How-To Amigurumi

Amigurumi French Bulldog [Pattern from Ami Ami Dogs]

Amigurumi French Bulldog [Pattern from Ami Ami Dogs]

Picture 1 of 7 (Click arrow for more pictures)

I heard friends and readers asking me how to do amigurumi, including patterns, materials, tools & tips etc…. you will find all the answers in this post: How-To Amigurumi!!!

Frankly speaking, just like all other crafts, to make a decent looking amigurumi is not easy but it is not hard as you thought too. You need skill, skill comes from knowledge and practice…. and to success in crafting, you need patience and the “never-give-up” attitude – do it again and again until you are satisfied with the result.

Amigurumi (編みぐるみ?, lit. crocheted or knitted stuffed toy) is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals and anthropomorphic creatures. The word is derived from a combination of the Japanese words ami, meaning crocheted or knitted, and nuigurumi, meaning stuffed doll. Amigurumi are typically animals, but can include artistic renderings or inanimate objects endowed with anthropomorphic features.
(source: Wikipedia)

Get the complete guide on how-to Amigurumi after this jump.

I spent months to master the skill of these cutie doggie amigurumies, no joke! My friend showed me this French Bulldog and asked if I can make a couple for her and her another friend. I totally in love with it at first sight so I went straight to the book store and get the Japanese version of Ami Ami Dogs. Can’t help myself and bought another one of the same series from the author. The first few I made didn’t come out exactly like the one shown in the book, rather, they are looking at different view and the head is tilted down. The yarn I bought didn’t look right too for the color, the white is not white enough to bring out the contrast of this doggies. So, I crochet them again after getting the right color that I want. Since then, I couldn’t stop by just crochet 1 pattern. I made another few breeds when I can find the right yarn color off hand. Click the Next button to view them all.

amigurumi pattern bookRecommended Amigurumi Books (Amazon Store):
1. Ami Ami Dogs: Seriously Cute Crochet
2. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Amigurumi
3. Amigurumi World: Seriously Cute Crochet
4. Vanna’s Choice: Easy Crochet Critters
5. A Zoo For You
6. Crobots: 20 Amigurumi Robots to Make
7. Creepy Cute Crochet
8. Amigurumi Toy Box: Cute Crocheted Friends
9. Cuddly Crochet: Adorable Toys, Hats, & More
10. Cute Little Animals
11. More Cute Little Animals to Crochet
12. Big Book of Animals

Amigurumi Pattern ShopFree online amigurumi patterns:             
1. Planet June
2. Crochet Pattern Central
3. Craftster
4. Roxycraft
5. Owlishly
6. Freshstitches Amigurumi
Shop online patterns:
1. Planet June Shop
2. Roxycraft Shop
3. Owlishly Etsy Shop
4. Anapaulaoli Etsy Shop
5. Mygurumi Etsy Shop
6. Crochetbury Etsy Shop
7. TLGD doll Etsy Shop
8. Jenny and teddy Etsy Shop
9. Delicious Crochet Etsy Shop
10. AmyGaines ArtFire Shop
11. Voodoo Maggie ArtFire Shop

Amigurumi written chart patternPattern Reading
Read chart or written pattern carefully and make sure you understand all the instructions.
Prepare all the tools and materials needed to make the amigurumi and get started.
Crochet abbreviation – written [chart] pattern
sc [X] - single crochet
sc inc [V] – single crochet increase
sc dec (sc2tog) [Λ] - single crochet decrease (invisible crochet is a better choice to prevent hole forming, photo tutorial, video)
ch [Ο] – chain
slst [ • ] – slip stitch

Amigurumi sizeChoice Of Yarn & Hook Size
Read the pattern instruction and look out for recommended yarn weight and crochet hook size. If you would like to make it in different size, you can try out with different yarn weight and hook size.
Yarn weight: These 2 dogs are made from the same pattern but different yarn weight, which turned out in different size. The smaller dog is from baby yarn and the bigger dog is from medium worsted yarn.
You can use synthetic fiber yarn which is cheaper and has better color choice.
Hook size: A size smaller from the recommended hook size works perfectly for amigurumi. For example, if the recommended hook size stated on the yarn label said size 3mm, use 2.5mm instead.

