How to Turn Your Tights Into Knee Socks

A super-simple DIY.

Here’s a quick and ridiculously easy way to repurpose old or too-small tights! This DIY was the result of my own personal addiction to buying adorably patterned (but way-too-small) kids’ tights. I was determined to figure out a way to make them wearable, and eventually I got the idea to just turn them into socks! Here’s how I did it.

You’ll need:

  • Legging-style tights—children’s tights are perfect for this, in my experience, but adult-size tights will work fine too.
  • Scissors
  • A sewing machine (preferably with a zigzag function)

How to do it:

1. Fold your tights in half, making sure the bottom hems are lined up nice and even.

2. Use a ruler to measure about four inches* away from the seat seam. Mark this measurement.

* If you want your socks to be taller/shorter then please feel free to adjust this measurement to your liking.

3. Cut straight across from the measurement you marked in the previous step.

4. After you cut the legs off from the tights you’ll have these two tubular pieces of fabric. Sew the raw ends of the tubes shut with a zigzag stitch. I like to sew mine with the sock right-side out; that way the seam will be on the outside of the sock rather than inside where it can irritate your toes.

Now you’ve got yourself a pair of knee-high socks! The perfect accessory for wearing with plaid skirts à la Cher Horowitz. ♦


  • Abby September 21st, 2012 7:21 PM


  • ToriLynne September 21st, 2012 7:30 PM

    I love this! Totally going to try it. And Marlena, where did you get those SHOES!? They are a dream, I’ve been looking for shoes like that forever!
    xo, Tori

    • airplanes.books September 22nd, 2012 5:54 PM

      i have those shoes! they are 90s doc martens!

  • MissKnowItAll September 21st, 2012 7:32 PM

    Oh Marlena, how I love you

  • sissi September 21st, 2012 8:26 PM

    lovely. i did this to a pair of old tights from when i was five. i think I’ll do it to some of my newer tights. always trust rookie to make me cut everything i own up

  • Madeleine Angel September 21st, 2012 8:34 PM

    Been waiting for a diy like this!! YES! ^.^

  • hermit September 21st, 2012 8:46 PM

    haha! i was waiting for this DIY! fanks Marlena :)

  • blisterprince September 21st, 2012 8:55 PM

    this is so PERFECT! i have this really cute pair of tights that got all ripped at the top from sitting on a windowsill. I really didn’t want to throw them away & now i won’t have to!! ♥♥♥♥

  • larvaa_ September 21st, 2012 10:25 PM

    Omg I’m gonna try this btw do you think I would be able to dye any of my plain colored tights, I’m just not sure because of the material of the tights and all.

    • larvaa_ September 21st, 2012 10:27 PM

      oh and my birthday is this Sunday so I’ll definitely be sure to look extra cute in my DIY ‘d high knee socks! :)

    • deeelightfully September 22nd, 2012 1:07 AM

      I did this just the other day! Regular nylon material doesn’t dye with regular dyes (like Rit) but they will dye with food colouring. All you have to do is either a) pre-soak them in a mixture of half vinegar and half water or B) mix your food colour with vinegar and then dip your tights (for tie-dye) or dunk the whole thing into dye. This method usually works best if you heat your tights in the microwave afterwards (allows the colours to set better), then let them cool down gradually, dry them out, and away you go! Just make sure not to let them get too hot in the microwave as they could catch on fire! I got some really amazing tie-dye results out of this!

  • Sea goddess September 21st, 2012 10:52 PM

    Awweee so pretty :}

  • DreamBoat September 21st, 2012 11:05 PM

    Marlena is such a goddess.

  • Eryn September 22nd, 2012 12:31 AM


  • Pearl September 22nd, 2012 3:23 AM

    What great timing! I was about to buy brand new lace socks for a party tonight when I saw this in my twitter feed. Always love your DIYs Marlena! <3

  • Domenic September 22nd, 2012 4:22 AM

    This is why I cry that I am not a girl.

    • Tawsie September 22nd, 2012 11:18 AM

      Don’t worry, 4 words for you my friend: Knee socks under trousers.
      It’s what I do to keep warm in our school (which doesn’t turn the heating on until at least 20% of the students are blue).
      Best part is, they can defy dress code as much as you want because no one will see them :)

      Related: doing this to my tights. Like now. Hope I don’t need any tights soon…

  • TheGreatandPowerfulRandini September 22nd, 2012 5:10 AM

    This is perfect! I practically live in tights and knee socks, and I have an absurd amount of tights that are too small.

  • Lucy23 September 22nd, 2012 2:25 PM

    I can turn all my old tights into kneesocks now!!!

  • friendlychuckle September 23rd, 2012 10:53 AM

    You don’t have to waste the rest of those tights!! Cut them off right at where the legs would start and make a bandeau.

  • EmilyB September 23rd, 2012 11:12 AM

    I need these socks in my life asap.
    The only ‘problem’ is that I now have to go shopping for some uber cute cut up able tights.
    Ok fine that’s just an excuse to go shopping, ya caught me.
    - Emily

  • September 23rd, 2012 1:27 PM

    This is such a good idea! Love being able to recycle and reuse!

    If this kind of stuff interests you, i’d love if you would check out for preloved bargains and tips on how to find the hidden jewels within your local charity shop. xo

  • Mary the freak September 23rd, 2012 2:06 PM

    I want to write a love letter to you.

    That would be creepy.

    But you are perfection.

    Rookie is perfection.

    And this DIY is awesome. (I did a similar thing about a week ago, you can see it on my blog. just in case anyone is interested.)

    Thank you, rookie, for changing my life. You really did, I am not exaggerating.

  • Liz September 24th, 2012 7:51 PM

    holy crap this is the best DIY ever!

  • janee September 24th, 2012 10:49 PM

    This is so cool. I also like your post about pasting plastic bling all over your tights, only I can’t find it anymore!? I have a fashion fiction character: Lily Max. She has a website: and a facebook page: LilyMax Fan Club. I was wondering if you’d allow me to post pics of these crafts with links back to Rookie? Absolutely will not do a thing unless I get the get-go from you. Thanks so much.

    • Anaheed September 24th, 2012 10:50 PM

      Consider yourself go-ahead-ed!

  • rockslita September 25th, 2012 10:44 AM

    I am going to try this at home!

  • Cutesycreator aka Monica September 29th, 2012 9:15 AM

    Awesome tutorial!! Totally gonna do this. Thanks!

  • imaguoy November 21st, 2012 1:10 AM

    Ok, Marlena, I have a challenge for you: I have a pair of adorable ombre fishnets with a really beautiful lacy pattern. Problem is, the ombre dip-dye job is really quite shoddy and it makes my legs look cut off and weird. It’s a shame to relegate such nice stockings to a corner of my drawer–any ideas on what I could do with them? I’m thinking this kneesocks trick isn’t going to work.

  • Remiliuh May 17th, 2013 12:58 AM

    These are so adorable! I noticed though that you used footless tight for these, so I was wondering what you would have to do differently to make socks out of tights with feet already on them?

  • drama mama June 6th, 2013 3:33 PM

    My boys, ages 15 and 9, needed over-the-knee, thin socks to wear under jazz shoes for a play. They are wearing short pants that gather just under the knee.

    I thought about buying them dance tights but they are pricey and I knew they would be uncomfortable.

    This idea was easy, and it works perfectly for what they need!! Thanks so much!