Upcycled Tights DIY Macrame Plant Hangers

I have a love/hate relationship with tights. On one hand, I hate being cold. On the other hand, I don’t like choosing between feeling like a stuffed sausage or having a droopy crotch from too-big tights. Yeah.

The worst part of tights is how easily they run and how impossible that is to fix. Essentially, if the run is big enough, the tights are out and can’t (won’t) be worn again. I am guilty of hoarding ruined tights in hopes they’ll become reparable or because I forget they have runs, put them away, and repeat every week throughout the winter.

In true zero waste fashion, I tried to think of something to do with a box of old tights besides sending them to landfill. Many people recommend using them as sieves, or getting one more single-use out of them before disposing of the tights. I don’t need to filter anything, and the point is to avoid the landfill. I couldn’t find any specific recycling programs, and there are no textile recycling programs within a three hour radius.

I’m done talking, now, don’t worry. Some corner of my mind came up with this:

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Macrame…tights?

Yup, I did that. Tights are stretchy, but durable, especially lengthwise…hot dog style…up and down the legs…However you say it, the tights are strong enough to hold a small-medium size plant (and look beautiful).

I was inspired by this video.

To begin with, you need 4 pairs of tights (so 8 legs) to make a stable plant hanger. I used 3, which I don’t recommend because it was hard to position the plant so it was stable. For the purpose of these instructions, it will give you the same idea.

Materials

4 pairs of tights

Some kind of ring (preferable)

Scissors

Instructions

  1. Assemble your tights

  2. Cut the top off of the tights, like so. Doing it with a curve is preferable because when you go to make the top knot, you don’t want too much excess fabric.

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3. Stack your tights on top of each other, and slide your ring up the legs.

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4. Make a knot by putting the feet of the tights through the hole between the crotch and the ring (am I the only one laughing at that?) and pull tight. If you don’t have a ring, I suggest making a knot with a small loop on top for hanging later.

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5. Next, organize the legs in the pattern of your choice.

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6. Making pairs, knot each pair together.

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7. Make new pairs using the leg to the right  of the furthermost right legs of each know (look at my picture and video to know what this means)

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8. Gather the legs at the bottom and make a final large knot.

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Tips:

Your tights should be roughly the same size

Be conscious of the shortest legs of the group and make sure the are part of the final, big knot

Tuck the excess of your knot on the right to create a smoother look

 

Taking care of the tights you have

A few tips to take care of the tights you do have:

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  1. Hand wash- I know, a pain, but they’ll last longer.

  2. Wash only when they need it-tights are made up of mostly nylon, which is a polymer (plastic) and probably releases microplastics when washed. So, if you wore them for a couple hours on a date, air them out and put them away.

  3. Air dry-this is recommended by the brand No Nonsense as a way to prolong the life or your tights. They also recommend putting them on carefully to avoid snags.

Have you upcycled tights? How did it go?