amigurumi toolOther Tools
Besides crochet hook, you will need the followings:
1. Tapestry Needles, I used #13 for chunky yarn, #18 for medium weight yarn, #20 for baby yarn & #24 for lace thread. You might need a long needle for big amigurumi.
2. Scissors
3. Markers, or you can use bobby pin to mark the first st of the row
4. Tweezers (blunt tip) or stuffing tool (see video how to use this stuffing tool)
5. All purpose adhesive (transparent) for gluing eyes and nose, great for threading yarn through the narrow eye of the tapestry needle.

amigurumi stuffing and weightStuffing & Weight
Stuffing: There is always a question of how much to stuff for the amigurumi, I stuffed mine until the amigurumi is firm and resemble the tubular shape of the amigurumi..
Weight: If you need to add weight so that the amigurumi stands better, you can use silica gel (in bead form), plastic beads for smaller ami. A stainless steel bolt is good for a bigger ami.

amigurumi eyeEyes & Nose
Other names for amigurumi eyes are craft eyes, animal eyes or safety eyes. Basically, the are 2 types of attachment, stud type or sewn type. The photos shown are stud type, some came with back locking plates and for those don’t have, the eye has to be glued with all-purpose adhesive (not recommended if it is for kids under 3).
Normally, eyes come in either whole black or clear plastic with black spot at the center. Select the suitable eyes and nose for your amigurumi.
I bought some of my parts and tools via this online shop .
You can also use beads, buttons and felts to make eyes and nose for amigurumi too.

amigurumi eye colorEye Color Customization
It is not necessary to buy ready color eye for amigurumi, you can always add you own color on a clear eye.
For white, use correction pen (fluid type) and paint the back of the clear eye.
For other color, use acrylic paint and paint the back of the clear eye.
I painted mine in green, brown, blue and white. You can even add design if you have a bigger clear eye, like adding iris stripes, circles, love shape etc. to further enhance the effect of your amigurumi’s character.

Amigurumi stitchTension
Unlike normal crochet, in amigurumi your stitch tension have to be snugly tight to prevent “holes” forming, the holes will amplify after stuffing.

Change Yarn Color
In some patterns, you might need to change yarn color like those I did for the dogs, click here to get the tutorial on how to do it, or here for video.
Joining Parts
Now you have all the parts (heads, arms, legs, torsos) of the amigurumi ready, installed eyes and nose, stuffed to it’s fullest firmness. It is time to join them up by sewing.
Click here to see how to join, or here for a video.
Some patterns will show where to join, for those don’t, look closely at the photo of your pattern to find the correct place to join. Sometimes you might have to unpick the stitches and redo the joining if you find the position is a little off, especially the first attempt. Don’t give-up, you are about to cross the finish line!

thread needleOther Tips
Needle threading
If you have difficulty in getting the yarn through the eye of the tapestry needle, put a small drop of adhesive (for example, UHU or quick-dry all-purpose adhesive but not super glue, please) at the yarn end, twist and make it pointy. Let it dry before inserting through the eye of the tapestry needle.
Tidying up the messy yarn ends
After stitching, make a small knot with an adjacent stitch. Insert the needle back to the body and come out from the opposite (the further the better). Pull the yarn a little before clipping so that both the knot and yarn end can hide inside the body.

amigurumi dogPractice, Practice & Practice!!!
Practice is the best way to achieve a perfect amigurumi. I did more than 10 in total of these cute doggies to achieve a close to perfect result. Each of them still looks a little different even though they are from the same pattern.
Want to see them? Click “next” on the photo album above to see another few cute little doggies I made from Ami Ami Dogs book.

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32 comments... read them below or add one

  1. I have this lovely book, however, it is not a traditional patten book. It does not give you the instructions on how to make the parts! Am I reading the book incorrectly?

