As an artist and homeowner, Donna enjoys creating unique decorative items and holiday ornaments to welcome all to her artistic abode.
A Fun Winter Craft
These sock snowmen are fun and easy to make for decorating during Christmas and the winter season. These cozy figures can be used as Christmas decorations, tree ornaments, or as a great gift. This tutorial includes directions for making three different sock snowmen projects: a set of three standing snow figures, a cheerful snowman peeking out of a gift bag, and a row of snowmen heads. I've also included instructions for all their clothes and accessories. I've knit some of the accessories for these snowmen, but you can find the free knitting patterns on my blog.
You can use most types of plain white socks to make these figures. You may want to tea-dye your socks to give them a slightly beige or antique look. You can find directions for tea dyeing your socks under the Gift Bag Sock Snowman tutorial.
Basic Materials for Making a Sock Snowman
Each of these projects uses a slightly different set of materials, but the basic list of supplies are:
- a white crew sock, preferably with a white toe and heel though these elements can be cut off
- fiber fill or cotton balls for filling your snowman's body
- rubber bands or thin thread for tying off your snowman head
- scraps of fabric, ribbon, and yarn to dress your snowman
- buttons, beads, or embroidery floss to sew on eyes
- glitter glue for adding facial features
- wooden skewer or clay for making a snowman nose
- hot glue and white craft glue
- scissors and ruler
Additional Supplies for Making a Sock Snowman Family
- uncooked, dry rice for the base of each figure
- a small plastic cup from laundry detergent or a liquid cold remedy bottle to use as a form for a top hat
- winter decorations like small snowflakes and berries to accessorize each figure
Part I: Making the Sock Snowman Father Figure
1. The first step in making the largest sock snowman father figure is to cut the ankle/calf section off of a tube sock. I used a woman's crew sock which made a figure that is about eight inches tall (including his top hat). Cut your sock right above the turn from the heel to the ankle as pictured above. Put aside the foot section for later.
2. Turn the calf section of your sock inside out and use a rubber band to gather and close the top (calf) section of your sock.
3. With your sock still inside out, use hot glue to seal the center area of your gathered sock. I also put a strip of hot glue over my rubber band so it would not break and come undone.
4. When your glue is dry, turn your sock section right side out again.
5. With the closed end of your sock sitting on your work surface, fill the base of your snowman with uncooked, dry rice. I put in about two inches of rice, enough for my sock to stand on its own.
6. Fill the rest of your sock section with fiber fill or cotton balls. Pack your fill in tightly to make your snowman rounded, but leave about two inches at the top of your sock unfilled so you can close it off.
7. Use another rubber band or some string to gather and tie off the top of your snowman. Seal the center of the top of your snowman's head with some hot glue. Again, I also ran some hot glue over my rubber band to secure it.
8. Now use another rubber band or some thin string or thread to tie off a section of the body to form a head. Play around with your stuffing on both the lower body and head to make them rounded.
9. You can leave the excess sock material at the top of your snowman's head. It will be covered by a hat later.
10. Now to dress your figure: I dressed each figure differently and you can pick and choose your clothing items from all these projects' clothes and accessories.
11. For the father figure, I took a strip of scrap fabric and wrapped it around his body, overlapping my ends in the front. I hot glued this fabric on my figure along the back spine and in front where my fabric met. I cut the edges of my fabric on a slant to make a waistcoat. I planned to add a knit scarf so any gaps in the fabric around the neck would be covered.
12. Then I used some contrasting felt fabric and cut little pieces to make lapels for his coat. I glued these on with white craft glue. I also added a button to his coat where the fabric overlapped.
13. To create the face on my sock snowman, I glued on two buttons for eyes with white craft glue. I then used a red pastel pencil to add some rosy cheeks to my snowman's face. You could also use a soft make-up pencil like a lip liner or eyeliner. Test your pencil first on some scrap sock material before using it on your snowman.
14. I used black glitter glue to make his dotted mouth, but you could also use a Sharpie or other fine permanent marker.
15. I made my snowman's nose from polymer clay, but you could also use the tip of a wooden skewer painted orange or the tip of a crayon. Use hot glue to put your snowman's nose in place.
