The infamous Obama monkey sock puppet in 2008 has not diminished the fun and use that people have for stuffed monkey sock puppets. While there are well-stitched commercial versions of the monkey sock puppet, you can still save more cash and have twice as much fun by making your very own monkey sock puppet. The durability and minimal need for hard-to-find materials makes it a favorite stitching project among kids and adults alike.
- Socks. Choose a clean and very resilient pair of socks that can withstand a little cutting and tagging on your part. The thicker, the better. But you may have to find a moderately thick one because too much thickness will make it hard to sew by hand. For starters, you can have six socks handy: four for the arms and legs plus the additional two for the neck and torso. You can use a different fabric for the tail or the residue from the cutouts you will be making from the six socks. The heel sock is a favorite among monkey sock puppet makers because they already have a groove that makes it easier to create natural monkey bumps such as a full mouth and belly.
- Sock Pattern. Websites such as AllCrafts provide you with a free sock pattern for your monkey puppet. They may be able to help you form your own monkey template or at least help get you started with a few first steps. Some patterns may require specific brands of socks so make sure that the pattern you use will be most compatible to the sock that you have in your hand. Follow the pattern or venture out into your own, making sure you got the proportions right.
- Cutting. When cutting, make it a point to mark the portions of the sock that you will be cutting based on your chosen pattern. This way, you will run less risk of going out of line and wasting the fabric. It is best to set allowances whenever possible. It is expected that the puppet will shrink a little further in size during the stitching stage. The most popular cutting regions are those for the legs and the neck. A best guide for cutting is made by forming a center line that will serve as the “spine” of your monkey sock.
- Stitching. Stitching is the trickiest part of your sock monkey making. Stitches will be most necessary for the legs, neck, and torso. The stitches will also be the vital link for connecting all the different socks to form the main pattern. The two key stitching techniques to master are the whip stitches and the quarter inch stitches. Whip stitches are for sealing the open parts of the sock after stuffing and quarter inch stitches are for the neck and other connecting parts.
- Stuffing. Do your stuffing part by part before connecting them with quarter inch stitches. It is best to work your way upwards from legs to head, since the head is the most intricate part of your monkey puppet.
- Facial Features. Monkeys are accentuated best with a full mouth, so stuff that portion well before sewing on buttons to serve as the monkeys eyes. Stitch a vertical and horizontal line by the most stuffed region to serve as the monkey’s mouth. Or you can have your own version of its mouth.
- Accessories. Make the sock monkey more personable with a nice hat or outfit that matches its main color.
It is not that easy to make your own stuffed monkey but it is really
worth it. You may want to experiment with different patterns but the
basic stitches and cutting requirements remain the same. For a more
enjoyable viewing of your puppet collection in the future, use different
colors of socks and do it with your friends, who may also have
additional ideas for improving your craft.