How to Make a Sock Monkey (Complete Guide)

December 7, 2011 | by Jocie (email) |

With my recent Pinterest addiction, I have been making a lot of my holiday gifts this year and my cousin and partner-in-craft, Naomi came over to show me how to make these adorable Sock Monkeys.

This is a great gift idea for kids, not only for the holidays but it also makes for a wonderful baby shower gift. Overall, this was a simple project, even for a novice sewer like me.  One sock monkey cost about $3 – 4, mainly depending on the cost of the socks. I love that you can really personalize the sock monkey with your selection of socks and accessories.


  • Knee high socks
  • Chalk or marker
  • Embroidery thread
  • Stuffing
  • 2 buttons

Step 1- Make an Outline

Start by turning the socks inside out. Draw an outline for the body and legs with chalk or marker on one of the socks. Make sure the heel of the sock is facing up (this will be the little sock monkey bottom).

On the other sock, draw the outline for the ears, arms, snout/mouth, and tail.  None of them need to be exact, the beauty is in the small imperfections!  🙂

Step 2 – Sew the Outlines

Sew with your sewing machine using a straight stitch everything but the mouth.  You can use a needle and thread and sew by hand, but it will be much slower and not as sturdy. Be careful to not sew the opening to the arms, tail, and ears.

Step 3 – Make Cutouts

Cut out the legs, ears, arms, snout/mouth, and tail close to the seam but not too close.

Next, turn everything right side out. On the first sock (the body and legs), cut an opening on the side opposite the heel in the area that will be hidden after the snout is sewn on.

Step 4 – Stuff It

Stuff body and head of the sock monkey to your liking.  *Quick Tip: Use an old pillow for the stuffing.

Step 5 – Sew on the Face

Pick a complimentary color of embroidery thread and pull out 2 strands of the thread to make it thinner.

Using the embroidery thread, sew a smile and two small nostrils on the mouth of the monkey. In this picture, we sewed the snout on first, created the smile and nostrils, and then stuffed it. With the embroidery thread, sew the mouth mostly shut starting with the top of the mouth. That small gap will make it easier to sew the eyes and conceal any knots.

Sew the eyes on directly above the mouth before completely sewing shut the mouth.

Step 6 – Ears, Arms and Legs

Stuff the arms and tail, and sew to the monkey. Be sure to tuck the raw ends inside of the arm/tail/ears so that a smooth edge meets the body of the monkey. Sew the ears to the side of the monkey’s head, but do not stuff them.

– Finally, add any accessories to personalize each monkey (i.e. bandanna, cowboy hat, tutu, crown, flower)

This Sock Monkey was named “Ban-danny” by Kim and Fred’s kids since he’s a cowboy wearing a bandana.  Heehee.

Have you ever made a Sock Monkey? Any tips or suggestions?  If you have, please send us pictures!  We would love to see your crafting creations!

13 Responses
  1. Lisa (fred's sister) says:

    Never made one, but have one that is over 40 years old that was made for me by my great grandmother. It is gray and red and made with the men’s old boot socks. It was also stuffed with old nylons and not the white stuffing.

  2. Erin M says:

    Super cute! I love the sock choice! The buttons are a big choaking hazard so stitched on eyes might be a better choice if you are making it for someone under 5.

    • Jocie says:

      Hey Erin, Glad you like him! The eyes are sewed on with embroidery thread. Do you think there would be a better or more effective way of stitching them on so they would not be a choking hazard? Or wait, do you mean use stitching for the eyes instead of buttons?

  3. Icarus says:

    Never made one but thanks for the idea, this might keep my nephews out of trouble fora little while.

  4. naomipsalm77 says:

    Great job!!!!!

  5. JustME says:

    Jocie, what a cute sock Monkey. Never would have thought to make them out of anything but the traditional work sock.
    Lisa, I wish I had a source of old nylons/panty hose. They make the best stuffing material. My Grammy B. used to make pillows stuffed with hers and her daughters old hose. We called them our Grammy pillows and most of us grandchildren slept holding onto them each night. I did up until I was married.

  6. paintergal says:

    Yep, definitely would stitch the eyes rather than use buttons for the littler ones.
    Turned out cute!

  7. Liz says:

    I love the cowboy character! I bet you could make all kinds of character monkeys personalized for kids. Y’know, like a ballet princess monkey or a safari monkey or a superhero monkey or a sports monkey. Such cute gifts! Build-a-Bear has nothing on you! 🙂

  8. loverlycottage says:

    Aww, I’ve always wanted to make one but didn’t know how! Thank you!

  9. HANDYMAN51 says:

    Reminds me of the old stuffed monkey at Grandma’s house. Makes me wonder about the origin of those things! They must have been a fad in their time.

  10. HANDYMAN51 says:

    Googled and discovered that sock monkeys are thought to have been around since the 1880’s. During WWII, some were stuffed with newspaper ( nylon was going to the war effort). In 1992, Fox River Mills bought out the sock company that previously had made the red- heeled ” work socks”. Each pair of socks sold comes with full instuctions for making a monkey.

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