16. For the top hat, I covered the small plastic cup from my laundry detergent with black felt. I cut a small circle of felt to cover the bottom of my cup and a larger circle to be the brim of the hat. I cut a small circle out of my larger felt circle so the hat would sit on my snowman's head and cover the top section of the sock.
I then glued the felt-covered cup to the brim of my hat. When that was dry, I added a small strip of contrasting fabric for a decorative band on my hat. When the hat was complete, I hot glued it to the head of my snowman.
17. I knit a scarf for my snowman, but you could also use a scrap of fabric or ribbon for this accessory.
18. I also knit a wreath to decorate my snowman figure. However, you can buy small wreaths or other winter accessories at most craft stores. I used hot glue to attach this wreath to my figure. Both of these knitting patterns are available on my knitting blog.
Part II: Making a Female Sock Snow Figure
I used the foot section of the crew sock from my male snowman to make a female figure.
1. First, I cut off the heal section so I had a sock pouch that was cut clean across the top opening.
2. Using the toe section as the base of my figure, I filled my snowman figure with rice and fiber fill as above in Steps 5 through 9. If the toe of your sock is gray, it is still fine to use. This area of your sock will probably be under your snow figure and not seen.
3. Form the body and head of your snow figure as above.
4. To dress my female figure, I used a strip of wide Christmas ribbon to wrap around the body, overlapping the ends at the back of the body. I used hot glue to hold the ends in place.
5. For my female snow figure, I used embroidery floss to sew on some eyes. I used six strands of floss, doubled, and then double knotted at the bottom. I inserted my embroidery needle into my figure at the place I wanted to put the first eye. I let my knot rest on the surface to create one eye.
6. I drew out my needle on the opposite side of the face where I wanted to place my second eye. I double-knotted my floss to create an eye that was the same size as my first. After cutting off my extra floss, I put a dot of white craft glue on each eye to seal my knots.
7. I also added rosy cheeks, a polymer clay nose, and a dotted mouth as I had with the male snowman.
8. To complete my female sock snow figure, I cut a strip of green felt for a scarf and knit her a little hat (the pattern is available on my blog link above). You can also make a hat from felt (see gift bag snowman directions below).
Part III: Making a Small Figure to Complete Your Sock Snowman Family
1. To make a small figure to complete my sock snowman family, I used a decorative pair of crew socks that I had in my drawer. You could also use any pair of crew socks (as with the male and female figures) and just not fill them as much.
2. I created this smaller figure following Steps 1 through 9 for my larger sock snowman.
3. I knit my child snowman a little sweater, but you could also dress him or her following the directions for the larger male or female figures. I decorated this sweater with felt leaves and berries that I glued on (the pattern is available on my blog link above).
4. I made my snowman's features following the same instructions as for the female figure above.
5. I also knitted this figure a small hat. This hat is the same as the female figure above. For the female figure, I pushed the point down to flatten the hat. For the child's hat, I let the point show and added a small plastic snowflake to the top.
A lot of these small holiday gift bags are too pretty and charming to just use as bags. So I decided to use one as a home for a cute sock snowman! This finished project would make a great Christmas tree ornament or teacher's gift.
Additional Materials to Make a Gift Bag Sock Snowman
- a small gift bag, used for giving gift cards and very small items
- a dowel, stick, or similar item
- some styrofoam or floral foam to fill the base of your bag
- some artificial winter greenery or other holiday decorations to fill your gift bag
Part I: Directions for Making a Gift Bag Sock Snowman
To make a gift bag sock snowman, you can either use the foot section of your sock, or the ankle/calf section. I chose to use the foot section of my sock by cutting off the toe and heel and using just the remaining tube section.
I also decided to tea-dye my sock to give it a slightly beige or antique color to go with my gift bag.
Part II: How to Tea Dye a Sock for a Sock Snowman
1. Place a tea bag in a large glass container, like a pasta sauce jar. You can use most types of basic or brown tea bags for dyeing. Use a binder clip to hold the tag of your tea bag outside the jar.
2. With your tea bag in place, fill your glass container with boiling water. Make sure your tea bag is completely submerged. Now let your tea bag sit in the hot water for five minutes.
