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How to make a sock monkey

Stitch your own cheeky little friend with Sarah Jackman Read's sock monkey pattern!

How to make a sock monkey

Sock monkeys are a really fun sewing project that can literally be made out of any pair of socks. They may seem like quite a new concept but they’ve actually been around for at least a century, maybe even longer!

Back in the Industrial Revolution, once knitting machines were invented, socks were able to be mass-produced. Grey wool worker’s socks were the first to be available and it didn’t take long for people to realise that a worn-out pair of socks could get a new lease of life.

Sock monkeys became really popular during the Great Depression when money was tight and there was very little fabric available. These cute critters could be created from old pairs of socks and made into ideal children’s toys in the hard times.

A particular popular sock use use to make sock monkeys were the Rockford Red Heel Sock. These were first made by the Nelson Knitting Company back in 1880 and featured a startling red heel. These were a hugely popular choice in 1930s America monkey sock-making as the finished monkey had a large red mouth. The company even started giving away instructions with every pair of socks.
Fast forward to the present day and they are a huge array of sock monkey kits available. However, you really only need a few basic craft items to have a go. The basic pattern works with most socks, the most difficult bit is deciding what socks to choose.

Whether you want to create one for a friend, a child, to make someone laugh or just for yourself, you’re bound to enjoy this easy sewing project and are bound to want to make more!

You will need:

  • A new or clean pair of socks
  • Toy stuffing
  • White felt
  • Two small black buttons
  • Marker pen
  • Sewing machine (find the best sewing machine for beginners here)
  • Sewing thread
  • Sewing needle
  • Scissors

If you’re new to the world of sewing don’t worry. We have a complete guide to sewing for beginners as well as a library of embroidery stitches for beginners. Both will teach you all the stitches you need. We also show you how to use a sewing machine if this is your first time.

Top Tips

  • Don’t worry about drawing and cutting out your sock monkey exactly the same as the guide, the joy of sock monkeys is every one of them is unique and different.
  • Cosy socks are ideal to give a sock monkey a furry look but they can be a little temperamental under a sewing machine foot. If you struggle to machine-sew then hand-sew the pieces instead.
  • If you don’t have any small buttons for the eyes or you’re making the sock monkey for a young child then sew on black felt eyes instead.

Once you’ve finished your sock monkey, check out our easy face painting ideas for kids and DIY fairy garden ideas for more exciting projects.

Sock monkey pattern


You Will Need

  • Pair of socks
  • Toy stuffing
  • White felt
  • Black buttons
  • Marker pen
  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing thread
  • Sewing needle
  • Scissors

Step 1

How to make a sock monkey guide

Turn your socks inside out then using the guide provided, draw the pieces required on the socks. Cut out all the pieces.

Step 2

How to make a sock monkey step 1

With the right sides together, machine-sew all the pieces (except the mouth) then turn all the pieces right-sides out. Leave a gap between the legs and a gap at the end of the arms, end of tail and base of ears.

Step 3

How to make a sock monkey step 2a

Stuff the body, legs and arms with toy stuffing. Use a pen or pencil to poke stuffing right to the ends of the legs and arms. Leave the other pieces un-stuffed.

Step 4

How to make a sock monkey step 2

Hand-sew the hole at the bottom of the body, tucking the raw edges inside as you go.

Step 5

How to make a sock monkey step 4

Hand-sew the arms either side of body, tucking the raw edges inside. Sew around the arms twice for extra strength.

Step 6

How to make a sock monkey step 6

Cut out a simple face shape from white felt then sew the buttons towards the top to create eyes. Hand-sew the felt towards the top of the body.

Step 7

How to make a sock monkey step 7

Lay the mouth under the eyes then hand-sew across the top, tucking the raw edges inside. Stuff the mouth then hand-sew the rest of it.

Step 8

How to make a sock monkey step 8

Hand-sew the corners of each ear together to give them some shape. Hand-sew the ears either side of the head in line with the eyes.

Step 9

How to make a sock monkey step 9

Hand-sew the tail to the base of the body, tucking the raw edges inside.

How to make a sock monkey close up

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning how to sew a sock monkey! For more kids’ projects check out our magical fairy doors to buy and make and our how to make friendship bracelets tutorial.

3 sock monkey kits

If you need a little more help sewing your sock monkey then a kit is a great option. These three kits are affordable, easy to make and oh so cute!

1. Sock creatures sock monkey kit

Sock creatures sock monkey kit

Sock Creatures sells loads of super cute sock monkey kits including this rainbow one! We love the traditional button eyes and cuddly body. It comes with everything you need in the kit including a needle, thread, and stuffing. It’s suitable for kids 12+ so why not make this sock monkey kit a family activity? Sit down and help your little one sew their new favourite toy.

The packaging comes in this handy little bag which makes it a great stocking filler or gift. Plus it’s all recyclable. Sock Creatures also sell lots of other sock animal kits like a unicorn, giraffe, and hedgehog.

2. Christmas sock monkey kit

Christmas sock monkey kit

Who wouldn’t want a festive sock monkey? Janlynn sells a range of fun craft kits and we love this sock monkey wearing a Christmas tree dress! Gift this kit as a funny present or stitch the monkey yourself and place him at the top of the Christmas tree for a surprise. If you like this kit check out our craft kits for adults and craft kits for kids.

3. Sloth craft kit

Sloth craft kit

If you’re looking for something a bit different then Buddy & Barnes has the kit for you. Their sweet tube kits come with everything you need to sew your own cuddly toy. There’s several different versions but we love this sloth kit. It’s not made from a sock but it’s just as easy as our sock monkey kits as each piece is pre-cut out.

Give your sock monkey to a little one and watch them make a new best friend. Check out our how to make a unicorn toy and free toy sewing patterns for babies and children for more adorable kids’ toy DIYs.