Cowabunga!!! I am back with this amazing free Sock Ninja Turtle Pattern which was inspired by the cartoon Ninja Turtles! I have spent some great time sewing up this set of 4 Sock Ninja Turtle dolls, my kids and my family members are all amazed that each of them was sewn from a pair of socks. My initial plan was to make just one Sock Ninja Turtle, but I can’t help myself not to sew up a complete set of four after I have finished one. Just can’t leave out any of them with their unique characteristics.
If you are like me, who was born and raised in the ’70s or ’80s, Ninja Turtle was one of our childhood nostalgic cartoon heroes. This brings me back to the memory lane of those days where the siblings sat together in front of the TV watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, it was simply one of the happiest childhood days among. I remember that we felt so fascinating by watching the mutated turtle brothers who learned and practiced ninjutsu, to fight against crime; we see magic, hopes, and justice in our wide-eyed childhood mind. Love those days!!!
Sock Ninja Turtle – Free Sewing Pattern & Tutorial
scroll ⬇️ to get the free pattern & tutorial
A little background and characters about the Sock Ninja Turtles, they are a team of mutant red-eared sliders named after four Renaissance artists and living in the sewers of New York City, where they train by day and fight crime by night as ninjas.
Leo is the tactical, courageous leader of the Sock Ninja Turtle and a devoted student of Ninjutsu, wearing a blue mask and wielding a katana. He is courageous and is willing to do anything to protect his brothers. Being the head of the family at times leads to conflicts with his brother Raphael. He is the most disciplined, has a strategic bent of mind, possesses great strength.
Mikey is the most stereotypical of the Sock Ninja Turtle, wearing an orange mask and wielding a pair of nunchucks. He is the one who brings cheer to the Turtles with his easy-going, free-spirited jokester and sense of humor. He is an adventure junkie and loves pizza! He doesn’t just enjoy eating but he can rustle a meal too, for he is a great chef. Being a ninja he obviously has amazing fighting skills. He shows characteristics of a “surfer” type and is often depicted with a Southern Californian accent.
Don is the scientist, inventor, engineer and technological genius of the Sock Ninja Turtle, wearing a purple mask and wielding a bo staff. He is perhaps the least violent turtle, preferring to use his knowledge to solve conflicts. Gifted with a streak of invention, he is a genius who loves peace but never shies away from defending his brothers.
Raph is the aggressive and bad boy of the Sock Ninja Turtle, wearing a red mask and wielding a pair of sai. He is physically very strong and the one who can pick up a fight at the drop of hat. He also has conflicts with his brother Leo, the leader of the mutant ninja turtles but also is intensely loyal to his brothers and sensei. He is often depicted with a New York accent. His personality can be fierce and sarcastic and oftentimes delivers deadpan humor.
Besides the color of the masks, the customization on the expressions of the mouth immediately brings out their unique character and personality. Other than these two customizations, they were all made from the same basic sewing pattern and tutorial.
We are Sock Ninja Turtle!
In this tutorial, I also added the tutorial on how to sew a turtle shell. Sew the shell to add it to the back of the Ninja Turtle to complete the Sock Ninja Turtle. I was lucky to be able to find 3 of the Ninja weapons (katana, nunchucks, and sai) in one of the shops here. Unfortunately, I can’t find the Bo staff…. so I DIY it from the rattan cane. Just cut the 4 rattan cane to about 18″ long, add a white felt at the center of the bo staff and tie it with jute twine, tie another few rounds of jute twine at the 2 ends to finish the bo staff. Or, go to the woods and pick up a 3/4″ to 1″ diameter of a straight tree branch, cut it to 18″ and sand both ends to smooth them out.
I made some of them “holding” the weapons by wrapping the fingers and sew to secure the position. The arms can be bent in the same way too, just fold it up and sew to secure.
Before you scroll down to the pattern and tutorial details, please meet my little pet – the red-eared sliders turtle, see how gracefully he walks and “roars” (next picture) hahaha. These two pictures were taken about 4 years back, it is now in full-grown size and…. no, it hasn’t mutated yet, it is still an ordinary red-eared slider turtle.
“I am small but I am going to grow up like a Ninja Turtle!!!” oh dear… but you are still an ordinary turtle after 4 years in the pond, receiving all the love from me and the food I feed.
Sock Ninja Turtle
Difficulty: Advanced / Avid Intermediate
Finished size: approximately 15″ tall
1. Sock, cotton, 1 pair, Military Camouflage Green or dark green
2. Black button eye 1/2″ [13mm], black, 2; or button; or felt
3. Felt, Yellow – 4″ x 4 1/2″
4. Felt, Brown – 8″ x 18″
5. Felt, White, 1″ x 5 1/2″
6. Felt, Eye Mask Color (Red or Blue or Orange or Purple), 8″ x 12″
7. Poly-fill stuffing material
8. Embroidery floss, Yellow
9. Embroidery floss, Black
10. Sewing threads (coordinated colors)
11. Sock Ninja Turtle Template
12. Plain white paper, letter size or A4 size, 2 pcs. (for print-out template)
1. Sewing machine (optional, you can hand-sew without machine)
2. Sewing needle (prefer long, about 2″) and pins
4. Water Soluble Fabric Marker
5. White chalk pen
7. Blunt point tweezers
Seam Allowance: approx. 1/4″ (loose-knit and thinner sock material need to have bigger seam allowance as the loose-knit can be ripped off easily.)
