How to Make Sock Puppets

Kate Miller-Wilson
dog sock puppet

If you have a few basic craft supplies and some odd socks, you can create a whole zoo full of sock animals and monsters. Sock puppets are easy to make, and they are a wonderful rainy day activity to share with kids of all ages. There are a few different methods of making sock puppets and one of them will be perfect for you.

Basic Dog Sock Puppet

This simple dog is one of the easiest sock puppets you can make. It takes about 20 minutes to make this canine companion, plus drying time for the glue. You can vary this design to create any creature you like. Use craft glue if you're working with kids and hot glue if you're working on your own.

Things You'll Need

  • Tan or brown sock
  • Red craft felt
  • Brown craft felt
  • Googly eyes
  • Craft glue or hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Scissors

What to Do

  1. Start by cutting a long oval of red felt that is about the same length as the distance from the heel to the toe of the sock. This will be the inside of the dog's mouth. You'll also need to cut a tongue out of the red felt.
  2. Spread the sock out on your work surface so the bottom of the sock and the heel are facing up. Apply glue to the straight edge of the tongue and stick it on the heel of the sock. The rounded portion of the tongue should be pointing down toward the opening of the puppet. Apply glue around the outside edge of the red felt oval. Stick this oval on the sock so that it overlaps the tongue and covers the entire portion from toe to heel.
    dog puppet
  3. Cut two ears out of brown felt. You can make these as large or as small as you like. Cut a small circle for a nose.
  4. Flip the sock over so the mouth side is down. Apply glue to the nose piece and stick it on the toe of the sock. Apply glue to two googly eyes and stick them a little higher on the sock. Finally, apply a line of glue to the straight side of each of the ears and stick those on the sock just behind the eyes.
    dog puppet
  5. Allow the glue to dry. Then put your hand in the sock and enjoy your new dog puppet!

DIY Friendly Monster Sock Puppet

monster puppet

If you want to create a whimsical puppet with a little more shape, try this fun and friendly monster. You can vary the colors and personality depending on the socks you have on hand.

Things You'll Need

  • Fuzzy sock
  • Fake fur
  • Googly eyes
  • Fleece or felt scraps to match the sock
  • Button
  • Small piece of card stock or cardboard
  • Craft glue or glue gun and glue sticks
  • Scissors

What to Do

  1. Begin by making the mouth for your puppet. Cut an oval of felt or fleece that is about the same size as the sole of the sock. Cut a slightly smaller oval of card stock. Fold the card stock in half to crease it and then unfold it.
    monster puppet
  2. Run a line of glue all along the edge of the card stock oval. Center the card stock oval over the fabric oval and glue them together. Then run a line of glue all along the edge of the fabric oval on the same side as the card stock. Turn it over and press it to the sole of the sock. Allow the glue to dry.
    monster puppet
  3. Cut a piece of fake fur in a rough semi-circle. Fold it in half with the fur side out and make a small slit right at the crease.
    monster puppet
  4. Apply glue to the wrong side of the fake fur and fold the semi-circle in half again. Bend back the tabs you created by making the slit and use these to adhere the fur to the top of the puppet's head. You may need to try the puppet on your hand to get the appropriate placement.
  5. Glue the googly eyes and the button nose to the puppet. If you want, make a bow out of fleece or felt and glue it to the puppet's hair. If your puppet is a boy, you could make him a bow tie instead.
    monster puppet
  6. Allow the glue to dry and then enjoy your new friend.

DIY Stiff-Mouthed Sock Puppet Horse

horse puppet

A stiff mouth and a batting-stuffed head give this horse puppet a bit more structure. It's a little more complicated to make, but this is still an easy technique to master. Choose a sock with a contrasting toe if you are making a horse; however, you can use this method to make a variety of different animals.

Things You'll Need

  • Sock with contrasting toe
  • Felt scraps to match
  • Fleece scraps to match
  • Googly eyes
  • Black felt
  • Cotton quilt batting
  • Small piece of card stock
  • Scissors
  • Craft glue or hot glue gun and glue sticks

What to Do

  1. Lay the sock on your work surface. Make a cut just below the toe of the sock. You can make it as deep as you like. This will be the horse's mouth.
    horse puppet
  2. Use the mouth you cut to guide you in cutting a same-sized oval of fleece. Then cut a piece of card stock that is slightly smaller than the fleece oval. Fold the card stock in half and then unfold it. Apply glue to the card stock and press the card stock oval down on top of the fleece oval.
  3. Apply more glue all along the edge of the oval, covering the edge of the card stock as you go. Glue the oval into the mouth you cut in the sock. It's easiest to start with the lower jaw and then do the upper jaw. Allow this to dry. After it is dry, place your puppet on your work surface with the mouth side down.
    horse puppet
  4. Fold a piece of cotton batting so it is four layers thick. Cut a rounded shape that's about the same size as the back of your hand. Glue all four layers together, and then insert them in the sock to give the head its shape. Apply glue between the sock and the top layer of batting.
    horse puppet
  5. Cut a rectangle of fleece that's about five inches wide and around two-thirds the length of your sock. Fold the rectangle in half lengthwise and make straight cuts from the open edges towards the center, being careful not to cut all the way through, to create a fringe. This will be the mane. Keeping the rectangle folded, glue it to the puppet.
  6. Cut two ear shapes out of felt. Pinch the end of each ear and glue to hold this shape. Then glue the ears to your horse, just in front of the mane.
  7. Cut two tiny circles out of black felt for the horse's nostrils. Glue these near the toe of the sock. Then glue two googly eyes on the sock.
    horse puppet
  8. Allow the glue to dry and enjoy your puppet!

Bringing Puppets to Life

Making puppets is a great way to pass the time on a rainy or snowy afternoon, and it's fun to see how kids will bring their creations to life. With a few extra socks, some basic craft supplies, and a little of your time, you can create the players for an entire puppet theater.

How to Make Sock Puppets