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It’s March and that means National Craft Month! We’ve given you lots of DIY options for rejuvenating socks that aren’t good for being socks any more, but what about nylon socks and stockings?
Nylon styles can be thin and anybody who regularly wears classic stockings has experienced a ruining snag. With socks you can darn holes or cut ‘em to make arm warmers, or use them as the base of fun crafts. There’s a lot more material involved in a sock than there is in a stocking. Sure, thicker and opaque styles you can turn into arm warmers (like at the end of this DIY post), but what about those classically styled, sheer “nylons”? Dreamer Zaf gave some good tips for dealing with holes recently on the Tumblr, but what about when there’s just no saving them?
Well, conveniently I collect household hint books, and even more conveniently, I’ve got one from the 1960s (reprinted in the 1970s), back when nylon stockings were a staple. Heloise’s Housekeeping Hints is pretty much my favourite household hint resource and between this old version and later versions (she’s even on the web, now!), there are lots of ways to get some last use out of snagged nylons. They’re not that craft-oriented, but they are crafty (as in sneaky and smart!). For all of these tips, use clean nylons and cut off any lace tops (especially if they have silicone grip strips inside).
Lotsa tips after the jump!
Because they’re light and not very textured, nylon stockings can be fantastic gentle scrubbers. Just ball ‘em up and have at whatever needs to be cleaned or dusted with a more careful touch.
They’re also so gentle that thin strips are perfect to tie back plants to stakes or to anchor climbing vines. I would have a picture here, but I don’t grow things (it’s for the best).
Maybe you already know the newspaper trick for washing mirrors (WAY less lint than paper towels!), but nylons work just as well. And even less lint!
Okay, you KNOW you dropped something back there, under the very heavy thing. Just rubber-band a sheer stocking over the open end of your vacuum cleaner hose and try fishing for it. The stocking is open enough that the vacuum still suctions, but isn’t so open that the vacuum eats whatever you were trying to find.
That porousness is great for making bath sachets too. Throw some powdered milk, baking soda, oatmeal and lavender in there (it’s easiest if you stretch the stocking over a cup), tie it off and hang it below the tap in your tub. Nothing gross floating in the bath, but all the benefit of fancy bath times!
And here is a truly crafty crafting option! Craftgrrl has a Cheap Screenprinting Tutorial! Easy and quick screen printing. Just some nylons, non-water based glue and an embroidery hoop.
There’s a lot you can do with socks, too, but whew, I think they’ll need a whole post of their own! Do you have any tips for reusing old nylons?
14 soxy thoughts:
I also use ruined (but clean!) nylons instead of cheesecloth for straining things.
Many years ago, I saw a cool way to make decorated eggs. Get some cool-looking leaves or flowers, carefully spread one or more over the egg, cover the whole thing in an old nylon, tying it shut (or use a rubber band or whatever).
Then, stick these nylon covered eggs in a big pot of water with either onion skins, beets or other item that dyes things. Boil it for a long time, like 20 minutes or more. The longer it goes, the darker the color.
You will never eat these eggs.
When you are done with the boiling process, carefully remove the eggs with tongs and set somewhere safe to cool and dry.
When dry, carefully remove the old nylon and plant. You will now have a light colored shape of the plant surrounded by a lovely color on an egg!
Sadly, my eggs were all eventually destroyed by my cats, so I can’t show pics. I should do this again sometime.
@Faye, smart! They’re way finer than cheesecloth, too!
I cut them into small pieces and put them in the bottoms of flower pots, so that soil doesn’t leak out when I water the plants. This only works with sheer stockings. Opaque tights will prevent water from draining out quickly enough and may cause root rot.
@Linda, Ooh! I’ve totally seen that technique (though never tried it), and the results are so gorgeous. I simply had to go find pictures of the process to share and found this tutorial that uses veggies to make the dye! Yay! I’m so glad you reminded me of this process in time for Easter!
@Darcy, genius! And way more probable that sheer stockings are around than bits of windowscreen or anything (at least, for folks like us!)
Ball up and old pair of nylons, and use them to scrub your bath tub. Gets rid of the gross soap scum and any nasty tub rings, too.
@Jenni, that would be especially great on for tubs, because they can be so easily scratched by rougher scrubbers!
I love all of these great ideas! I think the nylon over the vaccuum is my favorite.
@Niqkita, totally! I feel a bit silly that I hadn’t thought of that myself!
I’m going to have to try that screen-printing trick! Very cool.
@Lucy, it’s pretty fun! And having done “proper” screen printing before, myself, I like this technique just as much.
I’m a teacher (and a makeup artist but this is a teacher trick!) and have taught five year olds for years. I use new knee high stockings to tie bars of soap to the taps that the children use to wash their hands. It stops them from dropping the soap on the floor, making it slippery and dangerous but still let’s the soap come through. Sadly, I have to use new stockings (too gross to recycle them!) but it’s still something different to do with stockings other than wear them!
@Christy, oh dang! That brings back memories! We definitely had old socks with soap in ’em tied to the spigots outside where I grew up!