We have hardwood floors in every room in our appartment except the toilet. It looks really good, but it’s not really the ideal surface for babies or toddlers that are learning to crawl and walk or children that like running (and what kid doesn’t prefer running to walking?). We have been fortunate enough to inherite some non-slip socks for Eva from friends and family, but unfortunally she is starting to outgrow them now that she’s actually starting to need them. Though she is currently focusing on bettering her crawling skills, she’s also quite into standing when we hold her hands. And it just goes a lot better with the non-slip socks than in her regular socks.
I therefore set out to by her some new non-slip socks, but it seems that they are either in colours I don’t like or just ridicously expensive and some of them even have a real poor fit meaning they wont stay on her feet for long.
The solution? Making my own non-slip socks for Eva! It turns out it’s pretty darn easy, can be done fairly cheaply and you can use whatever socks you desire as the base and not settle for the few non-slip versions they have at the store. I actually bought some secondhand socks for Eva. They had been used a bit, but were hole-free (except for the big one to stick her feet into) and they were still soft and I liked the colours. Or well, the lack of colours. As you might notice most of the socks are pretty neutral. We have so many pants and shirts in so many different colours that I just needed – yes, needed – something a bit more toned down.
DIY: Non-slip socks
- Liquid natural latex (I ended up bying and using two different colours, black and white. The white latex is however only white when applied and will become see-through when dried up (though darker than the socks) whereas the black one is just black)
- Q-tips (you could use a paint brush instead, but it can be quite difficult to clean it and the result is just as great – if not better – with q-tips)
- Optional for faster drying: hair dryer
- Optional for flattening socks: cardboard and scissors /or tissue / or plastic bags
The essentials (plus an extra pair of socks)
The two different colours of liquid natural latex I used.
1. Place the socks with the soles facing up and flatten them. You could cut a piece of cardboard into the shape of your childs foot (or your own foot) or just fill the socks with plastic bags or tissue to really flatten them out. I admit I was too lazy. No one’s going to notice, but I did try both the tissue and plastic bag idea and it worked really well. Especially the tissue made it easy to apply.
Lay the socks flat. I used an old paper underneath, but didn’t really spill any of the latex, but it’s still nice with the extra precaution.
On the left I’ve stuffed the sock with paper tissue and on the right with plastic bags. I prefered the paper tissue, but both things worked though none of them are a necessity.
2. Dip the q-tip in the latex and apply the latex to the sock. I made little dots which is very easy when you use q-tips. But in theory you could make whatever pattern you like or even dip the entire sole of the sock in latex. Just don’t put to much latex on if you use a thin sock like I did as the latex might soak through. I had one pair where the top and bottom had stuck together, but fortunately I was able to seperate them.
The socks after the second layer. Notice how some of the dots are white. That’s on the ones where I used the white latex. They won’t stay that way though, but become a kind of see-through. .I used black latex on the two pairs in the middle.
Tip: I think it might be a good idea to apply the latex close to a window or at least let some air in when you coat the socks. Just because it does smell a bit and well, better safe than sorry.
3. You’ll have to apply three layers in total. Wait about one hour between each layer. You can hurry up the proces by using a hair dryer if you’re impatient.
4. When you’ve applied all three layes let it dry for at least 24 hours before use. Maybe a bit longer depending on how generous you’ve been with the latex.
5. The socks are now ready and can be washed at 30 degrees celsius. I always wash them before use and turn them inside out. I’m not sure whether or not the latex will wear of if you tumble dry it.
The finished result. You can really see the difference between the two colours of latex on these two pairs. If in doubt the ones on the bottom are the ones with the white (or well see-through) latex.
Here’s the socks in action! Well sort of. She didn’t feel like standing, so here they are in “playing on tummy”-action
Puffy paints and other non-slip ideas
I’ve also read about using puffy paint, but with mixed results. I might give it a go another time though if I come across the paint (I’ve only seen it online). It seems like it might be a bit easier to apply and only need one layer making it possible to do some more interesting designs. And with a whole array of colours! Some people do however point out that if layered to thick it will feel horrible to walk on and others say it just doesn’t work.
Using silicone instead of latex is also a possibility. I’m not sure if it is easier or better in anyway compared to latex. I just bought the first thing I was recommended to be honest.
Then there are the iron-on or sew-on solutions, but either they seem a bit on the expensive side or like I have to put a bit to much effort into it, so I havn’t tried those. I’m more into an easy solution and sewing thing onto to socks seems like a whole lot of work. But especially the sew on solutions get really good reviews which is just typical. The solution that requires the most work is most likely the best solution. Sigh. I think we’re still sticking with the natural latex coating as it works quite well for us. And I like the fact that the dots don’t feel like hard little balls when you walk or that I don’t have to spend either a fortune or a ton of time on making them.