How To Sew Sock Monkey

sock monkey pattern

How To Sew Sock Monkey

Sewing Pattern: Download pattern here. It contains the eyes, ears and pattern for drawing the sock.

Materials:
Make: 1 (adult size)
1. Sock (crew length), 1 pair (I used striped sock so that it is easy to get the alignment right.)
2. White felt
3. Button eye 7/16″ [11.5mm], black, 2 (for toddler monkey, use 3/8″ button)
4. Embroidery Floss, yellow
5. Poly-fill stuffing material
6. Batting, or thick aquarium filter pad (you can get it from pet shop)
7. Letter size paper, 1

Tools:
1. Sewing machine
2. Sewing needle (prefer long) and pins
3. Scissors
4. Erasable fabric marker
5. Iron
6. Printer

Seam Allowance: approx. 1/8 – 1/4″

Note: for different sizes of sock monkeys, use different sizes of socks.
Since the sock is stretched after stuffed, thick sock yields better quality than thin sock.

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Update May 2015:
In conjunction with the grand opening of Craft Passion Shop, we are giving 20% off the total sales. Great chance to get some beautiful socks to make the sock animal. Apply coupon code at check out.

coupon-code

Preparation

sew sock monkeyPrepare all the materials needed as described above.
Cut the eye from white felt by following the download pattern above. Mark the button eye position.
If your socks have folded cuff, remove the stitches carefully and don’t accidentally cut the sock. Flatten the fold to have a longer length.

sew sock monkeyTurn the sock to wrong side, align sock as per photo below. Press with warm iron.

Cut sockDraw pattern on the sock with erasable fabric marker. Since not all socks are the same, I can’t make a standard pattern for you to trace.
If you haven’t had the pattern, download it here and print it out.

sew and cut1. Align the stripes on both layers, pin.
2. Sew it with sewing machine, best if you have walking foot so both layers walk together. You can use hand sewn too.
3. Cut as per pattern.
4. Cut all pieces out.

Body

turning openingThere will be an opening created between the legs. Use this opening to turn the sock right side out.

how to turn sock1. Insert the thumb into the leg till the feet end. “Pinch” the feet end with your thumb and index finger.
2. Push the index finger into the sock while thumb withdrawing from the sock to turn the sock right side out.
3. When the feet surface to the opening, pull the whole leg right side out.
4. Repeat the same to the other leg.

sew sock monkeyFinally, turn the body out. Smooth out all the seam line.
Turn the rest of the body parts, except the tail.

sew sock monkeyStuff the legs with poly-fill stuffing material.

stuff sock monkeyFill the body round and to the firmness you like.

how to sew opening on sock1. Sew slip / ladder stitch on the opening about 1/8″ from the raw edge. Let the thread loose and don’t pull it yet.
2. After finish slip stitch the opening, pull the thread to close the opening.
3. With the needle still on the sock, wrap 2 to 3 rounds of thread on it, pull the needle through while pressing the wrapping thread with your finger.
4. Insert the needle some where near by and come out from the other side. Pull the thread and cut it close to the sock. The thread will be hidden in the sock neatly. Always do this when you sew.

Arms

sew sock monkeyStuff the arm with poly stuffing material until about 1/2″ from the opening.
Roll the monkey arm with you hands to make the stuffing even and nice. You can do this now and/or after sewing up the opening.

sew arm opening1. Stuffed monkey arms waiting to be sewn.
2. Run stitches about 1/4″ from the raw edge.
3. Pull the thread to gather a bit, push the raw edge into the arm.
4. Tighten up the opening by pulling the thread fully, make a few stitch across, knot and cut thread.

sock monkey armsBoth arms waiting to be assembled to the sock monkey.

Ears

sew monkey ear1. Stuff the ear with small amount of poly-fill. Fold the raw edges in and slip stitch.
2. Pull the thread to close the opening. Knot.
3. Fold the ear vertically and slip stitch the opening seam line.
4. The finished ear looks like this.

Tail

even tail stuffingCut a piece of batting or thick aquarium filter pad, 3 times the width of the tail and the length when it is stretched or partially stretched.

sew sock monkeyFold the batting three times and sew the end to the seam line of the tail end (wrong side).
Whip stitch the folded batting in place until the other end.
Sew the batting again to tail seam allowance about 1/4″ below the raw edge.
(Note: I used this method since stuffing with poly-fill to a long narrow tail is difficult and uneven.)

turn and stuff tail1. The batting and the tail before turning.
2. Insert finger into the sock and pull the tail right side out, portion by portion. Only turn the sock not the batting.
3. Repeat (2) until you reach to the end. Continue with the turning by inserting the batting into the tail until it fully gets into it.
4. Adjust the batting so that it looks neat. Fold the raw edge in and stitch it up just like the arms method.

