Upcycled Sock Project: Homemade Cat Toy

Despite the cute patterns and availability, (there’s a vendor selling them on each street), Korean socks and I don’t get along well. Whether because of my enormous feet or the thin material, I always get holes in them after one or two uses. Recently, I’ve taken a vow to abstain from wearing socks unless they are made out of 1/2 inch-thick wool.

Never having learned how to darn socks and lacking the motivation (I’d just get holes in them again the next wear), I set about to reuse the unfortunate socks to avoid throwing them away. It also happened to be two days before Christmas, and I had yet to get a present for my cat. So, without any sewing experience, I began making these little mouse toys. If you have a cat, a holey sock, and a half hour, you can make this easy toy, too. There will be less items in the landfill, and your cat will love you for however long it takes it to lose the toy underneath the refrigerator.



One holey or orphaned sock

Sharp scissors

Needle and thread

Paper and marker

Plastic bag or packaging, torn into strips

3 inch piece of jute or other sturdy string

Catnip (optional)


Begin by drawing and cutting out a basic mouse pattern. A lop-sided half-oval works just fine.

Using a marker or fabric chalk, trace the pattern onto your sock wherever you fancy. Choose the dead center of it, or trace one side on a fold to avoid needing to sew one side of the mouse.


Carefully cut out the two sides of the sock at the same time, and turn them inside out (if they are two separate pieces), facing each other.

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Sew the sides together with a simple hand stitch, leaving a gap at the back of the mouse to add the stuffing and the tail.


Carefully turn the mouse right-side out. The aid of a pencil end is helpful for this.

Stuff your mouse with whatever you fancy. Scraps of plastic bag is excellent for achieving that crinkle sound cats love, and catnip is great for making them happy. Bits of leftover sock also works well for stuffing, and leaves less waste behind. A makeshift paper funnel makes working with catnip easier.

Insert at least a half inch of the jute or string into the opening. Stitch the mouse the rest of the way up, folding under the edges to make it look polished. Gently squeeze the mouse to evenly distribute the stuffing. Use the needle and thread to nip and tuck any shoddy stitching from earlier.

Keep your mouse plain, or add “eyes” by weaving thread though the head a few times before tying it off.  Simple whiskers are a great option, too. Go as realistic as you want, but keep in mind that your cat isn’t going to be too picky. Deep down, it knows it isn’t real.


Have a fun homemade pet toy idea? Feel free to share it in the comment section below!

Merry Christmas!


About continuethislabor

Hi I'm Tera. I'm interested in how flavors work together and how we can work together to be responsible Earth citizens. Currently I teach English in S. Korea with my husband, but someday we will own a small organic farm. There, we will grow vegetables, raise chickens and goats, and play Catan in our little cottage while drinking good coffee.

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