How to Make the Original Red Heel Monkey, Friends, Puppets and More
Is there anyone that doesn't love a sock monkey? I think not and although they can be commercially purchased, there is nothing quite like a classic, handmade sock monkey. But you don't have to stop at monkeys, there are animals, puppets, novelties, dolls and more.
Simple Illustrations, Some Color Images
This book is exactly what I would expect from a book on crafting sock monkeys.
It has a bit of homespun feeling, the cream colored pages are printed in the USA on recyclable paper. The book has adorable pictures of various sock monkey creatures, but the charm is in the line illustrations to be used as patterns.
The book has a heavy cardstock type of cover and is 48 pages filled with patterns. There is no page-wasting introductory text, it gets right to the designs and patterns. That being said, I would have enjoyed reading a short history of the sock monkey in the book.
The book is divided into chapters by the types of patterns illustrated and include:
- Sock Toys: Monkeys, toys, elephants, teddy bear, dachshund, polar bear, piggy, donkey, pony, kitten, puppy, bunny, squirrel, chipmunk, begging dog and kangaroo.
- Sock Dolls: Scrappy, girl doll, soldier, train engineer, Dutch girl, Scottish lass, Latino boy, Asian boy, Eskimo boy, hula girl, cowboy, native American, red riding hood, Robin Hood, Santa Claus and Clown.
- clothing: Includes how to do hair, and facial expressions, along with the clothing.
- Hand Puppets: lion, goat, witch, pirate, native American
- Arm Puppets: crocodile, clown and ringmaster.
- Puppet Skit and Characters: Cute skit and simple illustrations for character creating.
- Sock Novelties: hobby horse, owl pillow, Humpty Dumpty and double dolls (upside-down).
From Fox River:
Fox River, maker of the famous Original Rockford Red Heel® monkey sock, is releasing an updated edition of its sock toy pattern book just in time for the 2010 holiday season. The new edition, How to Make the Original Rockford Red Heel Monkey, Friends, Puppets and More, features updated patterns for more than 50 toys, full-color production, large photographs of new toy samples showing great detail and updated crafting tips. Crafters of all skill levels will enjoy the variety of patterns offered in the book.
"We wanted to encourage the renaissance the sock monkey and homemade toys have been experiencing over the last few years," said Becky Lessard, Vice President of Monkey Business at Fox River. "Almost everyone grew up with a beloved sock monkey. Other patterns like these help expand the sock monkey universe with dogs, cats, puppets and more. This year was a great time to update the book because we recently introduced the new Pink Heather Rockford Red Heel, which can add personality and even gender to sock toys."
My Bottom Line
You don't need this book to make a simple sock monkey. FoxRiver supplies that pattern free with every pair of Red Heel socks purchased. And in fact includes excellent free instructions on their website. But if you want to take your sock monkey crafting to a higher level, want ideas for clothing and accessories, or want to create other adorable creatures, this book is for you.
As mentioned above, the book is simply illustrated and if you need absolutely precise instructions or patterns to trace and cut out, it might be a bit frustrating. Check out the free pattern linked to above and if you are comfortable using that type of instruction -- go ahead and buy the book. Soon you'll be whipping up a whole zoo of animals! And if you do make any from the book, we'd love to post pictures on here!