Since the sock is stretched after stuffed, thick sock with close-knit yields better quality than a thin sock.
How To Sew Sock Ninja Turtle
CUT & SEW
Gather all the materials and tools as stated in the list above.
Download and print out the Sock Ninja Turtle Template. You might need to do some size adjustment to suit your sock ninja turtle if you are using different socks as those used in this tutorial.
Remark: Just in case you spotted something different. You are right, the eye mask template shown in this picture has been updated with a better design as shown in the picture below and in the template.
Print and cut out the template of page 2. Trace the template with a water-soluble fabric marker on the felts according to the color stated on the template. Cut pieces out without any seam allowance except the top shell.
Fold the brown felt and trace the top shell template onto 1 side of the felt. Sew around the tracing line and cut it out with 1/8″ seam allowance.
Cut the remaining brown felt to 3 or 4 strips of 1/2″ x 18″ (not shown in the picture).
Cut the remaining eye mask color of your choice to 3/4″ x 12″ strips.
Turn the socks inside out, align, flatten and pin.
Use white chalk pen or pencil to sketch the pattern onto the socks by referring to the downloaded template. It might be difficult to view the lines so please draw harder on the sock so that you are able to judge the lines as you sew.
Click picture to get an enlarged view.
Yellow lines are sewing lines, red lines are cutting lines.
Carefully cut pieces out after you have finished with all the sewing. Give as much seam allowance as you can.
Try to clip as close as possible at the notch of the toes and fingers, be careful not to clip the sewing thread.
Sew to close the openings of all pieces.
Head – Use slip stitch or ladder stitch to sew and close, this will give a straight line seam.
Body and upper arms – Use a running stitch to sew around the raw edges, pull the thread to close, this will give a gathered seam.
SHAPING THE HEAD
Sew ladder-stitch between the top and bottom lines. Keep the needle straight during sewing. Eyeballing the distance between the 2 lines so that you are able to reach both ends at the same distance after finish sewing.
Pull to create the shape of the muzzle for the ninja turtle.
Knot your thread securely, hide the knot and thread end into the head by inserting the needle back to head from the knot, out from the opposite side, pull tight to force the knot into the head. Pull thread and cut, the thread end will be hidden in the head.
1 & 2. Sew the white felt for the eyes, the white felt should fit into the area between the brows and muzzle, trim it a bit if it doesn’t. Design your own mouth expression of your Sock Ninja Turtle, cut it out from a white felt if needed. Sew it on the mouth area of the muzzle.
3. Sew some vertical lines with black embroidery floss.
4. Finish up the mouth with a yellow outline with yellow embroidery floss.
1. Place the colored eye mask on the eye, sew around the holes for the eye except for the top part where the black button eyes are located.
2. Place a red strip vertically at the back of the head, sew the center of the strip at the place where the band of the mask meets.
3. Join the bands of the eye mask, roll up and sew to make the joint narrower.
4. Tie the vertical strip to the band of the eye mask that you have just sewed.
SHAPING THE FEET
1 & 2. Bend the foot, 2″ from the toe. Rub the finger across the foot to move some the stuffing away so that it is easier to bend.
3 & 4. Sew around from side to side at the front of the foot where the sock touches. Sew with ladder stitch to secure the bending.
Position and place the yellow bottom shell onto the chest of the Sock Ninja Turtle.
Stitch up the center vertical line and the 3 horizontal lines with yellow embroidery floss.
Stuff the 6-pack segments of the bottom shell with poly-fill.
1. Turn the shell right side out from the opening.
2. Topstitch around the shell, about 1/4″ from the edge.
3. Trace the front shell with 2 oval rings cut out from the top shell template.
4. Trace the 4-point star on the back of the shell where the opening is located.
1. Stuff the shell lightly with poly-fill.
2. Sew both layers together along with the oval rings with running stitch.
3. Stuff more poly-fill at the center of the shell.
4. Sew to close the opening following the 4-point star lines, this is to make the back of the shell smaller than the front shell, hence give a convex curve to the front shell.
Tie the brown strips to the belly area to complete the Sock Ninja Turtle.
Remark: Leonardo (blue mask Ninja Turtle) has another cross-body belt beside the one at the belly)
If you want to attach the weapon to the turtle, bend the fingers to hold the weapon then sew it up to secure the hold. You may bend the arms and sew in the same way.
We are Sock Ninja Turtles, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael and ….. hey, where is Donatello?
If you are not familiar with our name, mask color and character, please read it up on the 1st page of this tutorial.