Assembly

sock monkey partsBody, arms, ears, tail, mouth, felt eye and button eyes are all set to be assembled into a sock monkey.
Divide the body into half, with top half being the face of the monkey where eyes and mouth are sewed to.

sew sock monkeyPosition the felt eye with the center point align to the middle of the face portion. Pin it and sew with blanket stitch.
You may want to decorate the felt eye with a line of running stitch with 6 strands of embroidery floss before sewing it on the face.

sew sock monkeySew the button eyes to the marked positions of the felt.
To make the eyes attach to the face closely, insert your needle as deep as possible into the face, turn and come out to another point of the same eye. Pull thread tightly so that the eye attach closely to the face.

sew sock monkey1. Mark the mouth on the face with erasable fabric marker. The shape is rounded corner rectangular, with bottom align to the face’s border and top covers a little on the felt eye.
2. Fold and baste the raw edge of the mouth, then pin it in place. Slip stitch around until you are about 1″ away from the starting point.
3. Stuff the mouth fully. Continue to slip stitch to the starting point to complete the mouth.
4. Embroidery branch stitches across the middle of the mouth. Tips: look out for the toe seam line of the sock, this is where the middle is.

sew ear and tail1. Sew ears on the side of the face with slip stitch around (front and back of the ear).
2. The front of the ear is aligned to the side line of the monkey.
3. Position of tail.
4. Sew it with slip stitch around too.

sew sock monkeySew the arm on the marked position with slip stitch around. Knot the thread and insert the needle to the other side of the arm position. Pull the thread so that arm “squeezes” into the body, knot to secure the shape.
Sew another arm with slip stitch.
If you think that the arms are not “sunken” enough, pass the needle to the other side, pull the thread to get the result you want, knot the thread securely.

sock monkeyProvided you stuff you monkey very dense, sometime, you may find the monkey head is a little tall and pointy, this is normal due the shape of the adult sock. I found that kid’s and toddler’s sock do’t have this problem.
If you are happy with it, then it is OK. But, if you want to make the monkey head round like the one I made, the following step will be helpful.

head adjustment1. The original pointy head due the toe compartment of the sock.
2. Pinch the top of the head to judge how much you want to sew to make it rounder. Mark the space with erasable marker. Gradually decrease the width from center towards the front and the back.
3. Join both lines with slip stitch.
4. Here is it, a rounder head for the monkey.

sock monkey sewing tutorial

[Update: August 15, 2014] I have just published an amigurumi pattern to crochet the twin brother of sock monkey, crochet amigurumi monkey, aren’t they look identical?

amigurumi sock monkey

{More photos and story on first page.}

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409 comments... read them below or add one

  1. I love this tutorial!!! What kind of socks do you use? I got some cheap ones from Walmart that are pretty thin, will they still look okay, or should I use some wool ones?

  2. HI Joanne,
    Your tutorial is awesome and your monkeys are darling.

    I make sock monkeys for kids in the hospital, and encourage others to do it too. I put a link to your site on my blog so that interested Monkeymakers will know how to make monkeys.

    Happy MonkeyMaking…..marcia

  3. thank you for the instruction. I just made my first sock monkey last night and my neice loves it. though I cant let her play with it coz she keeps on eating the tail.ahaha. will this be good as a business? I really don’t have any idea.

  4. Hi, I have been trying to find the perfect monkey plush and stumbled on your creations on pinterest. I think they are awesome, only problem is that, i don’t do crafts and know that I shouldn’t as I would only ruin all the socks in the world! lol so my question is, do you sell your plush toys and is it possible to personalize them a bit? only in terms of colors, if any. they all look awesome.
    It means a lot to me to find the perfect monkey. I hope you can help me out on this one:)

    AWESOME WORK!

    Cheers!

    • Thank you for the interest to purchase the sock monkey. At this moment Craft Passion is not able to take in any orders yet but it is in the plan to open up a store soon.

      254.1
      Reply
  5. Hello, I love this tutorial but I am having trouble trying to make my own LOL! I’m not very crafty and I was wondering if you sell these sock monkeys? If so I would love to purchase one!

    • Thank you for the interest to purchase the sock monkey. At this moment Craft Passion is not able to take in any orders yet but it is in the plan to open up a store soon.

      255.1
      Reply
  6. Last holiday we spent at Ghana. We made the monkey out of socks – which we all brought – with about 30 schoolchildren. Quite an experience for them, because they have nothing no siccors or anything and for us because it was very warm and dark in their African classroom. An experience that we and our daughters will never forget

    • Wow, this must be a good adventure to teach how to sew sock monkey in a dark and warm classroom to 20 schoolchildren. You are indeed a very kind-hearted person, I hope the kids there are now able to sew their own sock toys, they deserved them!!!!

      256.1
      Reply
  7. Oh…….I love this pattern!!!!!! I am going to make these as soon as I get the supplies. Thanks!!!!!

  8. HI Joanne,
    Its Marcia again. The local newspaper here is doing an article on Sockmonkeys 4 kids. It comes out on Friday. Is there any chance that you could post my blog on your blog, or attach it somehow? It’s just for people who want to make sockmonkeys for charity…..my blog tells all about the things I have been doing. Its growing. Monkeys bring so much joy that I’m just anxious to spread the word…..your blog is so awesome…I wondered if you wouldn’t mind?