3. After five minutes, place your sock in the tea water. Let it sit for a while, using a spoon to pull out a section and check the color. I let my sock sit in my tea water for three minutes.
4. When your sock is the color you want, pull it out of the tea mixture and rinse it thoroughly in cold water. Your color may be fainter after rinsing. Then let your sock dry completely.
Part III: Preparing Your Gift Bag
1. Take your gift bag and carefully cut off the handle (if applicable) on the front side of your gift bag. Try to cut it short enough so none of it shows from the outside. You do not want this handle blocking your snowman display. Leave the back handle in place to use for hanging as an ornament.
2. Cut about a one-inch thick piece of foam to fill the bottom of your gift bag. This foam will stabilize your bag so that it will stand and also allow you to stick your decorations in place to make an arrangement. Then put your bag to the side.
Part IV: Making Your Sock Snowman Head
3. With the right side of your sock piece facing out, gather one end together (doesn't matter which end) and secure it with a rubber band or string. Put a dot of hot glue in the center of your gathered material. You can also put a line of hot glue over your rubber band or string to prevent breaking.
4. Stuff your sock pouch with fiber fill or cotton balls. Fill it so that it is full and rounded.
5. Now close the other end of your sock with another rubber band. Do not glue it in place yet.
6. Take a dowel, stick, or pencil and insert it through the end you just closed with the rubber band. Push your dowel up through your stuffing to the top of your snowman's head.
7. Once your dowel or stick is in place, run some hot glue around the seam between your dowel and sock, and around your rubber band.
8. I created my gift bag snowman's face using the same techniques I used for my snowman family. Here, I used black beads for my snowman's eyes, but his nose is made from polymer clay and his mouth is added with black glitter glue.
9. I also knitted him a little scarf to cover the joint between his head and the dowel (the knitting pattern is available on my blog link above). You can use a scrap of fabric or ribbon for a scarf instead if you want.
Part V: Making a Floppy Hat for Your Sock Snowman
Here's another way to make a hat for any of your sock snowman:
1. Cut one small circle from felt that is slightly larger than your snowman's head. This will be your hat's brim so it should be large enough to look a bit floppy when placed on your snowman's head.
2. Now cut another circle that is about an inch larger in diameter than your first circle. These measurements are approximate and will depend on the size of your snowman.
3. Taking the smaller felt circle, cut out a centerpiece, leaving about a 1/2- to 3/4-inch rim around your circle (see the second photo in the series above).
4. Using a needle and thread, sew a running stitch around the edge of your larger circle. When done, pull the two ends of your thread to gather your fabric into a pouch (see the second photo in the series above).
5. Fit your felt circle over your pouch and slide it down to the base to create a brim for your hat. You may have to pull your gathers tighter to make them fit. Once the fit looks right, tie together the ends of the threads on the top section of your hat.
6. Shift your gathers around until you like the look of your hat. Then use white glue or hot glue to attach the brim to your hat from the underside. Let dry.
7. If the seam does not look good from the outside, you can cover it up with a ribbon or yarn band around the connection area.
8. When complete, hot glue your floppy hat onto your sock snowman, covering any gathered sock on the top of the head.
Part VI: Putting Together Your Gift Bag Sock Snowman Arrangement
Now that all your sock snowman parts are complete, you can put your gift bag arrangement together.
1. Trim the dowel or stick on your snowman's head to the right length to sit right above your gift bag's edge. Press your dowel into the foam at the bottom of your bag and hot glue it in place.
2. Fill the rest of your gift bag with whatever accessories or decorations you choose. You can add more fiber fill inside your bag to look like snow. I added some winter greenery and berries to my bag, sticking the ends of these blooms into the foam in the bottom of my bag. You could also fill your bag with small wrapped presents, candy, or little toys.
These snowmen's heads are adorable! They can be used as a hanging Christmas tree ornament or a decoration for a winter wreath.
