Sunday, July 5, 2009


1—Theraputic Heat Wraps. Fill a tube sock half full with uncooked white rice and either knot or sew the open end. Microwave for 60 sec. for a good 20 minutes of soothing heat. Wonderful across the back of the neck, over an aching shoulder and between garments for low back ache.

2—Sevin Dust Applicator. I don’t know if there is a downside to this or not so I am only sharing a story and expect you to do your own research regarding health and safety. In the mid 1970’s, an elderly woman taught me to garden. She was an advocate of Sevin Dust for pest control. She would fill an old sock with the powder, knot the end and walk the rows of her garden, swinging and shaking the sock over and around her plants leaving them covered with a fine layer of white dust. The dust would also have covered her shoes had she not used the following hint:

3—Shoe Covers. Large, old, unmated socks are great protectors when pulled over shoes before working in the garden or doing messy jobs like painting. The gardener (above) always covered her shoes before going into the garden and washed the dirty socks under the hose.

4—Garden Tool Storage. My elderly gardener friend had been using the same garden tools since she was a young bride. They lasted because she took care of them. After the gardening season, the metal parts of each trowel, spade and hoe were carefully cleaned, sharpened, scrubbed with steel wool, rubbed down with linseed oil and covered with an orphan sock. Thus protected, they were stored away for the winter.

5—Thistle Bird Feeders. Fill a long tube sock with thistle seed, knot the open end and hang it from a tree branch. The sock thistle feeders are unhandy for squirrels but are a serious attraction for thistle feeding birds like Goldfinches.

6—Moth Ball Bag. Simply fill a sock with mothballs, knot the end and hang in your winter storage closet or toss into your blanket storage chest or plastic bin.

7—Cedar Bag. If you buy sweet smelling cedar chips for a pet’s bedding, why not fill unmated socks and hang them in your closets?

8—Candle Holder Caddies. Tired of cleaning brass and silver candle holders only to have to clean them again the next time they are used? After each use, while still bright and shiny, give the candle sticks a quick wipe with your favorite polish, put an old sock on each hand to avoid finger marks and place each holder in its own sock for storage.

9—Packing Glassware. Old and unmated socks provide perfect protection for drinking glasses whether they are being packed for a move or stored until the next holiday or to make room for other things.

10—Cold Drink Koozies. For yourself, or the children, slip a glass, can or bottle into a sock. It will absorb the condensation as well as provide personal identification of drinks.

11—Bean Bags. Sock tops make perfect beanbags. Simply sew the top closed. Cut the foot from the sock, fill with dried beans and sew the cut edge together. Need something to do with all those unused sock ‘feet’? Get creative. Use them to fill soft toss-bags or make a soft toy by sewing or painting faces on the heels, fill the foot part (body) with other sock feet and sew the opening closed.

12—Quieting Dice Cups. If you play a board game that requires shaking dice in a plastic cup and the noise drives you crazy, cut as much of the top of a sock as will be needed to line the cup (bottom & sides) and glue it into place. Enjoy the silence.

13—Wicking Water for Plants. Over water or under water houseplants? Here’s a trick. Cut the rounded top-part off of a water or juice bottle so that you have a container the shape of a drinking glass. Hang a sock inside the container and fold the top over the edge to make a cuff an inch or two wide. Carefully dig a hole in the dirt beside your plant and insert the bottle deep enough that the sock ‘cuff’ will be partly buried. Fill the container with water. The water will wick up the sock and into the soil. When the sock is empty, it’s time to refill with water.

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