    Thank you,
    Sheila

    • I didn’t get the English version, so I am not very sure about the detail. But, look at the reviews in Amazon, it has pattern, not a written instruction but in crochet chart / diagram instead.
      I did bought “pirated” books accidentally which didn’t come with pattern, I was so angry and went back to the book store to ask for refund. That’s why I trusted Amazon since there is a review section for you to expect what to expect about this book. Can you give me the ISBN # of the book you bought?

      • Thank you for the reply! You are correct, it is not in written pattern, but diagram! I have not yet learned to crochet via diagram. I do know that my book is not a “pirate”! thanks gain. Love your site!

        Sheila

        1.1.1
        Reply
  2. These are so incredibly adorable!!

  3. Thanks so much for including my book, Cuddly Crochet, on your list of suggested books!

    I also have free amigurumi patterns available on my site: http://www.freshstitches.com

    Great post!

  4. I could kiss you for this! What a brilliant reference post, it will come in very habdy. Thank you so much!

  5. hi, i really like your post, really help me :)

    but now i’m having a trouble about getting the bigger amigurumi by increasing the stitches, i’m crocheting an amigurumi about 20 cm, and i can’t just using the different yarn weight or hook.

    so, can you help me how to double the pattern so i can get bigger amigurumi?
    thanks alot!

    • This is another topic which include more detail on amigurumi design for advance level. By increasing yarn weight only can’t get you a very big ami. The correct way is to increase the stitches.
      What I normally do is, I repeat the increment of the circle base until it reaches the desire diameter, for example: original pattern ask for increment of 6 sts in a round, and repeat for 3 times, I will repeat it to 6 times or until I get the diameter I want. Use that ratio for the rest of your pattern. This is only estimation, you have to try it out. And, remember don’t do the increment stitch on the same “column” of the previous increment to prevent your circle becoming a hexagon.
      You can refer to “Cuddly Crochet” (book #9) or “Big Book of Animal” (Book #12), they are big amigurumi pattern.

  6. I love your post and thank you very much for including me on the post.I also have some free ami pattern n my blog.

  7. Hi! i have that book too, where can you get the noses and eyes featured in the book?

  8. Hi, I was wondering if you have any other tutorials on the ami dogs? Because I have the book, but I’m having trouble figuring out the patterns, and I’m not a beginner crocheter. It’s the ears, body, and legs I can’t figure out

    • Yeah me too. I’ve tried quite a few times. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. It would be nice if someone made a tutorial video on how to do the body, legs, and ears.

      • hmm…. I did a quick search on youtube, can’t find any video on the making, sorry about this. Do you have problem in crocheting the parts or attaching them together?

        8.1.1
        Reply
        • Both. I’m having a bit of trouble with getting the right shape and properly attaching the parts together. Also, do any of the parts need to be closed off? In the book it looks like the mouth is just attached to the face without sealing it off. But the head looks like it might be sealed off but I’m sure since it’s not specifically mentioned.

          8.1.1.1
          Reply
  9. Pingback:FREE Amigurumi Tutorials and Patterns « Crafted Happiness

  10. Bonjour,
    Je viens de parcourir vote blog très interessant.
    Je voudrais si je peux avoir le tutoriel de ce petit chien.
    Je suis famille d’accueil et c’est pour offrir aux enfants qui sont à la maison.
    Merci beaucoup

    Translation (by Google):
    Hello,
    I just go vote blog very interesting.
    I wish if I can get the tutorial of this little dog.
    I am a foster family and that is to provide children who are at home.
    thank you very much

  11. Hi, I like your posts very much, very inspiring. I don’t know anything about chroceting. Do you have suggestion where should I start learning, e.g good video tutorial or book, etc?

  12. Милый песик))))
    Просто чудо!

    Translation (by Google):
    Cute dog))))
    It’s a miracle!

  13. Pingback:Crochet Envy Wednesday (26th Sep '12) « Scarlet Dash

  14. Since I am a beginner, do u think I would be able make these if I bought the book?

  15. try as I might, I cannot seem to get the mouth to come out correctly at all. I have probably made four or five of them so far and they look nothing like the pictures. Any suggestions?

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