Decor Tutorial

DIY Decor – Sock storage for free elves

February 5, 2018

I’ve had something on my mind for awhile and this week, I finally got around to making it a reality.

I’m going to start this by admitting that I’m quite a dork. Am I wearing a Star Wars scarf and drinking tea from an Outlander mug as I type? Maybe.

So anyway, what do you do with spare socks? You know, those extras that get separated from their mates no matter how careful you think you are with the laundry?

You can leave them in pile somewhere and hope to find their partners. Or you can decorate with them while they wait, and then when if you find their mate, you can reunite them easily.

And so I bring you, easy wood transfers part 2! FREE DOBBY!

Part 1 was here – while that works, I made an improvement for part 2.

Back when I was taking masters degree classes, I took a fascinating hands on art history class where we used historical methods. This included dyeing yarn with natural materials, making our own paints, and doing transfers the old fashioned way – using charcoal. Well, charcoal is messy and anyway I don’t have any on hand, so I went with the next best thing. I borrowed my toddler’s black crayon.


  • Craft wood (I used a 6×11″ piece from Joann Fabrics)
  • White paint and a paint brush, if you want a background
  • A black crayon
  • A fine ballpoint pen (Pentel RSVP is my favorite)
  • A paint marker in your choice of color
  • String or ribbon
  • A handful of clothespins
  • A stapler*
  • Scotch tape
  • Computer, printer and basic design skills

*this will work for a quick and dirty method on soft wood. On thicker/harder wood, you can use press in frame hangers

The method:

  1. If you want a background, throw a coat of paint over your craft wood and let it dry.
  2. Image time! I have the advantage of being a graphic designer, but you don’t need mad skills to do this. If you choose to trace rather than just freehand the design, you’ll need to grab your design and print it at the right size. This can be accomplished in Microsoft Word using basic fonts and clipart from Google image search (keep in mind that you can use these images if you’re making it for personal use, once you go to sell something, licenses are needed).
  3. Turn your paper over and scribble on it with the black crayon. Really go for it. It doesn’t need to be a thick coating, but you want a bit of the crayon wax specifically around the outsides of your letters and image.
  4. Turn the paper back the right way and tape it to your craft wood. Grab the ballpoint pen and trace around the outside of all your letters and images with medium pressure. You can periodically lift the edge of your paper a little to check.
  5. Remove your paper. You should have a decent imprint of your image on the wood, and with luck, some of your crayon has transferred also to make the outlines a little easier to see.
  6. Grab that paint marker and shake it up, baby (no twisting or shouting required)! Get a good flow on your marker (test on scrap paper) then use it to trace your transferred design, filling in wherever you like. Paint marker will dry within moments, but be sure to work from left to right if you’re right-handed, or opposite if you’re a lefty, and try to keep your hand raised so you don’t drag the paint around.
  7. Roughly measure your string or ribbon and attach it however you think is best. I used an office stapler and centering the string at the bottom with a little slack, stapled the two bottom corners, ran it up the sides and stapled at the top corners, then tied a bow up top that I could hang it from.
  8. Finally, I hung it on the wall with a removable command hook, grabbed some clothespins and clipped up some socks.

Considerations: Weight and balance are going to affect how this hangs. If you want it super stable, use a thicker wood (like the blank plaques in craft stores) and use press/hammer in frame hangers, one on each side up top and hang it from two nails. This will keep it from shifting with the weight of the socks. You can also run the bottom string taut across the wood rather than loose below it. And finally, I used a stapler because it was here and it worked. Hot glue should work, as will any number of other fasteners.

So what do you think? Ready to get crafting and prepare to free those house elves?

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