Steampunk, the Sock Monk

Caution: This is NOT a toy!

It's time for another Designer Crafts Connection Challenge, and this month, I am out of my comfort zone. I never had a sock monkey as a child, never created one for my child, and the only fact I knew about them is that they were made from Red Heel socks. However, I do love a challenge.

This challenge was conceived and sponsored by Ana Araujo of When Creativity Knocks. Ana has a new DVD, Sock Monkeys Go BanAnas, a wonderful instructional video which walks you right through the steps to create this icon of American crafting.

Our monkey kits included a pair of Original Rockford Red Heel socks, Ana's DVD, Rit® Brand Dye and a precious little sock monkey stamp from Judikins.

Be sure to see all the sock monkeys by clicking on the Designer Craft Connections button at left to hop forward or backward.
You can enter to win your own Sock Monkey prize package valued at over $40!

Here's what one lucky reader will receive:

• Sock Monkeys Go BanAnas WCK VideoBook
• One (1) sewn Sock Monkey body ready to be stuffed
• One (1) pair FoxRiver: Oringal Rockford Red Heel Socks
• Button Eyes, needle, floss and stuffing

Go to the When Creativity Knocks website and in the Member Log In box click Create An Account. Then enter Sock Monkey as the entry code along with your info. Good luck!

Ana is also offering all blog hop readers $2 off the purchase of a Sock Monkeys Go BanAnas WCK VideoBook plus a free copy of the 2012 WCK Sock Monkeys Go BanAas eCalendar with purchase of the video! The coupon code is sockmonkeybloghop.

I have to confess that although I read and followed the construction instructions, that's where my salute to conventional creating ended. I have always traveled to the beat of a different drummer, and this time, I think it may have been Charlie Watts. That's the only explanation that I can come up with for this artistic departure.

Here's how I made Steampunk, the Sock Monk.

Basic Supplies
Sock Monkeys Go Bananas DVD
Original Rockford Red Heel socks, one pair
Quilt Batting and Fiberfill
Needle and Thread
Sewing Machine

Make your sock monkey according to the dvd instructions then customize using one of the patterns included in the dvd pack or using the following:

I repeat. This is not a toy! It is made with metal parts that can cut, so it is only to be placed on a very high shelf and admired from a distance.

Customizing Supplies

Rit Dye, Purple, Evening Blue, Kelly Green
Atomizer Bottles, 3
Paper Towels
Recycled metal printing plates and/or copper sheeting. I used both.
Sizzix Big Shot
Assorted Texture Plates
Ranger Alcohol Inks, assorted colors
Metal ephemera (found objects,nuts, bolts, hinges, chain plus metal from the Tim Holtz Collection, Ranger)
Viva Décor Pearl Pen, Bronze
Canning jar lids, 4
Beacon 3-in-1 Adhesive

1. Mix Rit® Brand Dye in atomizer bottles, 2 parts dye, one part hot water. Spritz color all over monkey body, pat with paper towels to remove excess, then toss it in the dryer until dry to set the color. The dye doesn't show up well on my photos, but Steampunk, the Sock Monk is delightfully spattered with shades of blue, purple and green.
Note: Do not use this technique rather than the instructions on the dye bottle if this piece will be handled a lot or intended for a child's toy. This is another reason that the Steampunk, the Sock Monk prefers shelf sitting. He doesn't know if his colors will run if he gets wet, and he knows his creator did not follow Rit® Brand Dye directions!

2. Cut metal pieces and emboss with assorted Texture Plates and Big Shot. Add alcohol inks, allow to dry then sand with a sanding block or sandpaper.

At this point, I just winged all the parts until I was happy with them. The shoulder covers were from the edges of the metal printing plates and the thimble on the tail was a find in my sewing box when I was looking for a small zipper for his mouth. Since I couldn't find the zipper, I substituted gold bead chain, stitching in place in the corners and draping across the mouth.

The skirt (inspired by military uniforms in ancient Sparta) was a textured rectangle, cut 2" wider than the monkey waist. Slits (approx. 1 1/2" wide) were cut from the bottom to within 1" of the top. Score along the top of the slits and fold up. Wrap around the monkey and secure with adhesive. Add Viva Décor Bronze Pearl Pen accents as desired.
The only construction I planned was for the hat, and I actually changed the design mid-stream with a hint from my hubby (using canning jar lids for support).

Basic Directions:
1. For the hat brim, cut a metal circle approximately 5". Beginning in the center, cut "pie slices" to within 3/4" of the rim. Trim the slices to about 1/2' in length and fold up.

2. Stack four canning jar lids and glue them together, top to bottom. Place the metal circle under the lids and fold the pie slices up. Glue the slices around the inner edge of the bottom lid.

2. Cut a rectangle from a sheet of textured metal approximately 8" x 4" and adhere it around the outside of the lids. Trim the top so that there is a small dip in the middle front and back.

3. Cut a circle 3"4 inch larger in diameter than the top hat opening. Cut slits all around that are 3/8", fold them down, then place them inside the hat top. When you are happy with the fit, glue in place. Add Pearl Pen dots all around the top to help hide the seam and around the hat brim for interest.

Note: I didn't texturize the top of the hat, but looking back, it would have been a nice addition.

4. Add textured band.

I definitely had fun with this project and you still have time to create your own sock monkey for a favorite child (or for yourself) before Christmas.

Now go hug someone you love. I'll be hugging Steampunk, the Sock Monk, although not too tight!

I received product for all the manufacturers listed above.


Beth said…
LOVE your Steampunk Sock Monkey - very creative and very YOU!!
Subriagirl said…
Like Beth is so very YOU. :-) Sweetheart of the steampunk age! Ronnie
CindiB said…
Absolutely AWESOME monkey Candice! Love all the effort you put into making him so unique - bravo on a job well done!
Candice Windham said…
I am so thankful for my artsy girlfriends! Y'all totally get me and my crazy ideas! Thanks so much!
Jen Goode said…
Candice this is an amazing sock monkey. I'm a huge fan of steampunk and absolutely love what you've created. The details are wonderful - outstanding!
Candice Windham said…
Thanks, Jen! We have a mutual admiration society!

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