Old pantyhose are among the many items that are commonly discarded when they could be recycled and put to good use in craft projects or as helpers around the garden. Save up damaged pantyhose, give them a good wash and stash them away in a box or bag, ready to use when a crafting need arises.
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Grassy Potato Head
The Kaboose website recommends making a grassy potato head with pantyhose. Cut a 10-inch section out of one of the legs of the pantyhose and tie a knot in one end, then turn the tube inside out, so the knot is on the inside. Put a handful of grass seed into the pantyhose tube and shake it down to the bottom, then pack sawdust into the tube, pushing it down on top of the grass seed until the potato head is as large as you'd like. Tie a knot underneath the packed sawdust and leave the remaining tail of pantyhose attached to act as a wick. Shape the sawdust ball with your fingers to make facial features, or stick on wiggly eyes and paint the features, if you prefer. Soak the potato head in water for a day until it is completely saturated, then stand it on top of a plastic tumbler with water in the bottom, allowing the wick to trail into the water. Wait a couple of weeks for the grass "hair" to grow.
You need quite a few pairs of old pantyhose to make rugs. Cut the legs off the pantyhose, then plait them together three at a time to make a braid. Sew the braids together so you have one long strip. Then, working on a flat surface, form the strip into a flat coil. Use either an invisible thread or a thread in a matching colour to the pantyhose to secure the braids together and prevent them from uncoiling. Because the legs of the pantyhose are braided together, any ladders, holes or runs won't be noticeable, so you can use damaged pantyhose for this project.
Old pantyhose are ideal for making gentle but strong ties for vegetables or other plants that need support. Cut the legs straight across to make rings and slip them over the top of the plant, encircling both the stem and the supporting stake. Or, cut the legs into larger sections, so you have longer pieces of fabric to work with if you need to secure plants with wider stems. Just tie these pieces into the desired size of loop around your plant and its stake.
Kids Crafts Weekly suggests making animals like snakes out of old pantyhose, simply by cutting off one of the legs and then stuffing the leg with torn, scrunched up newspaper. Have your kids tear up the newspapers and stuff them into the pantyhose legs, or use batting for a softer snake. When the body of the snake is suitably fat, tie a knot in the end, then put features on the other end. Cut circles out of felt for eyes, or glue on wiggly eyes, and make a tongue out of either red felt with a V-shaped notch cut in one end, or a piece of red cord. Snakes made from coloured or patterned pantyhose have a touch of added interest.
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