This adorable sock monkey project was written by avid crafter Valerie McHugh who indulges in many different crafts. Find out more about her by visiting http://www.valeriemchugh.ie/ or find her on Facebook.
Who doesn’t need more monkeys in their lives? These little guys are so easy and fun to make you won’t be able to stop yourself from making them until you realise you have no more socks to wear in your house! Everything you need to make your new monkey friend is probably readily available to you already, any kind of basic sewing kit is more than adequate. This project is suitable for beginners.
What you need
- A pair of socks (preferably clean!)
- A sewing needle and some thread
- A pair of scissors
- (OPTIONAL) A pair of buttons for the eyes. Shirt buttons work great if you decide to use buttons.
- Some stuffing. You can use the cut-out pieces of your socks or indeed other socks to stuff your monkey. I used toy stuffing, available at most craft stores.
- A marker, or pen, anything to make a mark on the sock.
You may sew some of the seams on a sewing machine if you wish, but when it comes to the smaller, fiddly parts, you will need to sew by hand. This tutorial is written for hand-sewing.
Turn both socks inside out. Position one so that the heel is pointing to the side, and the other so that the heel is facing up.
On the sock with the heel facing up, using a pen or mark-making implement (I used a marker) draw two leg shapes from the cuff of the sock straight up to the heel part of the sock. Like a very tall “j” and a very tall backwards “j”, back to back.
Sew along the lines you just drew, using a running stitch. Do not sew in between the two lines.
Cut straight up in between the two lines. Cut up to just beyond the ends of the lines. (Just a tiny bit beyond the start of the heel part.)
There will be a small opening in between the two lines. Turn the sock inside-out through this opening and stuff the legs and body. I’ve used toy stuffing, but you can use scraps of material, or other socks or anything soft and squishy. Depending on the type of face you want to give your monkey, you could close up the gap between the legs at this point if you don’t need access for the face. Eyes with a front and a back will need access to the inside, and button eyes are easier to start from the inside too. I left mine open, but just so you know that the option is there.
On the second sock, draw out two arm shapes on the cuff of the sock, two ear shapes on the top of the foot part, and a tail along the sole. Don’t go as far as the heel part, as this will be used for the mouth.
Sew along the marked lines of the arms and tail. Sew along half of the ear markings (the smaller pieces), don’t sew all of the way around. Cut out the arms, tail and ear pieces, leaving about a 1cm seam allowance.
Turn the arms, tail and ears the right side out. Stuff the ears lightly. With one ear, turn in the seam allowance and over-stitch it closed. There will be one curved edge and one straight edge. Fold the straight edge of the ear in half and stitch it together. Then stitch the ear to the side of the head of the monkey. Repeat with the second ear. See the image of the finished monkey for reference if you like.
Stuff the arms and the tail. The lighter you stuff them the more limp they will be on the body. Figure out how you’d like the arms to sit on the body. I chose to stuff mine so the arms stick out, which is stuffing them quite compactly. Sew the arms to the side of the body and the tail to the back.
Using the heel part of the second sock, cut out around the coloured heel part, leaving about a cm or a little less of the main sock colour (seam allowance). If your sock is all one colour, you will have to make a guess as to where you should cut, but you could use a sock with a different coloured heel as a guide.
Begin sewing the heel (muzzle) to the face of the monkey, turning under the seam allowance as you go. When you get to about three quarters of the way along stitching the muzzle to the face, stuff the muzzle firmly and then continue to sew up completely.
You now have your basic monkey figure. You can add any kind of face you wish to your little monkey. I added two buttons for eyes, and I embroidered a cheeky smile onto his muzzle. You could embroider the eyes on, or add toy eyes. Buttons and anything that can be pulled off are not suitable for small children, so keep that in mind as you are finishing off.
Your new monkey is now ready for cuddles. And more monkey friends! You should be aware that once you make one, it will be very hard to stop and before you know it, you will have a barrel (or room/house) full of monkeys.
Images © Valerie McHugh Designs