Hi there! I've had a few people ask me how I make my sock monkeys, so I thought I'd do a little tutorial so that anyone who's got a bit of spare time and imagination can make one too!
Step 1: Your Tools
To make your sock monkey you'll need only a few tools:
- A pair of snazzy socks (any colour, any length).
- Some stuffing (I usually use the innards of a cheap pair of pillows).
- A needle and thread in your colour of choice.
- Embroidery thread and needle. If you haven't got these, you can still have a go at embroidering your monkey's face with cotton.
- Dressmaking pins
- Toy safety eyes and the setting tool.
Once you've got all the tools you need, you're ready to begin!
Step 2: Snipping Up Your Socks
- Okay, so the first thing you need to do with your socks is turn them both inside-out. I find that ironing them makes life so much easier, so do that next. Iron them so that the heel is in the centre of the sock, not to the side.
- Next, you'll need to cut the first sock. This will be the main body of your monkey. You're going to start with his feet and legs. Chop the cuff off and round off the edges. Then finding the centre, cut almost all the way up the sock until you've reached the heel. Neaten the bottom of the feet by rounding them off a little. You've now made your monkey's body!
- Sock number two is a little more complicated. Have a look at my diagram to see which bits go where -- you're using it to make your arms, ears, muzzle and tail.
- Once you've got everything cut out, it should look a little clearer. If you've got them, pin the pieces along their edges so that they don't curl up and make your sewing wonky.
Step 3: Sewing the Body
Now we finally start sewing!
- You need to sew your first leg from the outer edge first. Start by sewing and knotting the thread at the edge and then stitch all the way up the leg, leaving about 5cm before you reach the top of it (you'll need this on both legs so that you've got somewhere to stuff your monkey). Make a knot and then cut your thread.
- Repeat this on the other leg.
Step 4: Attaching His Eyes
If you've got them, now's the time to give your monkey eyes!
- Turn your body piece right-side out temporarily and faintly mark where the eyes will go.
- With your scissors, try to snip very, very small holes where you've marked. Remember, the material is very stretchy, so the smaller the better.
- Once you've made the holes, slip your eyes into place.
- Holding onto them with one hand, you'll need to turn your sock inside-out again with your other.
- This next step isn't necessary, but if you're giving your monkey to a small child it's probably a good idea to do it. Taking one of the cuffs from your socks, cut a piece that fits over your monkey's eyes. Make holes in it so that it fits over them, and then attach the backing pieces with the fixing tool. This provides more material for the eyes to hold on to, so if the sock were to ever rip, the eyes shouldn't fall out and into the mouth of some curious toddler.
- Once the eyes have been fixed on, turn your sock right side out again and admire your baggy monkey!
Step 5: Stuffing and Fluffing Your Monkey
Your next task is the fun bit -- you can stuff your monkey!
- Take your filling and start at the head. Work your way through the body, plumping him up and shaping him as you go. You'll find that your monkey is quite stretchy, so he'll be a bit bigger than you imagined.
- Once you're happy with his filling, you're going to need to sew him up. Make a knot one on of the legs, where you finished stitching earlier. Now sew right across until you've reached the other leg. Knot again and cut your thread.
- Congratulations, you've made a creature!
Step 6: Make Your Monkey Smile
The next step is, I feel, the most difficult part of the process. It takes a lot of practice to get his muzzle straight, the stitching hidden and the embroidering nice. I'm still learning myself, but this is how I do it:
- Take the toe part from your cut-up sock. This is his muzzle. With some pins (or safety pins if you have them) arrange where you want it to go on his face.
- Temporarily put a little stuffing in to puff it out and give you an idea of what it'll look like. Make a knot on one side then stitch from one side to the other along the top. It's quite tricky to get it straight sometimes, so don't worry if it's not perfect. Leave your needle and thread attached because it'll be easier to finish the muzzle this way.
- If you've got it, now's the time to use your embroidery thread. Remove the stuffing from the muzzle. With a very long piece of embroidery thread, make a knot on the body of the monkey (inside the muzzle where it won't be seen). Then sew two nostrils and a smile through the muzzle. Take the thread back down near where you first attached it and knot it once again. Cut with your scissors -- you're done.
- Stuff your muzzle and then resume stitching until it's completely sewn up.
- Your monkey should now have a gorgeous smile!
Step 7: Arms, Ears and Tail
You're on the home straight! All that's left now are the fiddly bits.
- Stitch your arms and tail as you did with the legs, leaving the tops open for stuffing. Once stuffed, stitch closed and sew onto your monkey's body.
- Your ears are pretty much the same thing -- remember to leave a big enough gap to stuff them with. Arrange them using pins if you need to, and then stitch on.
Step 8: The Possibilities Are Endless!
Well done, you've just finished creating your first sock monkey! I'm sure it was a bit frustrating at times but isn't it great that you've got a handmade product in your hand?
I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial, and if you've got any questions or I've forgotten to add something, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for your time!