    The blog is sockmonkeys4kids.com. There are no strings attached at all. I just do it for the pure joy of making monkeys for kids in the hospital and other hazardous places. Hope to hear from you soon…..marcia

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  10. Hello, your little monkeys are so cute! The prettiest I’ve seen!
    Can you tell me where do you find their black eyes please?
    Can I buy you a monkey?
    thank you
    Marlene

  11. hei! thanks for sheering such a thing!!
    im a beginer, but i love this monkeys and im making one. The most difficult for me is to make sew round shape! for example the end of arms and legs! on you epic they look so perfect!! mine have not so super round shape:/ the same with ears… how do you do it? do you sew very slowly?or you do it by hand or how can they look so perfect,and identical? awesome!!!:)

    • You are right, Katasia, I sewed very slow and I lift up the presser foot when needed to make a good curve. Don’t worry if it is not perfect, the sock is stretchy, it will smooth out after the stuffing of the the curve was not very bad.

      260.1
      Reply
  12. My grandchildren now have a sock monkey,sock bunny,and I made a red sock fox at Christmas.I’d like to send you a picture if you want.

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  14. Where do you purchase your socks? Love all your sock patterns, especially the sock monkeys.

    Thanks
    Vera
    Vedoca39@bellsouth.net

    • I bought them from local shops, many has asked me the questions and I have searched in many online shops but I still can’t find a shop that sell decent socks to make toys. May be I should open an online sock shops, please stay tuned!

      262.1
      Reply
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  17. Hi, I love these! I want to make one, but I only found a cute pair of socks that are knee length. Is there any modifications to make these with knee length socks?

    • Hi Gabriela, You can either use you knee length socks to sew a long arm and feet monkey, or you may cut away the excessive length from knee length and change it to crew length. Hope this help and I am here to answer you if you need more info.

      263.1
      Reply
  18. Pingback:Captain America Sock Monkey | Sew

  19. You can find the original, red-heeled socks at http://www.foxsox.com. This company has sold all kinds of sock monkey products for over 20 years. Click on “shop online” at top of page. On the page you come to, products are listed in red. Click on the 3rd choice that says “red heel products.” This page shows all you need to do to get started making sock monkeys. You can buy the socks (they recommend size large, unless you have a reason for making a smaller monkey). You need one PAIR of socks for a monkey–but you need to buy two pair of socks tied together (you can make two monkeys!). The directions are attached to the socks, but online directions may be clearer. You can also buy a kit, with supplies included. You can buy a monkey that’s already made. You can buy a book that tells you how to make several other animals/people.

    Have fun.
    And great tutorial, Joanne!

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  22. Thank you so much for your monkey tutorial, here is my first one
    This one was a gift for little girl, but I plan to sew them a fundrising for our non-profit organisation.
    Václava, Czech Republic

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  24. Love your pattern, except for one thing…. Never put buttons on stuffed animals they are a chocking hazard.
    For the older children, put on safety eyes… , because even little children/tots/toddlers can come in contact with them..
    For monkeys for the smaller children… I use felt, sewn down, and/or embroidery the eyes on.
    I would hate to be the person who is the maker of a monkey/stuffed animal that had buttons and a child would choke on it and die….

  25. I do not have a sewing machine. What type of thread do you recommend I use?

  26. have you ever tried a “Mr Potato Head” sock monkey? I would like to make one for a friend!
    thanks for any help!

  27. they are so cuuuuuuuute

  28. i would love too make all of these munkeys

  29. Pingback:Hur man syr en Sock monkey | Made By Rebecka

  30. Thanks so much for these clear and detailed instructions!! I m now on my third sock monkey and they all have different personalities and quirks. Your project is brilliant and definitely the best instructions online for sock monkeys that I have found. Your monkeys are lovely, thanks for your inspiring post!! x

  31. These are so cute! Made one yesterday but your head is more defined in the neck giving the head a more rounded look. The only thing I can think to do is tie a tight string around the neck to make the head look more separate from the shoulders but i don’t really like that idea. Any thoughts on what i should have done different?

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  33. I agree with the poster who commented about the button eyes being a choking hazard. I embroider the eyes on my stuffed pets.

    The original socks used for sock monkeys were the Fox River Mills Red Heel socks. You can still buy these socks and make the original 1932 sock monkey. Each 2 pack comes with a free pattern.
    https://www.foxsox.com/defaultEcomm.aspx

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  35. please en français. MERCI

    Translation (by Google):
    please in French. THANK YOU

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  39. I was on a road trip and stopped into a knitting factory museum in Rockford, Illinois where they have tons of museums. The city is located outside of Chicago. Rockford is the home of Nelson Knitting Company where the sock monkey originated from. Nelson Knitting Company also has the actual US patent on the sock money pattern. I guess sock monkey’s were popular even during the Victorian era. I also learned that Rockford is home of the famous Peaches depicted in the Tom Hanks/Gena Davis movie ‘Leauge of Their Own’ about the female baseball leagues during WWI. I really enjoy your DIY’s. You seem to post topics that people want to actual try. Thank you.

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