Sock Monkeys first took off in the early mid 1900s, they were famous for their characteristic Nelson Knitting Company socks and red mouths. These days our socks are a little brighter, and as a result you can now find sock monkeys in every colour under the sun.
This tutorial will show you how to make your own sock monkeys, and all you'll need is a sewing machine and a pair of socks.
Time: ~1 hour
1 Pair of New Socks
Needle and Thread
Take a pair of socks, and fold both inside out. Flatten out one and lay it straight, against the regular folds. Keep the other one in shape.
Take straight sock, fold the bottom half of the sock in half to create a seam.
Place sock on the sewing machine so that the left edge of the foot sits on the centre of the fold, with the needle in centre position. Note how far the sock sits along the plate.
Pull the loose cotton tight and start sewing using a stretch stich 5mm from the heel of the sock.
Sew down in a straight line, when you are about 2cm from the edge of the sock, begin to gradually curve round, creating a closed end.
Flip the sock over and repeat, making sure that the sock is in the same position on the plate as before.
Now you've sewn the two legs. Cut up the middle of the legs, stopping just past the stitching. Trim any excess pieces from the legs, and then turn sock the right way out.
It is now time to start on the arms, tail, and ears. These will all come from your other sock.
Place the sock on the machine with the heel pointing to the left of the machine. The centre of the foot should be about just over 1cm from the right side of the sock. Start from just below the toe.
Sew along the length of the sock, taper in slightly just past the heel. Finish the tail with the same curve used for the legs.
Cut away the tail from the rest of the sock. Leave the sock folded and then cut away the top of the sock, about 8mm from the heel.
Take the material for the arms, and cut in half along fold.
Take one piece and fold it in half again. With the cuff at the bottom sew close to the edge, curving at the bottom as with the tails and the legs.
Repeat with the other arm.
Using the remaining material, begin to sew ears by turning in a half circle. You may want to practice the rough size using another bit of material first. Leave the heel intact.
Now it's time to stuff the monkey. Stuff every thing except for the mouth/nose. You'll need to be careful when stuffing things like the tail, arms, and legs. Only put in small amounts at a time, using a chopstick to help push it down.
Once you're done the sock monkey should feel firm, but not overfilled.
Begin with the tail, and sew up the whole using an over stitch. Fold in the end of the tail and roughly tack. Position the tail seam side down, just above the monkey's bottom. Sew along the top, and flip over and sew along the bottom.
Repeat the same steps with the arms and the ears.
Pin the mouth to the monkey, and sew around leaving a gap for stuffing. Stuff the mouth, and then sew up remaining gap.
You can decorate your monkey's face any way you like. Eyes can be made with simple cotton and thread, or you can use felt, plastic eyes, or buttons. Find a way to give your monkey a bit of personality, and your own signature look.
Once you've mastered the sock monkey, there are a range of other animals you can make, from cows, to frogs, to chickens.