Sock monkeys

Make a sock monkey

Here’s how to upcycle last year’s unappreciated socks (or ties) into utterly loveable gifts.

You will need
  • 1 pair of socks, the brighter the better
  • Sharp scissors
  • Pins
  • Tape measure or ruler
  • Marker pen or tailor’s chalk
  • Needle and thread and/or sewing machine
  • 2 matching buttons for eyes
  • Toy stuffing
  • Chopstick or similar to use as a stuffing tool
  • Red embroidery thread or wool to embroider mouth

  1. Turn one sock inside out and lay it flat with the heel facing upwards. Using the tape measure, mark the centre of the sock’s cuff. Draw a line from that point to about 15mm from the bottom of the heel. Sew along the cuff. Next, sew a straight line 10mm inside the marked line. Do the same on the other side. Cut up the centre line. You should have a gap between the legs where you will turn and stuff the monkey.
  2. Turn the monkey right side out. Stuff the monkey firmly and evenly using the chopstick to push the stuffing into hard to reach areas. Leave about 2cm at the top of each leg free of stuffing to allow the monkey to sit more easily. Once you are happy with the shape of your monkey, hand-sew the hole to close. The toe of the sock will become the monkey’s head and the heel of the sock will be its bottom.
  3. Using the pattern below, cut out the other pieces of the monkey. Create and attach the body parts as follows.
  4. Tail: Fold in half, right sides together, along long edge. Stitch edge, curving around at the bottom to create a point for the tail. Turn and stuff lightly. Tuck in the raw edges and pin the tail on the monkey. Hand-sew to attach. When finished stitching, push your needle through to another part of the monkey’s body, pull tight and cut. The thread will then be secure and hidden inside the body.
  5. Ears: Sew around curved edges, turn and top-stitch around outside edge. Fold in raw edges and stitch closed. Put your forefinger in the middle of the ear and fold the ear around it to create a crease. Put a couple of stitches in the ear to secure it in this position and attach it to the sides of the monkey’s head. Repeat with the other ear, making sure they are at even heights.
  6. Arms: Fold each in half, right sides together. Sew along cuff and down long edge. Turn and make sure both arms are even. Stuff lightly and stitch to the sides of the body about halfway down the torso. When you have stitched one arm, pass the thread through the body of the monkey to the other side and continue stitching.
  7. Mouth: Cut out the heel of the sock. Tuck in each corner and pin just below the ears. Lightly stuff and then hand sew it to the monkey’s face, turning under the edges as you go.  Using the red embroidery thread, give your monkey a smile.
  8. Eyes: Use pins to decide on placement for your button eyes and sew on. If you are making this toy for a child under three, embroider the eyes instead to make sure the toy is safe.
  9. Hat: Cut the toe of the sock out and put it on the monkey’s head. Hand stitch in place (optional).
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