Tuesday, August 11, 2009
How to Make a Sock Monkey
I've been asked to share how to make sock monkeys. If you buy a pair of Rockford Red Heel socks, the instructions are in the package. Of course you can use any pair of socks, but if you want the original sock monkey socks, these are it. There is a store locater on their site, but you can order the socks online from them (or several other sites).
If you decide to use a different brand of socks, instructions are available online from numerous sources. Here is one. The diagram and instructions there are exactly what they put in the package.
The only things you need are a pair of socks, needle, thread (I've been using 100% cotton thread), stuffing, and black embroidery floss for the eyes. You could use buttons for the eyes, but I like to make things baby safe, even for baby-less homes, just in case a baby visits and wants to play or chew on a sock monkey. (Even without babies, these things happen. My youngest niece was carrying Lumpy around by holding the tip of his tail in her mouth when her hands were full of other things.)
I sew mine by hand (at least I have so far) but you could do the long seams with a machine and then attach the pieces by hand. I've been sewing by hand because I take my projects out and about with me, but I plan to try the machine soon. I have found the monkeys to be a great summer project, when my regular hobby - knitting - becomes less appealing to me because of the hot weather.
The ears and mouth are the most difficult parts for me. I have trouble achieving something approximating symmetry, as you can tell by looking at Lumpy (center, in the top photo). My son tells me that his lopsided mouth and ear that keeps folding inward give him character, though, and that his belly rolls make him look lovable like a toddler. Zippy and Tallulah are rather less off kilter, so I am improving.
I will be buying socks tomorrow because I have two people waiting for monkeys. Do you think they will be as actively smooshed, tossed, and shaken about as Zippy? Somehow, I doubt it, but I know they'll be loved in their own ways. Not every monkey is looking for that type of adventure.