Introduction: Microwaveable Sock Creature

Picture of Microwaveable Sock Creature

 There's nothing so nice as an already warm bed on a cold night. This little guy will warm your sheets for you if you toss him in the microwave and then into bed a few minutes before you turn in. 

These critters make great gifts for kids and are also wonderful for aches and pains. 

(These instructions can also be used to make a normal sock animal. Just substitute stuffing for organic filler.)


Look too hard? No problem! Try my super-easy Heated Cuddle Budy: www.instructables.com/id/Heated-Cuddle-Buddy/




Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies
Since this guy is going to go in the microwave, you want to be sure your materials are appropriate.
Everything going into this project should be able to withstand at least 2.5 minutes in the microwave without any ill effects such as melting, sparking, exploding, or fuming. This means no metallics!! No metallic thread or buttons or pieces of any sort. You may like your sock creatures to have button eyes, but you don’t want anything that could get hot enough to burn you. 

I did a microwave test on my stuffing just to make sure it was microwave friendly.

For organic filling, you can use any sort of grain, such as wheat, oats, or rice. If you use oats, your fleecy friend will smell perpetually of oatmeal. Beans work as well but be careful not to get your buddy wet or he may go to seed.
If I wanted to get super scientific I could do microwave tests to find out the most efficient filling, but unfortunately for you, I’m lazy. I used rice because it’s cheap, easy, and I had heaps of it laying around my house. I’ve always hated oatmeal anyhow. 

The most important item you will need is the socks. You only need one pair unless you're making a crazy, two-headed, multi-limbed alien monster. Your sock creature will look very different depending on what sort of socks you use. Obviously you should choose a color and pattern that you like, but the style of sock also matters. Don't use ankle socks, or you'll have no legs, and don't use knee or thigh-highs unless you want reeeeeeaaaalllly long limbs. If you use socks with a heel, the heel will eventually be the bum, so you want the toe bit and the ankle bit to be of roughly equal lengths. If you use a sock without a heel, such as with toe socks, then you don't have to worry about that. If you do choose tow socks, with some careful planning you can give your creature a toehawk, spines, or even wings!

Step 2: Body & Legs

Picture of Body & Legs
- Turn socks inside out.

- Place a pin horizontally where you want the legs to end. This is either at the top of the heel or roughly half-way up the sock. 

- Pin your center line. I eyeballed, but feel free to measure if you feel like it. Make sure that the top of the sock is facing you. You can tell this by either the presence of a heel, or by the seam at the toe. 

- Set your needle to the far right position, then sew the legs.
Starting on the right, lock-stitch (go forward a few stitches, then back a few stitches, then forward again) then sew around the right foot and up the left side of the pins.
Lock-stitch then skip over to the right side of the pins without sewing. 
Lock-stitch and sew down the left leg and around the right foot before lock-stitching again. 

- Remove pins and cut up the center line to the crotch, snipping through the thread, but no further. 
- Trim around feet.

- Turn right side out through crotch.

- Stuff a fist-full of stuffing in through the crotch and push it up to the toe. This will be your head. 

 

- Fill the rest of the body and legs with rice.

 

- Sew the crotch up using a neat ladder stitch. I sew it twice just to make sure I won't have any leaks. 

 

Voi'la! Your creature's body is complete.





Step 3: Arms

Picture of Arms
 - Use the body as a guide and cut the second sock in two.

 

- Pin, sew, and trim the arms just as you did the legs.

If you want your creature to have a neck, tie a piece of embroidery floss securely around neck between the stuffing and the rice. Don't tie it too tight or his head will loll. Just tight enough to give definition. This will help with placement of the arms.

 

- Fill arms with rice. Squish the rice down, and fill some more. 

 

- Close off top of arm to prevent rice spillage. 

 

-Sew arms to body with a neat ladder stitch starting at the seam. Place the seam in the underarm, sew around and knot off when you get back to the seam. 

Step 4: Tail

Picture of Tail

- If you're using heeled socks, take this opportunity to cut the heel from the second sock.


- Pin toe section of second sock together and sew a tail shape. 

 

- Turn right side out and stuff.

 

- Close off top of tail and sew onto bum using the same method as you used for the arms.

 

I was unhappy with the tail that I had made (it was lumpy) so I simply emptied it out, turned it inside out again, re-sewed and trimmed to get a shorter, less lumpy tail. 

