabric can be used. And you’ll need rice, about three cups of rice to fill the sock with. Although the quantity of rice varies with the size of the sock.
- Get your black sock and turn it inside out
- Cut off the toe of your black sock (as seen below)
- Tie the cut end of your sock with string, as shown below
- Turn your sock inside out so it is right-side out
- Fill your sock with rice. You want the fill to be enough to make your penguin look healthy but still have a little give so that it’s squeezable
- Once filled, tie the loose end with string
- Take the toe piece that we cut off in the beginning and cut a sliver of it to make an elastic band
- Tie your sock elastic band around the top third of your rice-filled sock a few times to make a head
- Cut out pieces of felt or fabric, as shown below
- Get your patterned sock and cut off the top in the same way as you cut the main black sock.
- Take the sock tip this time and roll up the bottom to make a little penguin beanie hat.
- Stick your details onto your penguin (example below) and add the hat.
- If you’d like, you can also give your penguin a little scarf with the remainder of the patterned sock.
Tip: for an easier way to get the rice into the soon-to-be penguin, pop the sock into a glass and roll the open end of the sock around the rim of the glass to keep the sock open and sturdy while you pour.
Sock Pets with Living Green Hair
This craft is one that you can do once and reap the benefits from for months afterward. It’s also a good craft for teaching daily responsibilities as the water reserve that fuels the pet’s hair will need some close monitoring.
You will need:
- 1 wayward sock of your choosing
- A plastic cup or empty yogurt pot
- Grass seed
- Googly eyes, black and white felt, or a black and a colored Sharpie for the eyes–whatever you have lying around the house!
- Red felt or black Sharpie for mouth
- Pick a wayward sock of any color or pattern
- With the toe as the top of the head, glue on googly eyes, or black and white felt pieces. Alternatively, draw on some eyes
- With the red felt, cut it into a mouth shape and stick onto your sock to complete the sock. If you don’t have felt, you can use a bottle cleaner or just draw the mouth on
- Wait for your masterpiece to dry
- Turn the sock on its head and pour 2 tbsp of grass seed into the sock
- Fill the rest of the sock with damp potting soil, leaving enough space to be able to tie the loose end of the sock
- Tie a knot in the loose end and place the little bald pet into a plastic cup or yogurt pot 1/3 filled with water.
- Pop your new little being on a windowsill and wait for some hair to grow. Be sure to check the water level every few days and top up as needed.
Sock Drawer Sachets
It’s time to change the way socks are represented! Smelly socks can actually become the nice-smelling kind and give the rest of your clothes an aromatic and therapeutic boost.
You will need:
- 1 or more lonely sock(s)
- Dried aromatic herbs like lavender, cinnamon, lemon peel, orange peel, mint, jasmine flowers, rose petals, or rosemary (or you can get creative with what dried herbs you have on your spice rack–like thyme). Alternatively, you can use aroma beads you can buy in a store like Downy Unstoppables, for example.
Fill your sock with your chosen herbs or scented beads. Tie your sock at the loose end, throw it in one of your clothing drawers, and you’re done! Repeat with different scents for different drawers.
Bonus tip: You can also make a heating pad sock by following the instructions above, but filling the sock with rice and dried lavender or rice and lavender oil. Once tied, you can microwave the sock for 1-2 minutes every time you need a heating pad for aches and pains.
No-Sew Sock Bunny
Why wait until Easter to make bunnies, particularly if you have a good stock of single socks that are ready to be transformed?! This is a cute and quick craft that won’t require a trip to the craft store.
You will need:
- One midcalf length sock. Any color of sock will do!
- A bag of rice
- A cotton ball
- A black Sharpie or another marker
- Fill the sock up leaving a good 3 inches at the top
- Tie a piece of string around the loose end, leaving enough fabric to make some ears. Make sure that you tie fairly close to the rice but leave some give in the filled section because you’ll need to give the rabbit a head.
- Tie a piece of ribbon into a sturdy bow around the top third of the filled section to make a head.
- With the unfilled top of the sock, cut directly down the middle, stopping before the top bit of string. You now have two ears. Cut away the excess on the inside of the ears to make them look like two long petals (more like bunny ears).
- Draw on eyes, a nose, and a mouth
- Stick on your cotton ball tail
- Make another one as a companion to the first!
Door Draft Stoppers
Draft stoppers can save up to 20% on your energy bill. This is the perfect activity if you can see light around the edges of your exterior doors when looking from the inside of the house outwards. Also, if you have drafty windows, you can put draft stoppers around them as well. Drafty interior doors can use these too. So, why not make them out of some beautiful mismatched socks?
You will need:
- 1-3 sock(s)
- Quilt batting, rice, or extra socks!
All you really need to do is stuff a sock with quilt batting, pillow stuffing, rice, quinoa, couscous, extra socks, or anything that can hold a draft out (honestly, batting works better than rice). To finish this craft off, you’ll need to tie the loose end and lay the draft stopper in front of your draft!
For a longer draft stopper, you can sew two or three socks together, making sure you cut off the toe of the middle sock if you have three. If you’re not a huge fan of sewing, you can use a leg from some thicker pantyhose.
Alternative uses for Solo Socks
Not in the mood for crafting but still need a place for your abandoned socks? You could just wear mismatched socks–and we want you to know that this is perfectly acceptable. OR, if you happen to know a House Elf in need, you could use one of your socks to free said House Elf and really show Lucius Malfoy who’s boss.
About Stephen’s Place
If you have a loved one with developmental or intellectual disabilities, who is looking for a community to live in, please contact us for more information.
Stephen’s Place is a private-pay apartment community due to our state-of-the-art amenities and programs. We are a nonprofit and do not profit from our community. We are private pay because we spend more than some housing communities to ensure that our residents are comfortable and can safely live their lives with independence and dignity.