Additional Supplies for Making Three Snowmen's Heads in a Row
- a white knee-high opaque sock, a tall tube sock, or one leg of a little girl's pair of tights
- Three foam balls that fit snugly inside your sock—you can actually use as many balls as you can fit in your sock. You can also use fiber fill instead of foam balls
- (optional) pom poms to use as earmuffs
Part I: Directions for Making Three Snowmen's Heads in a Row Decoration
1. Using a piece of thin string, thread, or fishing line, tie off the toe of your long sock.
2. Taking your first foam ball (or some fiber fill), push it down to the bottom of your sock to form the first head. Then tie off this head with more thread or line as pictured above.
3. Continue to place your foam balls or fiber fill to form as many heads as you want or can fit, tying off your sock in between each head.
4. Using strips of fabric, ribbon, or yarn, cut little scarves for each snowman to cover the place where you tied off each head. For your bottom snowman, be sure to wrap your toe material with your scarf so it doesn't show.
5. Now decorate each snowman's face and head. Since I didn't have room for a hat on my lower snowmen's heads, I glued a pom pom on each side of their face as earmuffs. I connected these earmuffs with a piece of yarn that ran across the back of their heads.
6. I used white craft glue to attach some googly eyes on each snowman, along with a polymer clay nose, some rosy cheeks, and a dotted mouth drawn with glitter glue.
7. For my top snowman's head, I trimmed any excess socks, leaving only about an inch of material. Then I put a dot of hot glue in the center of my gathered sock to seal the opening.
8. I knitted a little cap to cover my excess sock, in addition to adding earmuffs (the knitting pattern is available on my blog link above). You can use any of the hat designs from this tutorial for your snowman's head.
9. To make a hanger for this snowman decoration, I took some fishing line and sewed a loop through my top snowman's hat, making sure to catch the leftover sock material in my loop too. I tied the ends of my fishing line together to make my hanger.
© 2017 Donna Herron
Donna Herron (author) from USA on January 30, 2017:
Thanks! I'm glad you like these projects and that they inspire you. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!
Mary from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet. on January 29, 2017:
These are so cute and would make awesome Christmas gifts, great hub.
Donna Herron (author) from USA on January 10, 2017:
Hi teaches12345 - Thank you so much for your sweet comments! Actually, all of these snowman are easy to make and these projects don't take much time. I'm sure you would enjoy making your own. Thanks again for reading. I appreciate it!
Dianna Mendez on January 07, 2017:
As a collector of snowmen, I would love getting one of these as a gift. If I had the time and gift of crafting, I would make one of these adorable snowmen.
Donna Herron (author) from USA on January 06, 2017:
Hi Kailua-KonaGirl - Yes, I think the little knitted items certainly make these snowmen look cozy and cute. But you could also make similar items for them out of fleece or wool fabric and get the same look. So glad you like them! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
Donna Herron (author) from USA on January 06, 2017:
Thanks, Sally! I'm so grateful for all your support!
KonaGirl from New York on January 05, 2017:
These snowmen are adorable! You did such a great job making them and the DIY instructions are so easy to follow! I wish I had your knitting skills as the knitted hats and articles of clothing really add to the personality of the snowmen.
Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on January 05, 2017:
You are welcome, Donna. Thought I would just say that I flipped this and saved one of the images to my Pinterest. Hope it sparks a lot of traffic:)
I had a good holiday thank you I wish you all the best for the New Year.
Donna Herron (author) from USA on January 05, 2017:
Thanks, Sally! I'm trying to get a few more holiday projects posted before it's too late. Hope you had a wonderful holiday! Looking forward to your hubs in 2017!
Donna Herron (author) from USA on January 05, 2017:
Thanks so much, Heidi! Yes, these snowmen are so easy to make, and can be dressed in so many ways. Or just left in the natural sock snowman attire! I'll be making more of these (until I run out of socks) for holiday gifts for next year. So great to hear from you! Hope you had a wonderful holiday! Looking forward to seeing more hubs from you in 2017!
Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on January 05, 2017:
Gorgeous little snowmen! I love the photographs and the details and your instructions are top notch as always. Good job! This is a beautiful hub.
Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on January 04, 2017:
Way... too... cute! And way easier than some of the knit/crochet snowmen deco projects I've seen. Looking forward to more of your cute and creative ideas this year. Happy New Year!