See... we all make mistakes. 

Step 5: Ears

Picture of Ears
 -Sew desired ear shapes. Pointy for cats, round for monkeys, long and floppy for dogs, etc. etc. 

 

-Cut them out and turn right side out.

 

- Sew again to make a french seam and trim of excess bits.

 

- Sew ears to head using a neat ladder stitch all the way around. Don't sew through both layers at once, but through each layer individually in order to get your ears to stand upright. 


Step 6: Muzzle

Picture of Muzzle
 - Cut a diamond shape out of the remaining sock piece to use as a muzzle (Or use the heel that you cut out previously).

 

- Start sewing in the center top where you want your muzzle to be. Ladder stitch around in a football shape until you have a half inch left open. 

 

- Stuff the muzzle with stuffing and sew shut. 

 

You can use the last of your thread to define the muzzle if you want it to have cat-like features. Simply loop the thread through from bottom to top, pull tight, and knot it off. 

 

You're done with the foundation, now for the decor. 

Step 7: Face

Picture of Face
 - Embroider on a face. I always knot off on the bottom the the muzzle as it's a good hiding place. 

 

- If you use double thread you can get thicker lines.

 

If you can't decide what sort of expression you want, sketch the outline of your face and draw a few out to see what they look like. Try out your favorite. If you don't like the face that you've made, simply rip it off and start again. 

 

The embroidery floss I used was shiny and slippery and devilishly hard to work with, so I recommend a nice, normal, non-florescent embroidery floss. 

 

And as an added bonus I sewed on a felt heart, just to let you know I care. You can do all or some of your features like this if you want to take the time. It's actually easier to use felt if you want large areas of solid color. 

 

Step 8: Microwave and Enjoy!!

Picture of Microwave and Enjoy!!

 And you're done! Stick him in the microwave for 2 minutes and enjoy! 

Comments

Running Wolf (author)2017-08-05

I so have to make.... Just got a sewing machine (for making costumes).

As if you can't tell I am a cat person.

BarbaraL43 (author)2016-03-22

I really love this cat and your instructions are great. But I have had a problem with rice making its way out of the sock. Can you make recommendations as to what kind of socks to use?

saosport (author)2013-03-05

thanks

gothgaluk (author)2012-03-21

so cute and cuddly!!! I am going to have a go at a black cat for the kids,just like the one we used to have!!

DucttapeNinja (author)2010-03-08

I'm really excited to start on one, but I have a question:
     are these going to start smelling like popcorn? There's a lot of burning things going on in my local microwaves...

Mauigerbil (author)DucttapeNinja2011-11-12

Try putting a bowl of vinegar in there for a few hours(do not microwave) Mustard orcoffee also works. I learned this from the guide to unusual uses in life hacks. Have a look around there if you have any poroblems with anything. The coffee one makes it smell like coffee tho! ;)
Maui gerbil

 If you use popcorn, then yes. ... And he'll only work once. :P

No, seriously... If you put him on a clean plate when you mic him, then you won't get any food particles sticking to him, which will help.
Also, if you wait till the burning smell is gone from the mic before you cook your cat (hehe) it'll help. Burning popcorn smell is pretty pervasive, tho... so I dunno for sure. :/ If you want to just fill a sock with rice and knot the top, you can use it for a while and see if it picks up the smell. 

Mauigerbil (author)Eccentricat2011-11-12

Mmm.... Popcorn!

Thanks again! I made one as a gift to my girlfriend, she always has cold hands and feet (I guess she has poor circulation) and this was an elegant solution.
If you're interested, there's the finished product. I made sure to accredit you for the idea.

jazziejazzcreations (author)2011-07-01

this looks awsome! i cant wait to try and make this for my baby cousin. hes been sick. :( thanks for posting!! :)

deblon (author)2011-06-11

adding nice smelling herbs, such as dried lavender, helps you relax and keep your sock cat smelling great when it comes out of the microwave.

juicymoose (author)2011-04-15

wondering how about a dog??

ccsinspirations (author)2010-12-31

What a wonderful idea! Usually I just let my two cats warm my bed for me. Of course, they don't appreciate being moved to the cold part when I slide them over! This would solve that problem and work for the nights they choose to sleep elsewhere!

leggs2002 (author)2010-11-29

you can make a self-stuffing tail, by leaving plenty of excess sock when you cut it.

ilovegm (author)2010-11-29


Hi! Thanks for the great idea, i made a sock-mato for my gf :]

booboobear (author)2010-11-07

Excellent how-to with photos and directions!! VERY well done. The kitty warming pad is both cute and practical. I like that! Also a great idea for recycling socks. Thanks for all the time you put into this instructable!

