Looking for something to do with those mysterious single socks? Turn them into animal puppets (they're easier to make than they look).
For more designs, pick up McCall's pattern No. 14114 in your local craft supply or fabric store.
RABBIT: Push the dowel into the ball at a slight angle. Next, cut two ears out of white felt and two inner ears out of pink felt. Bend a pipe cleaner in half, sandwich it between the felt pieces, and glue them together with the pipe cleaner ends protruding an inch. Then pull a white sock over the ball and glue on googly eyes and a pink pom-pom nose with cotton balls on each side. Cut slits in the sock on the "head" and push the ears into the ball. Finally, stuff the "neck" with batting, poke a hole in the cup and slide it, upside down, onto the dowel.
DRAGON: Start by pulling a green sock over the ball and stick, leaving 4 inches at the toe. Then cut flames out of felt, sandwich a popsicle stick between them and glue them together with the stick jutting out an inch. Next, poke a hole in the sock tip and push the stick into the ball. Cut two jagged spines out of green felt, glue the straight edges down the puppet's back, then glue the spines together. Glue on eyes, a cone-shaped felt horn and two felt nostrils. Finally, stuff the neck with batting and slip the cup on the stick.
ELEPHANT: Stuff batting into the toe of a blue sock and pull the sock over the ball and stick, leaving 5 inches for the trunk. Tie five 3-inch pieces of yarn around the trunk and poke holes on each side for two pipe-cleaner tusks. Glue on the eyes. Next, cut two ears out of felt, punch holes around the edges and weave a pipe cleaner through the holes. Poke two holes in the sock, and slip in the ears, pushing the pipe cleaners into the ball. Finish by stuffing the neck and sliding the cup on the stick.
HORSE: Push a cup into the toe of a yellow sock and pull the sock over the ball and stick. Cut two oval ears out of felt, a blaze for the face out of white felt and nostrils out of pink felt, and glue them in place. Make a mane out of a rectangle of brown felt; fringe the edges and glue to the neck. To make the bridle, tie a loop of yarn around the nose; tie a second loop around the forehead. Use two pipe-cleaner rings for the bit. Then tie a piece of yarn to one ring and loop it over the head to the other ring. Lastly, tie yarn reins to the rings, stuff the sock with batting and slip over another cup.