Saturday, December 13, 2014

DIY fuzzy slipper socks

A year or so ago, I bought several pairs of those fuzzy socks that sell for as little as a buck a pair at drugstores and discount stores all over the country. I really liked how soft and cushy they felt against my feet, but I soon discovered that for actually wearing under shoes, they weren't that practical. They were much too warm to wear in summertime, but in winter, they'd get soggy and cold at the slightest touch of rain or snow. Plus, after just a couple of washings, they lost most of their elasticity, so they'd bunch up under whatever shoes I was wearing.

Eventually I got fed up with them and was going to discard them. But since they were still in good condition, I thought maybe I could make something from the fabric. I started thinking about how I'd never been able to find a decent, inexpensive pair of slippers that actually fit my feet (usually a size small is too tight for comfort, and a size medium is too loose). What if I could upcycle these unwanted socks into slippers?

Once I had the idea, the process of making them seemed perfectly straightforward. First, I layered one pair of socks over the other on my feet to get the heels properly lined up. Then I rolled the tops of both socks down, to make a sort of low-heeled bootie, and stitched them together. I ran the needle through the rolled white and blue layers, then slipped it through the underlying blue layer and back up through the rolled parts. This secured the rolled-down top to the outer layer (blue), but didn't run it all the way through to the inner layer (white), since stitching all the way around the white layer would pull it too tight and keep it from stretching over my feet.

Once the two layers were secured, there was still one thing missing. Slipper socks usually have some sort of tread on the bottom to make them less, well, slippery. So I figured this looked like a job for my hot glue gun. I got it warmed up and applied dots of glue in a grid pattern all over the soles of both slippers. 

This worked, sort of. The slipper socks felt reasonably comfortable for just sitting around, but when I walked in them, I could feel those little bumps of hardened glue right through the fabric, pressing into the soles of my feet. It wasn't really uncomfortable except in one place, right in the middle of the ball of the foot. So I sort of pried that one lump loose, leaving a slightly threadbare spot on the sock, and after that the slippers were reasonably comfortable. The treads still feel slightly odd underfoot, but not really unpleasant.

I still have two more pairs of fuzzy socks to work with, beige and black, so if I make them into a second pair of slipper socks, I might try a different approach with the hot glue. Perhaps instead of big blobs, I'll just lay out a cross-hatching of thin lines that might not feel as hard underfoot. But for a first attempt, I'd say these slipper socks didn't come out too badly at all. And the beauty part is, they killed two birds with one stone—salvaging the material from the old socks I didn't want anymore, and turning them into something I actually needed.

If, however, you would really like a pair of slippers like this, and you don't happen to have a couple of old pairs of fuzzy socks sitting around the house, you can just go out and buy a couple of pairs for a buck apiece at your nearest drugstore, dollar store or what have you. Throw in a little thread and hot glue and half an hour of work, and you're all set. (DIY stocking stuffer, anyone?)
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