Saskiaoxley (author)2010-10-05

when i make it, can i cut a snip to the middle of the sock and sow it into two legs?

Eccentricat (author)Saskiaoxley2010-10-05

You can do whatever you want! You can make the legs as short or as long or as numerous as you want, but in general it's easier to sew and then cut rather than cutting first.

Krako (author)2010-09-05

Love the Kitty idea! - I keep grain socks around all year! - If you need to cool off - freeze the bag - it will cool your pillow (use as a neck support) or even help if you have a sprain! - I keep grain bags in the freezer during the summer months - it is great when you want to cool down while watchng tv in the evening & Kitty cuddles too!

jadeford (author)2010-08-13

well im really confused.... i tested the socks which i was going to use just normal black socks i put them in thinking they would be fine and the microwave started to smoke and the socks melted. so i got another pair (same make) and instead i put them in for 30 seconds and they were fine, im not sure why they need 2 minutes. i found a hand warmer tutorial on here which is basicly the same filling socks with rice and it says to put it in the microwave for 30 seconds take it out shake it a bit then put it in again for 30 seconds. i have fallin in love with this kitty so i am still going to do it but i am going to use the heating method of 30 seconds take out and 30 seconds again. do you use a special sort of sock or something? please reply and give some advice!!!!

Eccentricat (author)jadeford2010-08-13

For just warming your hands, 30 second is enough, but if you want it nice and hot to warm a bed up, 2 minutes is better. You can experiment until you find the temperature and time that works for you. The point of the two minutes is to test and see if your socks are suitable for the microwave. Suitable socks are made from natural fibers, like cotton, which won't melt or smoke in a microwave. I advise cotton socks for safety as well as ease.

porcupinemamma (author)2010-06-12

great gift idea. Thanks

xrachelthegreatx (author)2010-04-15

Would using instant rice be any different than uncooked rice?  Because that's all we've got.  Any other ideas?

firefliie (author)2010-03-20

you know what would be fun? filling one of these cats with popcorn kernels and nuking it in the microwave. i think it would be pretty entertaining!

KC-Dimples (author)2010-03-14

I dont know what THAT guy's problem is, but I think this posting is AWSHUM! Great idea, especially if you wanna cuddle with something on a cold winter night. So cute! :3

steampunk-punk (author)2010-03-12

... why? why would i make a one time stuffed animal to put  in th emicrowave? im not trying to be rude i just dont get it. why does one microwave a stuffed animal?

This kitty is filled mostly with rice rather than fluffy stuffing. When uncooked rice or grains are microwaved, they heat up and stay hot for about a half-hour (more or less... I've never actually timed it). The rice doesn't cook in the microwave, so you can microwave him again and again so long as he doesn't get wet. 

SO basically, this guy is a dry hot water bottle.
He can warm your bed up for you or help with sore muscles or cramps. 

bagshotrow (author)2010-03-07

Considering I am a grown man and have a lot of things on my plate which come before making stuffed animals, it is entirely unnecessary for this thing to look like a cat... but LOOK AT HIM! He's all RELAXIN'. I need an oven toasty relaxicat. This is something I NEED.

He's like, CHILL OUT~

I love this.

nix78 (author)bagshotrow2010-03-09

 Now, this is EXACTLY how I felt when I saw this kitty (kitty-kittygiddygiddyyy-aaawwwwshessocuteeee... ahem).

kathrynl (author)2010-03-08

This is so cute.  I'm gathering supplies to make this today.  Thanks for posting it.  :)!

luvit (author)2010-03-06

 do not try this with a real cat. do not do that.

zascecs (author)luvit2010-03-07

Agreed, for the sake of cats. 

JohnJY (author)2010-03-06

 You should have put this out right before the Florida Cold Freeze, it was cold for so long! In Florida! 
  This is a very nice Instructable, very well made, comical, practical, and the pictures and Instructable are very well detailed and organized. 
  Ten out of ten stars!

Eccentricat (author)JohnJY2010-03-06

 Aw... Thank you! ^_^
And sorry about that. My timing's not always what it should be. :P 

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