sock animal rattle tutorial

I'm excited to be posting today as part of the babyhood bonanza going on over at luvinthemommyhood!  If you haven't stopped by the party yet, you'll find lots of fun and creative baby themed project tutorials from guest crafters all around blogland.

Today I'll show you how to make a sock bunny rattle ... my little twist on a classic craft.  You all know how I love sock animals!

It's soft ... it's squishy ... it has chomp-able ears and a nice, soft jingle.  It is sure to be your infant's favorite first toy.

  • one sock per rattle
  • polyfill stuffing
  • embroidery thread and needle
  • one jingle bell
  • optional: sewing machine, thread, etc.  If you use a machine, a ball point needle is very helpful when working with knits (I also like to use my walking foot).
This project can be entirely sewn by hand, but I use a sewing machine for the larger pieces to speed the work along.

Also, I'll be showing you two versions of this project.  The first version is a straight handled rattle with a small animal head.  The second version is a loop handled rattle with a larger animal head.  Feel free to mix them up as you choose - the beauty of sock animals are how customizable they are!  You can also easily change the ear shape and facial embroidery to make a wide range of animals.  I'll only be showing you a bunny in this tutorial.

Straight-Handle Rattle (Version 1)

Step 1:  Cut your sock, following the photo below

Step 2:  make the handle

  1. Fold piece A in half lengthwise, with right sides facing together.  Pin in place.  
  2. Sew down the open side and bottom, curving the bottom edge.  Leave the original sock cuff open for stuffing.  I sewed a straight stitch on my sewing machine and also serged the edges (optional).  You can also zigzag stitch the edge, or double stitch for durability.  
  3. Turn the handle right side out and stuff with polyfill.
 Step 3:  make the head
  1. Turn piece B inside out and stitch the top closed in a curved edge.  Fold flat in the other direction and sew another curved seam overlapping the first perpendicularly (not pictured - sorry!).  Basically, it will make a small "x" on the top of the head and give it a nice curved shape.
  2. Turn right side out and stuff the head.  Insert the jingle bell into the center of the head and cover with more stuffing.
  3. Using a long piece of embroidery floss, start cinching the bottom of the head closed (hide the thread knot on the inside of the head).  I cinched the head by sewing stitches alternating on opposite sides of the head.  Continue stitching and cinching until the bottom of the head is all gathered in.
  4. Tie a knot to close off the head, but do not cut your embroidery floss.  You will continue to use it in the next step (fewer knots to hide!).
Step 4: attach the head to the handle

Continuing to use the embroidery floss from step 3, attach the bottom (cinched) side of the head to the opening of the handle using a ladder stitch.  If you are not familiar with the ladder stitch, I would recommend watching this short how-to video.  It is a very simple stitch that is great for sock animals because it is strong and nearly invisible.

Step 5: make and attach ears
  1. Cut piece C in half horizontally so you have two equal pieces.  Do exactly as you did with piece A for the handle:  fold in half lengthwise with right sides together, pin, sew down one side and curve around one end, leaving the other end open.  Serge or zig zag the edges if desired.  Repeat with the other ear.
  2. Turn both ears right side out.
  3. Attach ears to the top of the head.  I placed them along one of my seam lines.  Turn the raw edges under slightly and attach to the head using a ladder stitch, exactly as you did in step 4.
Step 6: embroider the face
I didn't take step by step of the process, but I used a backstitch for the eyes, whiskers and mouth, and a satin stitch for the nose.  The Stitch A Day section on the Hand Embroidery Network blog is a great resource for learning how to do just about every embroidery stitch there is.

That is it for the straight handled rattle!  Pretty easy, right? 

Loop Handle Rattle (version 2)

 Step 1:  Cut your sock, following the photo below

Step 2:  make the handle loop
  1. Fold piece A in half vertically with right sides together.  Pin and sew down the long side.  Leave both ends open.  Serge or zig zag the edge if desired.
  2. Turn the tube right side out and stuff.
  3. Create a loop by bringing the two open ends together.  With a long piece of embroidery floss, stitch together in the middle where the raw edges meet.  Do not cut the thread, as you will continue using it on the next piece.
Step 3:  complete the handle
  1. Attach piece D by stretching to fit around the entire loop opening.  
  2. Turn the raw edges of piece D under and attach to loop (overlapping the loop's raw edges) using a ladder stitch.
  3. Top off the handle with additional stuffing.
Step 4:  make the head
  1. Stuff piece B.
  2. Insert the jingle bell into the center of the stuffing.
  3. Using a long piece of embroidery floss, cinch and stitch the bottom of the head closed (see step 3 in the straight handle version for more details).  Do not cut your thread ... you will continue to use it in the next step.
Step 5:  attach the head
Continuing to use the embroidery floss from step 4, attach the bottom (cinched) side of the head to the opening of the handle using a ladder stitch.

Step 6:  make and attach ears
Same as in the straight handle version!   See photos and directions above.

Step 7:  embroider the face
Same as in the straight handle version!

And there you have it ... two different sock bunny rattles.  You know you want one.

Tutorial to be used for Personal Use Only. Thank you!


The Wentzell's said...

The rattle is so adorable. It turned out really cute.

Sophie-Lou-J said...

omg what a great tutorial, ive been making sock animals for my art exam :) and i just love them, check mine out if you like on my blog.
this is great tho as my best friend is due soon and im defo making her little boy one of these cute rattles. :) thanks so much !
x sophie-lou x

cooperl788 said...

