Violet Mackerel DIY: How to Make Cosy Wrist Warmers

Everyone loves an activity which extends the book reading experience for our young people. Story-related activities are the perfect way to engage reluctant readers or extend capable readers. This particular DIY will introduce young readers to one of the best Australian series in the 6-10 year old reading market, ‘Violet Mackerel‘ by Anna Branford.

This beautiful series stars Violet Mackerel, a young girl who is a collector of tiny, interesting things and a lover of all things crafty, you can read my full review of the series here. This activity will help young readers to connect with Violet, and pick up some sewing and crafting skills along the way. My eight-year-old managed all the design and stitching to make these particular wrist warmers for her younger sister.

 As it’s a little cool around the country at the moment what could be better than a wrist warmer DIY, inspired by craft book tie-in which accompanies the ‘Violet Mackerel’ series, How to Make Small Things with Violet Mackerel. Personalised wrist warmers made from socks that have lost their partners are super simple to make and involve some designing, stitching and cutting – and lots of creativity. Once you are done crafting, you can settle down and read the series – I have read each and every one and they are as warm and cosy to read as the wrist warmers themselves.Violet Mackerel

Walker Books Australia have kindly allowed me to reproduce and adapt this activity from How to Make Small Things with Violet Mackerel.


  • Odd socks
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Needle and thread
  • Felt
  • Buttons or other small treasures



Step 1: Lay your two socks out flat. Use your pins to mark a line just where the foot of the sock begins and cut along this line with your scissors. You will end up with two tubes, which are the parts that you need for your wrist warmers. 

Wrist Warmers

Step 2: Tuck the ends of the tubes underneath. You can sew the ends in place if you wish or leave them loose. 

wrist warmers

Step 3: Cut out felt shapes or your initials and work out where you would like them placed on your wrist warmers. 


Step 4: Using your needle and thread, stitch felt shapes in place using small stitches all around the edge of your shapes. You can also add small treasures like buttons, beads, lace, ribbon or even a small and precious charm, which will make your work even more beautiful!

wrist warmers

Step 5: Admire your work and make another pair for a friend. This is what Violet would do!

wrist warmers

Thinking Outside the Square as Violet Mackerel Does:

  • Perhaps you do not have any odd or holey socks. Another option is to cut the sleeves off an old long sleeved t-shirt. 
  • If you do not have any felt scraps for initials, you can use any non-fraying fabric. Another option is to use your needle and thread to stitch initials directly onto your wrist warmers. 

wrist warmers

Have your kids read this charming series?

Here are some more craft projects the kids can tackle by themselves:

Images: Megan Daley