When I saw that my sock post from last November had been viewed a few times this week, I suddenly remembered that I had promised to blog the actual sock L. and I made for the OnlyDads tree. L was tickled pink with it and this is reminding me too, of my, as yet, unfulfilled promise to make another one. Big fat sticky note to self.
So if you fancy having a go, you will need:
- 1 sock – trainer-socks are probably a tad too short unless you want to make a beetle monster – although that could be an interesting variation on the theme!
- Two smallish plastic screw-on lids – ours were from 1 litre orange juice cartons. We opted for the same colour, but again, variation is always good!
- Two similar sized wine bottle corks
- Two metal can ring-pulls
- A length of sturdy string – ours was about 20cms long
- Various metal bottle tops / plastic juice carton tops
- One dispenser end from a washing-up liquid bottle
- Two googly / stick on eyes (if you don’t have pre-made eyes, they are simple to make with paper and glue)
- A strong needle and some thread (I used nylon thread as it’s more durable)
- A bradawl (thanks Twitter for supplying the name ..still laughing at some of the responses!) or very sharp ended Phillips screw driver
- Some strong glue
What to do:
The tail – preparation
- The carer prepares the materials in advance by punching a hole through the centre of all bottle tops to be used for the tail. A bradawl and hammer is the easiest way to do this, but make sure you are resting on something that doesn’t matter (granite work-tops and glass-topped tables should probably be avoided!). I used an old wooden chopping board.
- Cut string to desired length for the tail
- Tie a generous knot about 5 cms in at one end of the string. (You will need some free string to sew the tail to the monster later.)
- Let child thread all bottle tops onto the string – this is an excellent exercise for concentration and motor skills. Also interesting if different types / colours / sizes of tops are used. It also keeps the child happy and occupied while you do the more strenuous work! :
- Using the bradawl, the carer pushes a hole through the side of each wine cork approx ½ cm from one end. Make sure the hole is clear – this takes some patience!
- Turn the sock over so that the heel is at the top
- Pinch up the heel of the sock and sew the two corks to the doubled material, through the holes you just made. Your sock monster now has ears! (We were pushed for time, but you could paint the corks first for variation)
The eyes – preparation
- Carer takes one of the screw-tops to be used as eyes. Punch two holes in the sides of the lid, one opposite the other. Repeat with the other ‘eye’.
- Sew the two eyes to the sock through these holes so they are touching at the base (see pic)
The tail cntd:
- Once the child has threaded all tops onto the tail, tie a good sized knot in the string to secure them. (Tip: If the tops are threaded loosely enough to move a little on the string, they make a great sound when the puppet is moved. This was L’s favourite aspect to the whole toy.)
- Add the squeezy bottle top over the end to finish it off (“like a dragon’s tail” as my then 3yo put it.) We were lucky as our squeezy bottle end was the perfect size and fit snugly around the last metal tops so we didn’t need to sew or glue it on. You may need to improvise here.
- Sew the tail into the open end of the sock with the free length of string, as shown below.
The finishing touches:
- The child can now stick on the eyes
- We then stuck the ring-pulls around the eyes as glasses
Et voila! Long live the sock monster :-)
As ours was made in a bit of a rush, he is very basic but there must be hundreds of variations to this. Ask your child what they would like to add – they will come up with some fantastic ideas I’m sure!
If you make one, feel free to link back in the comments. I’d love to see what you come up with!