What an adorable rattle! I love that the tutorial is so clear - it makes me feel like I could actually do it myself!

Daveswifey! said...

I LOVE this, Im defo going to give it a go :) x

Annette said...

Looks great thanks for the Toot

C.R.A.F.T. said...

great idea...come link up to making monday marvelous! happy memorial day :)

Kalleen at Second Street said...

I love it and can't wait to give it a try.

Cole's Corner said...

Cute, cute, cute, cute, cute. It's not a cat... but I still love it.

Vanessa said...

You've done it again! Absolutely adorable!

Melanie said...

how cute! I love it.

Danielle said...

Love them! They are so cute! Thanks for the nice tutorial Jill! Is it sad that I want to make these and I don't have any kids yet? Haha.

Larissa said...

That is so stinking cute. I love the little face!

Lizzy @ Lizzy Designs said...

I really like it; so much so that I've already made one! Within about 7 hours of seeing the tutorial! Thank you for taking the time to do the tutorial. :)
P.S. I will blog mine soon!

Cook Clean Craft said...

They are adorable. I'm going to have to find some socks to make them for my baby-on-the-way.

Virginia said...

Adorable is definitely the right word! =)
Thanks for sharing!

Chris said...

I love the little face on this rattle, Jill. Well done.

mmtncrfts said...

Sweet, sweet, sweet! Any baby would love to play with this.

April said...

so creative! I have no kids yet but this seems like so much fun. Makes me want to make one for my future kids. That might scare DH a tad. haha

dana said...

oh my my MY. Jill, I love this!
So very adorable. Makes me smile!

Debbyanne said...

So adorable, i can't wait to make one, what a fab tutorial x

casserole said...

That is SOOO cute!! I just linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:


maddmomma said...

You didn't fool me! I know how you love bunnies. Great tutorial, and what a great rattle! One pair of socks and 2 cute toys! You are inspiring!

ificould said...

Very cute!!

Andrea @ said...

Oh so cute. Thank you thank you! said...

Aww, these are so cute! I know what I'll be giving at showers this year! Thanks so much, I'll be linking.

Carin said...

This is too neat! I want to try it too - have you made any other animals? Seems like a cat or dog wouldn't be too much of a change. You're so good at figuring it out, just thought I'd ask if you'd done any others.

Kourtney said...

So adorable... love the use of your new serger!

Amber said...

What a cute rattle. I just might have to make it.
I just linked to your tutorial on Strawberry Owl Design:
Thanks for taking the time to post the tutorial!

Clotilde M. said...

Really clever and pretty rattle! I make things for orphans and love it when creative people make clever things for children. Thanks for sharing!

TJ and Whitnee said...

I have never seen a rabbit before, but I think it is darling! I'd like to share a link on on June 4!

JMN said...

Hi there!

New follower following from Mummy Crafts blog!

I love all of your great ideas!!

I would love if you would come and visit my blog and become a new follower :)

Have a great day!

Featured Spotlight Blogger for Mommies Faves

Lizzy @ Lizzy Designs said...

I have now made three of these adorable rattles, and blogged about it here:

Thank you very much for a brilliant. easy to follow tutorial! :) said...

Adorable! Excellent choice on the sock pattern. Thanks for sharing ... I've posted a link.

Bugglesnug said...

LOVE IT! So darn cute!

Becky said...

I made one!!! Love it!

Jill said...

Lizzy and Becky - very cute! thanks for sharing.

Becky said...

Okay that might just be the cutest darn thing I have seen! Love it!


Ellen said...

I love this idea!!

Alison said...

I featured this fabulous idea with a roundup of baby ideas celebrating Baby Week. Here's the link:

Thanks so much for the inspiration!

I Am Momma - Hear Me Roar said...

I'm a little late to the commenting here, but that sock rattle is ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE!!! I love it! Great work, Jill!

Sandy said...

I love it! I will have to make one for my niece she will love it!

Thanks for the great tutorial :)

NIMIA said...


Nicole said...

I love this! I tried it and could not figure out the ladder stitch to save my life. Mine isn't as nice looking as yours, but it still came out cute. Thank you for this!

♥Lola said...

I just love the pink blanket in the background. Did you crochet it? I would love to make something like it. It's so pretty and simple. Is there a pattern?

ibu arief said...

very damn cute! but i'm just wondering, how did you end the sticth for the embriodered eyes, nose and mouth??

Jar of Ideas said...

sooooo cute!

Sarah said...

I loved following your tutorial! My bunny didn't turn out quite as cute as yours, but I had fun creating him! I linked back to you at

Thanks for posting and Merry Christmas!

Kendall said...

I love these!!! What a great idea!!! Too Cute!!!!

Sab said...

:-) that's very cute!!

Laurie said...

I pinned this directly from here. I hope that's okay.

Tami said...

So cute!

I’d love it if you shared this with the Fun Family Crafts audience.
FFC is similar to Craftgawker but it only features kid friendly tutorials.

Looking forward to seeing what fun crafts you submit!

journa liz ramirez said...

I love everything about your sock animal plush, from the eyes, smile, the ears, the handle, everything is soooo cute and adorable! Love it so much! Thank you for sharing! I featured this in my blog: